Hey everyone sorry I’m so late, but as I told you we got a chance to speak with our friend Dagmara. We had a chance to speak of how one person can inspire through art. More so, how if you work hard enough you can learn anything. Dagmara is very popular for being able to catch the essence of celebrities through her illustration. However, I find her meaningful pieces really touch the heart and make you think. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as me, now let’s get into it!
Q: Can you please give use your name, background, business name, and business background?
A: My name is Dagmara. I’m originally from Poland but I have lived in the UK since I was 9. I’m a freelance artist I’m planning to continue doing freelance work for a while until I set up my own business. My dream is to be able to design and produce my own shoes and hand paint them myself.
Q: You are so artistically gifted, are you a trained artist? Or self taught?
A: I’ve never been a trained artist. I have always taught myself since I was a child. I don’t believe you can teach someone to be a professional. You learn best by doing it yourself.
Q: Why did you choose portraits as an artistic focal point?
A: I have no idea why I have chosen to draw portraits mainly. I guess it just happened naturally. At school I used to always get asked to draw my friends so I guess I started to enjoy it since then. I draw everything but I enjoy portraits the most.
Q: I see many of your illustrations are dedicated to children with cancer? What made you choose this focus?
A: There was a day when a girl named Emily, who suffers from Chronic Illness, posted something on Instagram about feeling down. I wanted to make her feel better so I decided to gift her a portrait. It was amazing to see her reaction. Her mother messaged me on Facebook thanking me that I’ve made her daughter smile. Since then I knew that this is my focus in Art. To make people happy. I believe that everyone has a talent and every talent has a purpose. With me, I use my talent to make others happy. It feels amazing. Seeing children with cancer suffer daily breaks my heart. They love receiving gifts and it makes them so happy. I love making them and their families feel better. It makes me happy! Through my drawings of them I try to portray their beauty and strength. There is not enough awareness for childhood cancer so I try to raise awareness through my Art.
Q: In your piece the Suffering in Gaza you captured emotion in such an effective way; what compelled you to touch on this topic? What is your viewpoint on the suffering the people in Gaza encountered?
A: I wanted to draw something that shows emotion. To let people know and make them realise how bad the suffering was. Both Gaza and Israel suffered a lot, and despite me drawing a muslim lady, I focused on the eyes only. I have never had a biased pinion on either of the countries. All around the world we experience suffering. We can’t blame one group of people and say others are the victims. I wanted people to look at the drawing and without blinking and breathing, find a reason why people were so cruel. Not just in Gaza, but in Israel and everywhere else in the world. So this piece wasn’t only directed at Palestine but for all suffering around the world.
Q: Tell us how difficult it is to draw on your thigh with eyeliner? Why was Rihanna lucky enough to have that spot?
A: The only difficult thing about drawing on my thigh is the fact you have to get the angle right. The skin isn’t a straight surface so it’s difficult to get the proportions right. Rihanna was just a random choice and since I drew her before, I wanted to try a different way of drawing her.
Q: What beauty do you find in illustrating a mother and child’s love?
A: I absolutely love drawing photos that show strong emotion such as a mother’s love. It’s so beautiful to see. My most recent drawing that shows this, is a mother with her baby boy who passed away just 4 days after birth. It was such a beautiful picture that I wanted to portray that love through drawing. A mother’s love is so priceless. You sort of feel connected when you draw something that has a strong, inspirational story. Through my art, I try to tell a story and I think by showing a mother’s love for her child and the bond between the two, is beautiful.
Q: Is it difficult to bring such a sense of reality to a still photo?
A: It takes a lot of dedication and so much patience to redraw a photo and make it look realistic and at least similar to the original. Every detail counts. The more details you include in a drawing, the more realistic it will look. You have to have a great eye for details and really a lot of patience because things always go wrong during the process. There was a lot of times I wanted to give up half way through completing a piece but I found that not giving up is the answer. Even if you think you messed up, don’t stop. Just improve it. The satisfaction of completing a work of art is amazing, especially of the one you struggled with. Through this, you learn so much new things without even realising. Just keep pushing. Some of my best work I had difficulties with completing, especially the recent Drake shoes I’m painting.
Q: What do you want people to take from your artistry?
A: I want people to be inspired by my art, look at my drawings and see the depth of every single piece I create. I don’t want them to look at the way I draw or how good or bad they are, but see the story behind them and feel inspired. Connecting with people through my art is very important. I also want to raise awareness for all the illnesses people suffer from.
Q: What products do you offer in addition to portraits?
A: Apart from portraits, I do custom hand painted shoes. I fell in love with painting shoes after I done my first pair of Tupac and Biggie Smalls. It’s a fun painting process and they look very cool customized. I can also do other customized work, anything you can think of. Painting on walls or on home objects. If you want your T-shirt painted, I can do that also. I literally draw on anything I can find, even broken mirror pieces. I’m currently learning to be a tattooist but for now, I only design tattoos on paper.
Q: How do you see your art evolving?
A: I’ll carry on doing what I’m doing. I definitely want to use my Art to spread awareness and be a freelance artist for now. Like I mentioned already, I would love to have my own shoe business in the future, designing and painting my own shoes.
Q: Where can people find your artwork? Do you have any upcoming sales or promotions?
A: At the moment my work is only online. You can view my work on my websitewww.dagmaracielecka.com although it needs updating. Instagram (dagmara_cielecka_art) is my main source as well as Facebook. No planned exhibitions yet but I am planning to organise something soon and will be posting about it as soon as I know.
I’m currently working on an Awareness Book that will feature stories of children with different ilnesses, along with their portraits drawn by me, to raise awareness. I was fortunate enough to be able to raise over £1000 on KickStarter to help me with the costs of printing once the book is complete. The plan is to finish the book by Christmas.
Q: What other social media outlets do you use?
A: I mostly use Instagram. It’s where the lovely community is. I post my art there and inspirational stuff. I also use Facebook to post my art but I’d say Instagram is where I’m mostly active. I have a YouTube channel set up but not yet in use. Once I get a good camera, I shall be making videos for YouTube and I cannot wait!
So there it is everyone if you enjoyed what you read please follow @dagmara_cielecka_art on Instagram. Also keep a lookout for her YouTube channel coming soon. If you took nothing else from this I hope it taught you to follow your dreams! I’m going to end this on an artistic note with some of Dagmara’s pieces. Thank you for tuning in!