We're a big fan of Maia Walczak's art so we recently commissioned her to do a series of t-shirt designs for us. She was nice enough to sit down and tell us a little about herself and art. Here it is:
Hello. I am Maia Walczak and I’m a self-taught artist, author-illustrator of children’s picture books and novelist. Nature and the outdoors are my true loves, they inspire my work on so many different levels, and so creating these t-shirt designs for Muir Way was a real treat!
When did you start?
I started painting, drawing and writing when I was a child, and continued into my teens, pursuing creative endeavors here and there, but it wasn’t until after a trip to Australia in 2008 where I traveled round with a sketchbook and a surfboard, and remembered just how much I loved making art that I really started to take it a bit more ‘seriously’. I came back home, held an exhibition that went better than expected and then decided I was going to dedicate more time to it.
What inspires you?
The ocean and waves, the beauty of nature, the mysteries of the universe and the simple but extraordinary fact of existence are all a huge part of what inspires my work.
What do you consider your style to be?
It’s hard to say what my style is, because I do quite a few different things. But my surf art, paintings and designs can get a bit abstract sometimes and I really love playing with color and tone.
What types of mediums do you like and why?
I use a huge variety of medium. With original pieces this can include acrylic paints, watercolors, oil pastels, chalk pastels, posca paint pens, gouache, ink, coloring pencils, metallic paints, and even glitter! And for a lot of my designs I use both hand-drawn and digital techniques.
Who are your influences?
My influences are very broad, and forever expanding the more art I see. Over time I’m sure I’ve absorbed so much inspiration from various surf photographers, artists and children’s illustrators. Strangely though, I think there was one piece of art that I saw when I was in Australia in 2008 that really inspired me to get creating again. It was only a small print one of those free postcard/flyer type things you can sometimes pick up in shops, and it was actually quite a simple abstract piece. I really wanted to find out more about the artist, but when I Googled her name I couldn’t find anything about her! And now I can’t find that postcard and I’ve forgotten her name. I think her first name was Ruth though. If only she knew just how much seeing that art piece at that time inspired me!
Where can we see your art?
You can check out my work on my Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/MaiaWalczakArt) which I regularly update with new artwork and news on what’s happening with my work – be it the art, the children’s books or the novels. And you can see a selection of a lot of my work on my website www.maiawalczak.com
Where do you want to go with it?
My ideal scenario would be to carry on painting surfboards, creating designs and art pieces, and having my own children’s picture books and novels published on a regular basis – but never too regular so that it wouldn’t get stressful! Basically, I’d love to be able to focus on creating things that I love to create, and have enough money trickling in from that to get by well, whilst always maintaining a lot of headspace and time to just let go of it all, breathe, get outside – everything is better outside – smell the flowers, listen to the birds, and forget who I am and what I apparently ‘need’ to do…and just enjoy this funny ol’ thing called existence! That’s the ideal, nothing extravagant, but for me it’s very ideal :)