The idea of time

During this hectic and unsure times I’ve started to reflect on the time, as a concept. As you may know I often refer to the idea of time,  evanescence and fleeting in my creations so this subject is particularly close to my heart.

The first  thing which came to my mind (besides Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” of course) was that the most important events in our lives happen in a matter of a few hours. I’m completely amazed by this discovery. Let’s see: people cheat, get engaged, break up, say “yes” at the altar, kill a man, eat breakfast, come up with a revolutionary idea and it’s all a matter of such a short period of time. How surprising is that. We often think of the events in terms of motives and outcomes. But we rarely think of how much time takes making the actual decision, taking the action. Some of the most important things take just a few seconds. Most of the revolutionary masterpieces were visualised in a very short period of time.

“Greenwich” installation  

The reason I say this is because I constantly get the idea that I’m somehow late. Late with the deadline, late when it comes to painting. I get the feeling that I haven’t done enough. I’m 22 and there are so many people who have achieved so much more than I have so I’ve got to be late with that too, right? I believe many of us get these thoughts at some point. Afterall we live in a world where there is a lot of competition. The world races fast and so does the art. Pictures became a way to commemorate fleeting reality. But do we have the time to look through them? Or are they just somewhere on our smartphones and occasionally on the platforms such as Instagram. Did the art of photography become a reflex action which anyone can master  without even caring? Is our creativity constantly put in frames that we create by comparing ourselves to the others and by rushing somewhere? But where exactly? And so I’d like to encourage you (and myself) to consider something. Since the most important events happen in a blink of an eye is there such a big reason to get stressed out and constantly be on the run? It also applies to creating new art pieces. Because there comes a point when the expectations grow so high that there is a possibility of falling into pattern without noticing it. As one of my professors said ‘sometimes you have to take a few steps back and reflect to go forward’.

 Margaret Atwood once wrote: ‘Time is not a thing that passes… it’s a sea on which you float.’

Let’s keep floating.

We don’t earn aloe vera

In this post I’d like to share with you my experience and things I’ve learnt (and constantly keep learning) as an art student/freelancer. I think it might be helpful to those of you who are just starting in the business but I would also really appreciate some feedback from more experienced artists. I’d really like to open a discussion here because even if “freelancing” starts with “free” there are some rules and guidelines which we should keep in mind.

My freelancing patch is very broad. From selling paintings, creating works made especially for an order, caricatural/comic-like portraits to murals and videos. Am I proud of all the works I’ve done? Hell no. But some of them were pretty great. So let’s talk art freelancing:

1. You’ve got to be flexible. Do you think that the greatest of all – Diego Velázquez – felt the great urge to create so many portraits of Philip IV of Spain? Nope. I don’t think so. Our clients pay and have certain demands so we’ve got to be smart enough to do what they want but in a way that also doesn’t make us cry while working. My hack to do that: negotiating and not procrastinating. Putting off the work that you don’t really enjoy might make you fall into a huge rabbit hole. Remember, you should always do your work up to standards but if you don’t enjoy working on a said project – rip off that band-aid as soon as you can, simply – just get it done.

2. That brings us to the big green subject of money. Discussing payment usually sucks. On one hand if you’re a student some of the clients might not treat you seriously. On the other hand – maybe you don’t treat yourself seriously enough to ask for money? Remember, always before you start working or buying materials ask about the budget. It’s not being greedy it’s called having respect for what you do. What to do if you’re not sure how much is your job worth? I usually start with the subject of materials, sometimes it might get quite expensive. I also try to count hours I will spend on creating. And then, a thing that’s essential and I recommend to you all: discussing the pay with art professors, other artists. Just to make sure that everything is reasonable and beneficial for both sides.

3. Recognize the differences. In your creative job there are going to be situations in which you will have to decide if a project is worth investing your time if it’s not a paid gig. Some projects are definitely worth it! If they are connected with the art world, bring you contacts, marketing opportunities and additionally you can place them in your portfolio it’s definitely worth it! Maybe you and your friends are a group of people who just want to do something great (just like us, My Best team). Try it and I promise you won’t regret it. Sometimes it’s about what you love doing and about exploring opportunities as a creative group. And who knows, maybe someday it will be your golden ticket to doing the job you love.

4. But be careful with people who will try to give you unfavourable *trashy* propositions. Last week I got a call from a woman who claimed to be interested in buying my painting, telling me that she can give me a creative job. She invited me to a meeting at her private house with a group of women where we would talk about our professions and do home spa. The whole thing seemed stinky from the very beginning. I decided not to go and confronted her through the phone. It turned out that she wanted me to sell “natural” cosmetics and that she would give me aloe vera in as a payment for the painting. Guys, don’t get trapped like this. Art job is like any other. We don’t earn aloe vera.

5. There are going to be great people on your path and I can’t stress it enough that it’s crucial to keep in touch with them after your engagement is over. Keep inviting them for your vernissages, exhibitions, art events. If they enjoyed working with you the first time it’s very possible they will want to try that again or they will tell their friends about you. That’s how you build a network and in the mysterious environment of art- it’s a crucial element.

Keep creating, stay healthy,

Maria

Can a change be considered to be a ritual?

Last months have shown us that change is important but also that bringing a change into one’s life is a process.

In this post I’d like to concentrate on the term: acceptance. What does it mean to you? What are your ways of accepting? I believe there are millions of ways to accept. But I also believe that we, as artists and art lovers, have this incredible power in our hands *literally*. This power is that with our work we are able to stimulate the senses. Whether we create visual arts, music, poetry, inspirational quotes or something completely different, we have an impact. I have a challenge for you. Everyday for 10 days starting on 10.07.2020 I will be posting my creations about acceptance on my Instagram stories under hashtag #acceptmybest. Whether it’s accepting and appreciating each other, no matter where we come from or how we look like, accepting ourselves, our faults, our bodies, accepting the nature that surrounds us, accepting opportunities we’re given and finally accepting the change. There are so many aspects of acceptance that should be brought to life. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. You don’t have to post it, you can just have it for yourself as a reminder or share it with your close ones. Art is our power and we should always remember about it. If you’re not sure what to post you can even repost someone else’s pieces. The idea is to connect through art, spread the love and show others that we care and we want to make a change together. Show that we’re equal. To me, to accept doesn’t mean to agree for all the negativity to happen, but it means appreciating others, appreciating the World and believing that a positive change is important.

Maria Krupa, “Morning Routine”, video-art, 2020

During the summer term I’ve created a video called “Morning Routine”. Through this video I decided to deal with my faults but also share a part of my life; my thoughts in the morning. This time of a day is very special because we’re starting a day off with a fresh mind, somehow we know that things will be different and that we will have to deal with something completely new. There are no two moments that are identical. Considering it all, there’s a question that came to my mind: “Can a change be considered to be a ritual?”. Our World is rapidly changing, there aren’t many things we can be certain about anymore. As Miley Cyrus once sang: “Change is a thing you can count on”. So let’s create and bring the positive change into this unclear and difficult atmosphere. As a community there’s no way to be passive anymore. There is only one good word starting on “pass” and it’s “passionate”.

I wish you all an incredible summer!

Keep creating, keep safe,

Maria

Welcome to the art student’s world!

“Street Bird” Maria Krupa 100×150 2018

In high school my art history teacher gave me one advice that totally changed my mindset. She said: “Kid, if you want to get somewhere, get involved in the projects, voluntary work and internships during your college days”. I really took this advice to my heart. One might wonder : Why is it so crucial to do additional art related projects? Won’t it be enough if I just get my degree? Well, no, not really. Don’t get me wrong guys, I don’t encourage you to have no life and overwork yourself. As many things in life it’s all about balance. The most important thing that these collaborations give you is a contact network. One thing I learned through these amazing three years of my art education is that art creations need audience. What would happen if we would never be able to see Millais’s “Ophelia” or “Portrait of Madame Matisse” by Henri Matisse? The thing that these two artist (and many other) have in common is the fact that they were members or artistic groups.

You see here what I’m trying to say? You just never know who will pass on the good word about you or if this exhibition won’t be the one on which your painting will be admired or sold to a buyer- a friend of the person who organised the event. This story happened to me. I was on plain-air with my friends, we were hanging out by the lake, painting. The weather was beautiful so I decided to put my painting outside so that it could dry. Then the strangest thing happened. A lady that had a house nearby got completely mesmerised by my (my!) painting and she decided to buy it. You see, I’m writing here about many “firsts” today. It’s because your actions, the initiative that you take, your first email to someone might be just what you need to fulfill your dream about being a full time artist.

Here I give you the top three places to look for art opportunities:

  1. Instagram and Facebook. Almost everyone of us has an account on these websites. Follow many artists, galleries, events. Take initiative, dm someone and ask if maybe they’d like to do some collaboration. Put yourself out there!
  2. Open Call sites. There are so many of them! Take the chance, send your works. Just remember about few things. It’s better to take five titles, write deadlines in your calendar and give it a shot. Don’t take too many. Doing works by the given subject might put you off track of your own creations. Pay attention to participation fees (if there are some) and read all terms carefully.
  3. Your local galleries, coffee shops, newspapers. Don’t be afraid to ask! Face to face contact is very important. Maybe someone needs a new logo for their place? Or possibly some newspaper is looking for illustrations? Always carry your portfolio with you on your smartphone. You never know when it will come in handy!

Let’s not lose these chances, let’s say the word “yes” more often to the opportunities we come across.

Stay tuned, stay healthy, stay inspired.

Maria