Marta Chrostowska is a young self-taught artist that has a great maturity in her artworks.
It is not about her technique, but about the feelings that can be translated into each of her paintings.
She was born in Polish, but she lives in the United Kingdom and began working primarily in oil, watercolour and pen medium. Her work allows her to constantly explore new techniques, inviting the viewer to see art in different ways.
Her art is mainly focused on people’s behavior which is reflected by various images of clowns, jesters and masks, but also Chinese, Japanese culture and astrology. Not long ago, she started to experiment with abstract painting breaking the boundaries of standard canvas shape.
She believes that true artistic talent can’t be learned, but gifted.
You are a self-taught artist, and that means that you have no masters that have changed your way to do and that you have inside your own capacity to develop the inspiration of life in your artworks. What does this inspiration do for you?
Yes, indeed. I come from a very artistic family. As a child, I was getting influenced by a creative atmosphere that was always present in my family house in Poland. My parents are artists, same as grandparents and uncles. I think I was just born this way with creativity in my genes. I never felt like studying art, I had it already in me. And that’s where the inspiration is coming from.
My educational background is within the tourism and marketing industry. I have completed a bachelor degree in International Tourism Management with Spanish in which I got awarded for my overall performance. Last December I graduated from an MA in Digital Marketing.
I think you capture the instants that a human being offers and you transform them with your magical way to see life. How do you develop these moments?
Yes, the unpleasant instants that affect not only me but all of us. The development comes from inside of me and is driven by strong self-expression. I see people who lie, manipulate as toxic individuals who are too weak to face their true self and I reflect them through my art as images of various clowns, jokers and jesters. My style is also partly influenced by a Carnival in Venice which I apply in faces wearing masks with no mouth.
I see your artworks and they are different, but I feel deepness in each one. What do you want to express with this deepness?
I highly engage with my emotions during the process of creation. I want every single piece of my artwork to have a meaning. I don’t like to produce ‘an empty art’. Through my artwork, I principally express my inner feelings towards people I know or have known. Clowns, jokers and jesters to some may appeal as ‘scary’ or ‘not pleasant’, but that’s the idea of how I reflect human behaviour through my works. These artworks represent people who hide their true selves behind the masks worn every day, pretending to be someone else they are not, and yes indeed this type of behaviour is not pleasant.
I consider myself as an honest and very direct person. I do not tolerate people who wear misleading masks which put out of the way who we really are. The point of this type of art I do is to highlight toxic behaviours and release whatever I feel inside. Disgust towards all these dishonest, manipulating individuals that surround us, wasting our time and energy.
Jockers, clowns and this phantasmic world of the characters of films and comics. Why?
I create to express what I feel. For immersing into my world. To forget reality. I soak in so much inspiration from fantasy movies. My favourite characters I’m getting inspired by are Evil Queen from Snow White, Maleficent, Daenerys Targaryen, Cercei Lannister, Joker and much more. I’m driven by dark characters – mainly queens and jokers. Also, by the fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland and many other movies. Based on that movie thrill that turns into inspiration, I create my own characters. These can be seen in my drawing section ‘Creatures’.
I have always lived in my own imaginary world, which to me appears the best possible place to be. Free of toxic people and all that negativity that surrounds us. In my mind, I’m just free.
Are people prepared for your art?
Some yes, and some no. Many of my previous buyers love the meaning behind my art and found it very intriguing. Some people will never hang a clown or joker in their houses. This type of dark art I do is mainly understood by people who have similar experiences and know where I’m coming from and what I’m trying to say through my artwork or those who are visually attracted.
I do receive loads of questions about why my art. Mainly why it is so dark, and comments ‘you should do pretty stuff like flowers…’ but what’s so special about flowers? What’s the message they can convey?
I always ask the guest painters about what does art mean?
Art is the expression of inner feelings and one’s imagination.
Contemporary Art gives a lot of new artists, but not all of them get success. What do you think the artist must have to conquer the heart of the public?
I know a few very talented friends of mine who have stopped pursuing their dreams because they have lost faith and motivation. Getting an art career is an extremely long process which may take years or even decades. And is not guaranteed, some artists just give up. Not only artistic talent is important, but strong motivation, belief and passion. If you simply love what you do and do it continuously, people will eventually see you. From my own experience, I had many doubts about whether I’m good enough or if I make it. Even today it still happens, but then I wake up the next day motivated and full of ideas and energy to create. Art is part of me and I will never stop. Step by step I’m growing as an artist and more opportunities are coming up just like this interview.
Becoming a successful artist is also very much dependent on the people you know and the network you have. Equally important is marketing and how you are presented to the public. These are the key factors that can take up the leader.
If you could meet an artist of the past, which one would you choose?
Definitely Leonardo da Vinci. I am thrilled by the stories about his past and all the mysteries that surround him and his artworks until the present day. It’s told that his paintings are not as simple as may look, and that’s what intrigues me the most. Many sources claim Da Vinci was coding his art and painting secret symbols or messages into the artworks which up to date is still a mystery. There are many theories introduced by the number of professionals but nothing is certain as of yet.
Marta Chrostoswska, the year 2030. How do you see yourself?
As an established artist, making a full-time living from my art. Although the art industry is extremely competitive and it’s so hard to get your name out there, deep down in my heart I know I will succeed in my dream career. This has been a dream of mine since a little child. I have heavily focused my whole life on my art, whereby my talent and work were eventually appreciated and noticed. These everyday steps of commitment and hard work have clearly directed me to early-career achievements which I intend to develop further. I can’t see myself going towards another direction than art.
Middlesex University, England (Major) 2018 – 2019
– MSc Digital Marketing (Distinction)
Zhejiang University, China
– Study China Programme of Intensive Language Course and Business Aug 2017
Culture in China
Middlesex University, England (Major)
– BA International Tourism Management with Spanish (Distinction, 2013 – 2017
The Best Overall Performance of the Year)
Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain – Erasmus 2015 – 2016
– BA Tourism and Languages (Spanish, Italian)
Self-Employed – London, England 2013 – Present
– Manages website containing art
– Manages social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook)
– Creates art on a daily/weekly basis
– Meeting clients
The Portrait Foundation Feb 2020 – Present
Charity owned by the famous portraitist Basia Hamilton under the patronage of His Royal Highness, Duke of Kent.
- Manages and runs charity’s social media accounts, organizes art competitions for children and helps with artwork exhibitions
- Polish Social and Cultural Association POSK – Hammersmith, London 2020
- Private Collection – Little Venice, London
- Private Collection – Portman Square, London
- Private Collection – Home House, Mayfair, London
- Private Collection – The Polish Hearth Club, South Kensington, London
- Private Collection – St Johns Wood, London
- Private Collection – Swiss Cottage, London
- Private Collection – Hendon Central, London
- Private Collection – Birmingham
- Private Collection – Cotswolds
‘The Foreign Few’ Art Competition 2020
The Runner Up Award
FLAME International Fashion & Art Festival 2019
The Best Flame Artist Award