As the Nights and Weekends Exhibition is coming to a close, we would like to share one more fantastic artist, Miko Maciaszek. Miko is an artist and creative who was born in Warsaw, Poland, and currently residing in Toronto, Canada. Growing up in a world of European folk tales and history lessons from his family, Miko uses a mixture of traditional materials to create narrative illustrations. He has an exceptional style full of mystical figures and whimsical backgrounds- intimate images that can only be described as captivating and sublime. We are pleased to include Miko's work in the Nights and Weekends Exhibition and celebrate one of his collections of prints and zine Dusk.
Can you talk a little about your piece for the Nights and Weekends Exhibition? Where did this idea originate?
When this project began, I was fresh out of art school and kind of aimlessly treading water as a 'professional' illustrator. I was also very alone that summer, which gave me the opportunity to look closer at things I normally wouldn't. I was less concerned with conceptual coherence and more fascinated with the transition of day into night. There is a beauty at dusk, especially in the summer. When natural light fades and artificial lights come on, a different reality sets in, certain emotions become amplified. I intuitively drew and painted, venting my mind through these images, they became expressive and personal.
You have a really unique and fantastical style. How did you arrive at your style, materials, craft? Or what is your process like?
I am fascinated with historical, mythological and religious images. I love the naive idealization of figures and stories. . . I'm really a sponge, influenced by whatever I'm surrounded by or specifically looking at. I sketch when I can and I really like graphite, and ink sometimes. I finish most work digitally. My process sometimes works against me because I'll start to drift from the original purpose and feel of the image. I'm really thankful when I catch that and pull back to the initial essence, which is really personal and pure.
What is it like to work on a large series of work or zine? What are some of your considerations, limitations, and steps approaching the work?
My subject always defines my approach to making the image. When doing a series I have to consider consistency. From this project specifically I learned that I should work on all the pieces at the same time shaping them to fit together as I go. I've applied this more effectively to current projects.
What has been your favorite project you have ever worked on? Was it fulfilling personally, though feedback, or in process?
I can't say. I love fresh starts and I approach each project with passion. Personal work usually takes longer and if I'm working on it too long it just becomes abstract and structure-less to me.
Things usually come when I need them most, usually that is a tight deadline editorial which helps me gather my thoughts and create something new.
Are you a guilty creator? Do you feel bad when you are not pursuing a project or finishing something?
I can get comfortable during a several week marathon of deadlines and illustrations. Catching a break and relieving that mental state -experiencing a 'normal' existence really warps time( a day feels like a week) and it feels like I'm doing something wrong.
What upcoming projects do you have in the works? What can we look forward to seeing from you?
I just finished a series for a literary review on a super tight deadline. I went a little mental working on these, but I learned a lot and I consider it my most successful attempt at blurring the line between my personal and editorial work. I'm currently illustrating some short stories for film and print with a writer in Poland. The stories are odd and clever. I want to make them look beautiful. I think of them as a modern European Twilight Zone.
Thanks Miko! It is great to hear your thoughts on process and a little more about your pieces shown in the Nights and Weekends Exhibition. You can see more of Miko's work on his blog and website, along with the entirity of his project on the Nights and Weekends exhibition page on the Light Grey Website and shop.