Art, // January 1, 2015
Michal Janowski – ARTIST
Interview with the artist Michal Janowski –
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am Michal Janowski, a painter of Polish origin currently living and working in London.
2. Why art?
Nowadays, I see it clearly as a natural process. Every child has some predispositions, talents. The way they will develop them depend on circumstances and inner strength. For me, it wasn’t too difficult as my parents are rather supportive in my choices. I drew a lot as a kid, in fact, it was my favourite form of fun. It was about inventing the world instead of taking it as it was. This is exactly what painting means to me. Of course, there are some negative aspects of this profession however it is very much about freedom of choice.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
It was about nine years ago when I moved to Scotland. I was a very carefree but lucky person and I ended up living right opposite Glasgow School of Art. I had quite a bit of free time on my hands and I started to draw in a more consequent manner. I think I was simply jealous of the students going in and out of this rather impressive building. After six months, I moved to Felixstowe – seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk in England. Being moved by its scenery, I decided to work on my portfolio. After couple of months I was already a student at University of East Anglia. During my studies, I received quite a lot of positive feedback and became addicted to drawing.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
It is definitely a passion towards the figurative art; however, it took me a while since I started to add acrylic paint to my charcoal portraits. I don’t think that I need to have my favourite media. I would rather leave it to a chance. During my studies I used a lot of coffee and spray paint. I got hooked on Antony Gormley’s drawings and I started to use everything I could find around the house.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
Seven years ago, when I started to think about painting, I would begin with a life drawing – quite a few of them. I wouldn’t leave my house without a sketchbook. After a few years of working from life and sketching myself from the mirror, I got inspired by Francis Bacon and his use of photographs. Recently I value a mixture of conscious and subconscious decisions. I might find an interesting photograph, edit it in Photoshop and develop it on canvas. On the other hand, I like to work without sources and follow my intuition. I think after doing it for a while you have a privilege of thinking less about the process.
6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
It really depends on my mood.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I have been recently featured in ‘’One to Watch’’ series curated by Rebecca Wilson, Director of Saatchi Art Gallery. The fact that people want to own my works is very rewarding.
8. What do you like about your work?
I like its strength and the ability to change. I can’t see myself tackling one subject for a long period of time – this is not real.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
I would advise them to work hard and be stubborn.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I find myself in a situation of being able to concentrate on painting. I shouldn’t ask for more.