Now that autumn is here for good, it’s a perfect time to enjoy the art of Viktoria Górko. Her cartoon illustrations beam with cozy warmth and soothing sincerity, a charm that’s almost impossible to resist.
Not that we would even try to resist it. Instead, we sat down with Viktoria – a Polish art student who’s already managed to score an international exhibition – to find out more about her enamoring style, creative process, and recent artistic endeavors.
Where do you live and what does your workspace look like?
I currently live in Łódź. It’s a fairly large city in central Poland, which is known as a former industrial center. I’m renting a small apartment in a tenement building. In my apartment I have a small room that I use as a “studio”, with a large desk, a computer workstation, pots full of markers, and a collection of dog figures. For the first time in my life I’m living in the city center and I’m surprised how much I like it. I’m a very flexible person – I often work in a café or on trains.
How did you become an artist and what kind of art do you do?
My mother always tells me that as a child I used to draw a lot and loved all the art classes. Well, looks like nothing has changed! When I graduated from high school, I had to choose my studies. I considered going to film school, because I was very interested in animation, or the Academy of Fine Arts, which would help me develop art skills. I decided to apply for the Academy and got in. That was the beginning.
I now specialize in illustrations and printed fabrics. Today, my style is way simpler than 2-3 years ago and it keeps changing. I mostly draw on my iPad or my computer, but sometimes I take markers, large sheets and just draw by hand.
What inspires you to create? Can you walk us through your creative process?
I’m mainly inspired by visiting museums. Whenever I go abroad, I try to visit as many of them as possible to get that new stimulus. Every day I watch other artists’ works on Instagram, browse art albums, watch videos, and do a ton of reading. I also look for inspiration in press articles and music, always trying to look a bit wider and staying open to the world of art.
I’m a person who enjoys small rituals, so I always start my creative process with fixing myself a large cup of coffee or a tea and dressing up as if I was about to leave the house. Then I take a drawing pad, a lot of pencils, crayons, markers and make sketches by hand. When I feel that a sketch is good, I draw it again on a larger piece of paper and continue to refine it. Later, I transfer the drawing to my computer or iPad. I mainly use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Procreate.
What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?
This month, my work is on display at the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta, as part of the exhibition of Polish artistic fabrics. This is the first time I have an exhibition abroad. It’s a big thing and I’m very grateful that I was able to participate in it.
To be honest, the greatest success for me is being able to show people what I do, whether at exhibitions or in social media.
In your opinion, how important are social media for artists these days?
I think it’s important, especially if you can reach your potential audience. Social media can be useful in starting an art shop, informing people about an upcoming exhibition or seeking out artist collaborations. You just need to keep the balance between the internet and real life.
Which one of your artworks is your favorite and why?
Honestly? I don’t have a favorite one. It’s too hard to choose. On the one hand I love them all, because I always create with passion and put my whole heart into it. On the other hand, whenever I spend too much time on a single illustration, l simply can’t look at it later.
Which artist would you like to grab a coffee with and why?
It’s hard to choose just one person. How about a coffee with Leta Sobierajski? I like her works very much, she’s a great inspiration for me. She seems to be a very interesting and colorful person and I would love to talk to her. I always carefully watch her new works on instagram. I like that she also shows glimpses of her private life – this makes her seem closer to me as a person.
What are your passions, other than creating art?
I’m curious about the world and often find new hobbies that help me grow as an artist. I have always loved to cook – it’s my way of showing love and care. I really enjoy exploring the secrets of vegan cuisine. For several years I have been passionate about collecting comic books and going to the movies. I am hugely inspired by pop culture. In my free time, I also really enjoy traveling and writing letters to my best friends who live far away.
What are your plans for the future?
First of all, I want to finish my studies.Then I would love to have my own studio where I could do art workshops, showcase and sell my products. I want to create a safe place for people interested in design and art, a place full of good energy, creativity and passion. I’m staying positive – it’s good to chase your dreams and plans!