Women in art and art in women.
Discover Iza Bułeczka and her powerful pieces in this intimate interview by Yosune Guillén.
YOSUNE: Your pieces tell stories of women who celebrate strength, curves, self-love, and independence. When and how did you find this way of communication in your art?
IZA: I was preparing myself to go freelance. Whoever did it knows that this is a very exciting but also very very scary thing to do with your life, especially if you’re an artist. And I got an illustration gig for a magazine during that time, without a brief. I was invited to draw whatever I wanted.
To show some more context, it’s worth mentioning that I worked as a graphic designer back then, mostly pushing logos around the screen. Never experienced this kind of freedom.
So I took a deep dive. I thought about my fears, imposter syndrome, how insecure the freelance thing is and anything else that could possibly stop me from being where I wanted to be. And for each of the “problems” I drew a solution- a warrior to help me overcome it. They are all curvy because I am curvy as well 🙂 It was like, you know, my fierce, classy and sassy alter-ego. It just felt right. Like the most authentic thing, I could have drawn at that time. Any time probably!
Y: As a woman in the art industry, do you find that we have to possess this strength and personality of which you speak in your pieces? If so, why?
I: We all need self-love and strength to live. However, when it comes to art I would say strength, diligence, perseverance are the top virtues in my opinion. Besides talent and curiosity. As long as you treat art seriously. You can have a really ugly personality, but you’ll still have your audience if you constantly deliver good works.
Y: Where do you find inspiration to create a new piece? Does emotion or form come first?
I: Form! Definitely form. I love changing weird lines and shapes into women, haha
Y: How does the state of society influence the nature of your art?
I: The more I know about the world, the harder it gets to stay sane. I touched some issues already, like women empowerment, self-love, body image and I am very happy and thankful, that people feel inspired by my works. Plus- they really enjoy them. Nevertheless, there are still so many things I’d like to touch upon because I feel like they are eating me up.
It’s not easy for me to speak up publicly. I live in a bubble, surrounded by people who share my values. But what is so obvious for me, is a novelty to others. As a person who thinks, feels and has the ability to share, I feel honored that through my art I can invite everyone to the discussion.
Y: If you could change something within the art industry, what would it be?
I: I think there are too many myths about the art industry. So mysterious, snobby, incomprehensible. It’s quite hard to navigate- both for those who create and those who consume.
For us, artists, it’s often tricky to find valuable outlets for our work and competent people, who can help us with our careers.
Y: Nudity is a current topic in your pieces. What do you want to express with it beyond the lack of clothes?
I: I draw nudes because I find the shape of the human body more interesting than clothes. Prettier. It’s also vulnerable, true, intimate, the core of the story I want to tell.
It’s surprising for me too, actually. I studied costume design because I wanted to hide people behind some sophisticated creations. Now it’s the other way around – I want to see the raw beauty we all have, but usually hide behind different costumes. Please note that the girls I draw are not only curvy, what we mentioned before. They are tired, they enjoy food, they sit astride, they are sad… they are real. I mean, they are still lines on paper, but people usually choose one and say “oh, that’s so me”.
Y: If you could give us a piece of advice through one of your creations, what would it be?
I: They are all my children, hard to choose one, haha. But I’ll go with the oldest- the meditating girl. She was created to help me love myself and find inner peace. It’s a great start to anything when you’re just kind and accepting.
Y: And what would Iza’s advice be?
I: Do you! Is it corny? It probably is. But nobody will do it for you, so go for it 🙂
Y: Thank you so much for your time, we look forward to keep enjoying your brave and strong art.