In conversation with Kalina Juzwiak
[ Where ] Morning Coffee at Bandwagon Port Macquarie
[ Inspired by ] Her mindset as much as her artwork
[ Lesson ] Attitude is the key to personal and professional success
I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with full time artist Kalina Juzwiak just as she was finishing up her month stint in beautiful Port Macquarie and heading back to her home country Brazil. We chatted about being creative and the barriers she crossed to be able to live a life she is proud of.
I first come into contact with Kalina at her solo exhibition hosted at Sunset Gallery, I love her artwork; the lines, texture, pops of colour and the use of negative and positive shape. I was instantly drawn in by her open and genuine energy which made me want to understand more about her artwork and story.
Initially starting out as an Architect in Brazil, Kalina would use her artwork as a personal form of therapy but over the 5 years that she was studying, started to integrate hand drawn elements into her assignments which than became her signature style. After graduating she had her own architect studio but the art kept calling and she eventually transitioned into a fulltime artist and now has been able to successfully make a living from her art practice for the past 4 years.
Having this opportunity to ask questions about how she has overcome some of the ‘artist struggles’ was instantly inspired and motivated with her responses.
When you are painting a mural, what do you do if you make a mistake?
There are no mistakes, you just learn to improvise, you have to learn to exercise letting go of the perfectionism and let it flow, take the line or mark into a different direction.
How did you become confident with selling your art?
Kalina understood if she didn’t believe in her art who would? she had to go against being a more private person – to actually expose her work and herself to the world.
I like to test myself and see what happens, when I decided to live for art, I moved to Switzerland, where no one really knew my art and I had to sell it, if I don’t believe in my art who will?
With 12.5k + followers on Instagram Kalina has visability to both lovers and the haters and with some of the negative comments understands not everybody is going to like her work and also sometimes people project their own insecurities on to others, but this just ensures she continues to build on her own security which is what she did by coming to Port Macquarie and putting herself out there to see how people would respond.
Being creative we usually have so many ideas, how do you make the right choice?
Just do it, if we only stay in the mental place you will never know
Following the cycle of thinking, testing, doing, I found it interesting Kalina allowed perfectionism to have its place; using it to help keep her evolving but balanced enough not let it become detrimental to the outcome. Kalina understands that we are our own system, but always connected to others. It is a way to put life and ourselves into perspective, when we understand that everything is interconnected and made of moving parts. Kaline’s discipline is also reflected throughout her whole lifestyle with a routine she keeps where ever she may be in the world, starting the day with meditation and a run and a packed lunch for her journey, maintains a good mind, body and spirit connection.
What are you most proud of to-date?
“I see my art is the consequence of my lifestyle, for me the best thing is that I am able to live for who I am, as the art is the expression of who I am and I know its my passion”
As we sat in the booth at bandwagon it quickly became clear that it was Kalina’s attitude and mindset throughout her journey that has lead her to be able to live her dream life. still with the same struggles that most of us face; self doubt, decision making and getting the work life balance right the key take away for me is that she is constantly in-check with herself and is conscious about ‘what is me, and what others put on us.’ Being able to really understand herself and and be secure in her own belief systems has enabled her to gain good perspective and given her the confidence and the ability to progress positively in her journey.
[ Quick questions ]
Main materials you use?
I’d say oil paint Marker and acrylic paint on murals (that is my main business nowadays, but I do transit in between a lot of things)
One thing people may not know about you?
I used to be a nerd – one of those kids that loved to study – and was given an award of best student in school and a prize also by the end of college, when I graduated from architecture. (this is the nerdy part) in a more personal sphere, I guess I am learning to cry (yeap, I never cried much…)
Favourite book / podcast / or inspiration you recommend?
I would recommend people to stop rushing for a bit, just to watch the subtile world that surrounds them. To understand that the beauty and inspiration can be in every detail. The reflection of a ray of sun hitting the water, the breeze that moves the leaves in a magestic way. We are always rushing and hyper-connected to our phones, medias, podcasts, music, books, articles, news, series… when everything we really need to inspire us, might just be lying right in front of us – or above, or on the ground. Stopping a while to change.