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Anika is an art student in Warsaw, Poland who has a knack for drawing beautiful ladies in even more gorgeous dress. She also has a sweet tooth as can be seen through the titles of her various sites (Chocolaterie and Chocoraspberries), as well in her art work. You can see her more of her pictures in her DeviantART gallery.
ToonariPost: How and when did you first start practicing your art (are you traditionally trained or self-taught)?
Anika: I have been drawing since I can remember and when kids usually stopped drawing pictures I did not. At the beginning of 2005 I found the world of computer graphics and their communities. I realized that I was not as good as I thought (what with your family telling you how awesome you are at it? bunch of liars). Anyway, at that point, instead of simply drawing, I decided to get better at it. I also started using color then. I think this was somehow my “second start” with drawing.
I think I’m self-taught. I observe a lot (reality and art) and try to learn from it rather than listen to opinions of others. My mum is an artist and people often tend to think I got my skills with blood or something, but the main thing I’ve been told is that “I should draw it myself” when I wanted some help. Not much of a theoretical knowledge.
Right now I’m a new media art student and I’ve learned a lot in my school, but it hardly has anything to do with my anime styled illustrations.
TP: What mediums do you use for your art work? Which is your favorite and why?
A: I usually do a pencil sketch and then color it in Adobe Photoshop. I’ve also used OpenCanvas and sometimes SAI, but I always get back to my favorite, Photoshop. I don’t really use traditional media because there’s too much preparation before you can actually start creating things… and cleaning after… I’m a lazy person. But still, I’m not comfortable with sketching on the computer so mechanical pencil is still in my favor.
TP: What piece of your work is your favorite and why? Which one are you most proud of?
A: Hard question. Many of my pictures have something I like about them and something I don’t. But my latest favorite is probably this because it depicts a different feeling than most of my pictures and is something I’ve worked hard on.
TP: When you first started did you ever hit any bumps in your artprocess. What were they and how did you overcome them?
A: I had an art block for the entire second half of 2007. I was drawing pictures, but I was never happy about them. And for many years later (until 2011) I felt like I was staying in the same place or even going backwards. I was too preoccupied with worrying about anatomy and other technical aspects of a picture and forgot that it’s about picturing ideas and making things interesting rather than making it technically flawless. Once I remembered this again I had fun drawing and realized I can progress technically without actually worrying about it.
TP: Who or what are your inspirations and why?
A: I’m inspired by many things. My main inspiration are all those little things you can notice in your daily life, like color combination, or one object or whatever. That’s why I always try to “have a life” and get out of my room, meet people, travel and such. I’m also inspired by people who progress quickly. It motivates me to try harder, too. As for inspiration from other artists in terms of what they draw it’s definitely Korean artists. I love how they combine simplified lines of anime style and deep, more realistic shading.
TP: Have you ever had to deal with a situation where someone else took credit for your work? If so, what did you do to resolve it? How did this art theft make you feel?
A: I never had any problem with some kind of severe art theft but I must admit I really don’t like when my pictures A: are used as representation of some RP character. I usually draw my own characters that I’m quite emotionally attached to, so it’s sad to see how they become some kind of a Mary Sue.
TP: What is your favorite subject to draw and why?
A: Desserts and girls in pretty clothes. I wish I could learn how to draw proper cyberpunk though. Haha, on one side I like things sweet and pretty and on the other dark and gloomy.
TP: If there was any art medium that you wish you could master, what would it be and why?
A: I wish creating 3D wasn’t so annoying so I could learn how to make movie-like special effects, abstract animations and such.
TP: Outside of art what is your life like?
A: Anything that doesn’t sound mundane? Well, I started to learn Japanese when I became art student. It was hard to learn languages when I had to learn biology, chemistry and other complicated, not useful for my carrier, things but now I take memorizing kanji as a hobby. I’m amazed that after 3 years I’m still into it. And it’s nice when you realize you understand more and more of these weird symbols.
I also love travelling whenever I can even if it’s not far. I guess I simply like the idea of “moving” and seeing new things. I can’t imagine not visiting other cities or countries. Though I’m not much of a fan of sightseeing touristic places. There’s too many people and seeing one more European church, no matter how well known, is not really appealing to me anymore since most of them look similar. I prefer blending in with local people and observing how the whole city differs from others.
TP: What are your goals in life? Do you plan to continue art as a hobby or make it a career?
A: The truth is, I haven’t considered it as a hobby for a long time now. I may not earn money with it at the moment but it’s more like practicing for the future. And I’m an art student. So yes, I’m definitely planning to make a carrier out of it, though I’m still not sure whether I would like to go for something like game art or typography and design.
TP: Do you feel that your culture has influenced you in some way that makes you different than other artists?
A: In the age of globalization I don’t think so. Especially when my style has more to do with Japanese culture and I’m not even Asian. But in this drawing genre, I never try to differentiate from other artists because I think this will come out naturally based on how every person is different. It’s for others to decide whether I’m different or not.
Image Courtesy of http://anikakinka.deviantart.com/gallery/