Polish artist and illustrator Daria Golab first grabbed my attention at the end of last year through her ongoing series of portraits known simply as Sad Girls. As I began to view more of her portfolio, I noticed all types of women. Brightly colored women trapped in tiny homes. Majestic women battling wolves with golden swords. Expressive women shaving each other's heads. Serious women hiding in dense forests. The talented creative, who resides in Ostrów Mazowiecka (a town with less than 30,000 inhabitants), splits her time between commissioned work and passion projects. I spoke with her about her creative process, her newer techniques and artistic endeavors, as well as what she has planned for the future.
How has 2018 been treating you?
It's been crazy but good so far. It's a year of doing lots of things for the first time and getting out of my comfort zone daily. It's a year of big life changes that are scary but much needed. Although so far it's not a great year for art but I hope it will change.
I found your art through Behance, which dates back to 2012. Is that when you started making art?
Oh, it's been a while! I've been making art much longer but I think making a portfolio on Behance marks the time when I decided I wanted to work as an illustrator. I think my longest standing portfolio is on Deviantart as it was the first place where I started sharing my work around 2006.
What's the origin behind your series of Sad Girls?
With every new work of mine, I'm going deeper and deeper into exploring emotions and mental states. It usually takes me into the melancholic side of life as it's definitely the feeling that is the closest to me. So I think I can say it is a portrayal of my emotions in the past few months.
Do you create every day or does it come in waves?
I am definitely trying to create every day, even if it's just a quick sketch. But as I currently had to move into a full-time job, it's getting much harder. But also I have much more inspiration building in me each day and once I have a while for art, I can let it all out. When it comes to inspiration it definitely comes in waves but I trained myself not to wait for it and work through all art blocks and uninspired times.
What is the art scene like where you live in Poland?
I think I'm much more familiar with the illustration scene and it's totally amazing. I'm looking at it a bit from the outside as it feels a bit closed and hard to kind of "get in" for someone who hasn't attended any art school. The Polish illustration scene is definitely worth checking out!
What are you currently working on?
Currently all of my personal projects were put on hold as I'm living out of a suitcase between two cities. But in the meantime, I'm doing some nice small illustration projects for clients and looking forward to making myself a new art space. I am definitely planning to leave behind all of my current artworks while moving and doing a bit of a fresh start that will definitely bring a lot of new ideas for personal projects.
What are some studio essentials?
Sketchbook is definitely a number one, I wouldn't be able to create without a space to put all random ideas in. Good music and tea are also a must and I think that's all I need to get in the zone whatever technique I'm working in. I recently tried to switch mostly to digital art for short deadline client projects to see if it would be possible for me to work in case of not having access to traditional materials. It worked great so a laptop, old Wacom Bamboo tablet and Photoshop are my essentials for working any time and any where.
Outside of your own art, what have you been enjoying recently?
I've been enjoying a lot, learning new skills for my day job, and exploring a new city. Other than that, I've attended live figure drawing events which were an amazing and a fresh way to practice my skills as I haven't had a chance to do it in years. Unfortunately I haven't had time to catch up on movies or new music but I'm looking forward to finally settling down in a new place and getting to that.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
Oh I don't think I'm a good source of advice as my own art life isn't much of a success. But I get a lot of questions from young artists on how to make money on art and among all questions it is the topic that comes up the most often. Sometimes it makes me think that social media and the overall convenience of print services make us think about selling when we maybe aren't ready for it. I think it's important to first be really happy with our skill level, with the work we produce and make selling it a natural transition once we feel that we want our art to be on someone's wall and that someone paid for it with their hard earned money. It's definitely something to thing about.
Do you have any final thoughts / words of wisdom?
It was a pleasure and I appreciate you taking time to do this. I'm always humbled by the fact that someone is interested in what I have to say. Thank you!