Lina Lark Illustrator Interview

Lina Lark

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Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an illustrator?  What were your earliest impressions?
I was always drawing and making things, so I always knew I want to make creative stuff but I think at that time I didn’t even know what being illustrator really means. I was creative in making my on clothes, home decorations, publishing my own small newspapers for all my family. I always enjoyed art classes at school. But I think for a long time it was hard for me to imagine that actually I can be an artist, as artist is someone very special, someone with a gift. However my drive to crate was stronger and at some point I realized that this is the only think I want to do.

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
I was growing up during the communist system in Poland, so at that time I was surrounded by art created by Polish School of Poster, graphic novels like Thorgal, Tytus Romek i Atomek and so on. However when we finally have access to western pop culture I was totally in love with it – magazine for young people, MTV, bright colours, movies, and dolls.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like?  Do you still have it?
I remember that for a long time I was paining… a wall. Which means starting with one colour on the paper, then adding more and more until all surface become brown and fully covered. When asked what was it, I proudly answered that this is a wall ;-). 

Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
I always wanted to make creative things so medicine or law was never an option for me. However after long period of working in advertising as a part of creative team I realized that I would like to work more independently and be able to create things that can translate abstract ideas in to visual, and being playful at the same time. I also like diversity of the projects that I am able to work on, so I can always feel the challange, learn new things and never be bored. 

Did you study art in school?
Yes, but not immediately. After hight school I wanted to study art but my parents didn’t really support this choice so, I make my MA in Politics Science first, which actually was fun and I learned so many interesting stuff. Many year later, after quitting advertising I decided to go back to school, and I made my MA in illustrations at Camberwell College of Arts in London.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art?  Do you have a source for your ideas?
I guess both. There is a lot things I feel, and see, and want to express. However I also love looking at the world around me – my city, people, art, movies, graphic novels. I feel inspirations are everywhere I look around.

How would you describe the process of creating art?
I think is like anything in life. It has its cycles, beginnings and ends, ups and downs, moments of constant work, and moments of contemplations. 

Do you have a favourite artist?  What is it about that artist’s work you like?
There is so many amazing artist I admire. With some I am obsessed for long time, to some I come back, and I am still learning about new ones. For now I am interested in work by Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo.

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
I would love to dance. 

Do you remember your first set of paints, pens, or markers?
Not really.

Do you have a favourite artist supply, a favourite method, or favourite location, where you like to create artwork?
Sekaido is a big art shop in Tokyo that is one of my favorite place in town. When I am there I feel like inside the candy shop. When it comes to favorite place to create work, I like working in my studio at home. As I also make ceramic and screen prints, I use open access studios for it. However I dream of having my own big and bright studio, when I can not only create my work, but also invite people, exchange ideas, and support creative community.

If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
I feel art shouldn’t need much of the explanation. What is beautiful about art is that we all can create our own meanings based on our own experiences, sensitivity and imagination.

Do you think illustration has the eye of the public or could public awareness of this field be improved upon?
I think illustration is becoming very popular now. More and more magazines, publishers, and businesses want to use it instead of photography for instance. There is also so many talented illustrators out there, so this field becomes much more accessible than before. 

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
For me art is another way to express myself and communicate with the world. Artist can crates this another level of thinking, feeling, and living the world that surround us. And this can be shared and experienced by people, even with those who don’t see themselves as an artist. I think without art, world would be much more empty place.

If you could look back or forward 100 years, do you think the life of an artist was or will be better than today?
The term that something is better than the other thing comes form the place of today. We compare to our current experiences. However perception changes, as well as people needs. We speeding up with changes like never before. It is almost impossible to compare what was 100 year ago, as for example there were almost no women artist present at that time, so yeah I think it is better now. As for the future I hope all our life will be better, and that we will still be existing on this planet, and from discussion about women vs man, black vs white, catholics vs muslim, we will move in to discussion about human beings as a whole.