Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska

How did you get started doing what you do?
I have been drawing ever since I can remember – I cannot imagine life without some form of creativity. It was never a choice, but something totally obvious. I became fascinated with painting in art school and originally thought that would be my direction, but somehow I started playing and experimenting with illustration and suddenly something clicked…I found what I love. Over the years I developed my personal style which is a mixture of the handmade and computer work.

How would you describe your creative style?
Surrealistic fantasies in nature.

Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz

What’s your inspiration?
Nature- with its landscapes, forms and patterns and all of its strange and wonderful creatures, surrealism- illustrations from old Polish and Russian children’s books, fairy tales that my grandmother told me, my many travels, my dreams… A lot of my inspiration comes from literature – I love Calvino, Marquez, Lem and of course Andersen, Carroll, Jansson.

What is art to you?
A passion, a way of being free, a time of play, but also a path into the unknown.

Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Usually three weeks, up to a month.

How do you keep motivated?
I love what I do and that is the best motivation!

Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz

How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
Poland, during my childhood in the communist times, was dull and grey. I didn’t have many toys, but instead many beautifully illustrated children’s books. Illustration and graphic design in my country back then were surprisingly vivid – art for children’s books was not censored and was sort of a valve for creativity. The books were a fantasy world so different from the grey reality – I remember almost falling into them, like Alice in Wonderland falling into the tunnel.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
I want my work to inspire others, point to the beauty of the natural world and encourage viewers to give it a closer look. To me, nature itself has a poetic aspect and often fairy tale qualities – for example Hymenopus coronatus, a pink praying mantis which resembles a blooming orchid – it’s pure fantasy! The true artist is Mother Nature.

Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Bozka Rydlewska on Jung Katz

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Believe in yourself, be patient and work, work, work!

What’s your process like?
My process is quite intuitive, I don’t really plan anything. It starts with a feeling or an image that I suddenly see in my mind. Sometimes a fascination with a certain combination of colors or a scent spark my imagination. I start drawing – letting the colors flow freely, trying out different possibilities, experimenting, drawing one element over and over again until I’m satisfied. You never know what may happen – the drawing leads you wherever it wants to go.

Follow Bozka Rydlewska on Facebook.

 

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