Kamila Krol, whose piece ‘Danse Macabre’ is published in the second issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a Polish illustrator currently based in Cardiff, with a head full of surreal stories and a strong desire to share them with other people. In her work she embraces individualism, female perspective and the power of imagination and storytelling. Since graduating from an illustration course in 2017, she has been involved in art events in Cardiff and developing her own practice. She works mainly in traditional media such as ink and watercolour. Her recent projects include poster design as a part of a Pigeon & Prawn art duo and development work for ‘Rusalka’, a graphic novel. Read our interview below where Kamila discusses how art is a special way to connect with others.
What inspired your piece, ‘Danse Macabre’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
‘Danse Macabre’ is a part of a nightmarish series created in ink. Danse Macabre, which can translate to “dance of death” is my version of the artistic allegory which reoccurs in history of art. It shows the personification of death taking humans onto the (last) dance on the way to the grave.
Memento mori. The death unites us all, no matter of our status. At the same time it often shows a disturbing playfulness as people join in the dance. I always found this theme very interesting and decided to include it in the series, aiming to explore subconscious fears and nightmarish visions. I’m happy this surreal image also made its way to Lucent Dreaming.
What does creating art mean to you?
For me art is a platform for self-expression, communication and creating a very unique experience for the viewer. Personally I feel like it’s such a big part of me – a deep need of sharing little stories and characters and (hopefully) making people notice new things, feel something new and bring their attention to concepts and ideas which touch them in a certain way or the ones they haven’t noticed before. The feeling of connecting with others through these images – either viewers or fellow artists – is something really special to me.
I guess it’s something I can’t imagine not doing.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
Recently I’ve been working on quite a few images inspired by circus and carnival – I put them together in the “Carnivalesque” zine which I’m planning to expand in the future.
I also came back to working on my biggest project, a graphic novel “Rusalka”, which uses elements of Slavic mythology and pagan beliefs.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
There are many things happening right now that I’m grateful for but I’m always excited about change – I don’t like feeling stuck in one place and I find change very stimulating, whether it’s brought by travelling or learning new things or experimenting with new art tools.
I’m also excited about all the new ideas and when I visualise finalising my bigger projects, seeing them finished and ready to share.
How and where do you find inspiration to do your craft?
Combination of browsing historical and contemporary artwork – and reading. Reading allows my mind go to completely new places and books are definitely one of my biggest sources of inspiration. But sometimes ideas are sprouting from little details seen on the street, little reflection or colours or heard conversation. There’s no specific pattern.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
Hah, I don’t know if I’m in the place to give advice to other artists because I’m still figuring things out myself! But I would say – just keep creating and sharing your art as much as you can, do it with passion and find your own way to do things. Don’t compromise too much but also don’t be too hard on yourself.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I’m posting on social media, mainly on Instagram as @pigeonxgirl (also sharing “Rusalka” progress on @rusalkaproject). You can also see my website, www.pigeonmakesart.co.uk for more of a polished portfolio. If you’d like to see the pigeon in person, I’m also taking part in various art events such as zine fairs or exhibitions in Cardiff.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.