Katarzyna Wieczorek is an artist from Poland. She loves creating surrealistic, magical worlds infiltrated with charm. The mood of her photos affects the senses in a way a good movie or an amazing theatrical play does. Katarzyna likes to direct stories full of passion, ambience and secret.
What did you love most about growing up in Poland? What are some of your fondest memories from that time?
I remember spending the summer with my grandmother in the country. I was just a little girl at that time. All day I used to play with animals. I would run, jump, climb trees and I was very happy then. In Poland, where I grew up, there are peculiar customs and mentality. Religion and religious ceremonies are very important. I have soaked up with this culture and in my art there are many Slavic references, with rural and magical influences.In my country there are beautiful mountains. I would love to do my future shoots there. They give me the feeling of utter freedom.
Did you have a love for fantastically creative things from an early age?
Yes, I’ve had an extremely creative imagination since my childhood days. I used to like the fairy tales of Andersen and Grimm. Later on, I liked watching David Lynch’s TV series Twin Peaks . It made me tremble but I just couldn’t stop watching. I have always been pulled towards magic and fantasy. When I was a student at primary school I used to like walking in the cemetery without anyone around. It may sound strange but I liked it. As for music, I’ve liked heavy music since my childhood. Yes it is true, I sometimes think I am out of this world.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a photographer?
I’ve always liked looking at photos and then I’d cut out photos of stars, actors, musicians, and models from newspapers and hang them on the walls in my room.
Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved painting images and taking photos. I started with black and white film and darkroom techniques. Later, I started creating graphic manipulations and connecting them with painting.
Who are some of your influences?
I love the paintings of Zdzislaw Beksinski. His visions are unusual and full of symbolism. He had an ethereal style. In his art he established death as the theme and created masterpieces.I generally like surrealists. Their visions were often grotesque, from the borders of reality, dream, fantasy, and hallucination, while dismissing rationalism. It is a riot against classicism, realism, and rationalism in the conventions of art. I like that.
What is the first thing you need to learn if you want to be a professional photographer?
Photographers have many faces. Some want to take wedding photos or become a reporter. I build my visions with painting and graphics. I think that a professional photographer should have an original style and use photographic equipment and software with ease.Those are important but the essential thing is imagination and talent. Without them professionalism will not help much. Oh…and let’s not forget luck.
How do you like to operate when you are working on your trade?
I love listening to music. It inspires me to see visions of magic and surrealistic worlds. When I create my art, it feels like seeing myself from a bird’s-eye perspective and this gives me a better overview.
Do you find an active imagination comes in handy in your line of work?
I never stop imagining. I have creative ideas all the time, but when I’m on a photo shoot, I work according to a plan. Sometimes, I just come up with new concepts while working.
You work with your daughter Laura quite often. Does she enjoy getting to take part in your projects?
Laura is a very courageous young lady. She loves to partake in my projects. She behaves like a professional model. Laura has a vast spectrum of facial expressions and in my photos you can see her natural-born acting abilities. She is very photogenic and I have included her in many different roles. People love to work with her and she loves working with her mum.
How did becoming a mother change your outlook on life in general?
Surely I am not like most other mothers because I like creating art more than for example…cooking. When I came to be a mother I had to become more responsible but inside I am still the same girl, who loves freedom, art and summer.
As a mother yourself what do you think is the most important thing a could tell her child in regards to self esteem and such?
A mother should develop self-esteem in her children and be their friend. She should talk to them sincerely and never lie. She should also be a positive person herself, because a happy mother makes for happy children. She should try to set a good example and behave well, because children learn life in their family household first.Balance is the most important…balance between home and passions or career.
Can you tell us a little about how you work alongside your models?
Various well-known artists often get in touch with me saying they want to appear in my photos. Sometimes, I ask a person to work with me if I believe they are the most suitable for my vision of the shoot. I am lucky enough to work with people full of passion and willingness. My models are always treated with full professionalism. I work alongside make-up artists, hair stylists and fashion designers.
What one thing is a must when taking a flattering photo regardless of the subject?
My photos are meant to be expressive, not attractive or flattering. They are attractive in my own way.
Your work is full of fantasy with a hint of darkness to it. Why do you think the world has always been interested in those sorts of things?
I believe there will always be people who love darkness and fantasy. These themes run deep and have masses of interpretations. Those who fall in love with those sort of things know that it is eternal.
Can you tell us a little about Model Society? How did you come to be involved in that?
I got involved in Model Society via David Bollt. He wrote to me in an email and said I have a wonderful gift that deserves to be seen. He wanted to support me and my remarkable talent in building a global audience. I decided to join Model Society. I am happy that he welcomed me there and that I will find a home for me in Model Society where he is the administrator.
Were you surprised to learn that David Bollt himself was a fan of your work?
Yes, David is a fan of my work – when I learned that I felt very happy because he is such a talented person! It is amazing that my work got appreciated by such remarkable artists.
Are there any little known things about you that the world might be surprised to know?
I love movies and in the future I look forward to directing a thriller. It’s important to have dreams.
Do you have a dream project, a project you’d most like to accomplish in your career?
I have a lot of dream projects. Every day I see many visions in my mind and I never forget them. I’d like to mark my presence in the world of arts, who knows? I’d also wish to work in film – writing film scripts and working with David Lynch in his next project… but that is just a dream.
What projects are you most excited to show off next?
I’m thinking of creating a series of photos strongly relating to Zdzislaw Beksinski’s paintings.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for inviting me to do your interview Tina. You are a very kind and responsive person.