Featured Artist: Weronika Marianna

Weronika Marianna is a Polish artist and designer based in Amsterdam. Her paintings and animations of abstract female figures in pastel colors have attracted clients such as Netflix or Elle Magazine, and she has co-created Szajn, an online space promoting art by women. Weronika discussed her work, her inspirations, and the importance of change with us.

Who are you? How did you start your career as an artist?

Honestly, I constantly change my titles and bio, but change is a big part of my process. At the moment this order would be best: painter, animator, illustrator. I’m from Warsaw, Poland but I moved to Amsterdam four years ago, where I now live and work. Drawing, painting and creating have always been a part of my daily life since I was a kid, but they became my full time occupation 1,5 years ago. I have worked as a graphic designer for a long time before that, for magazines, agencies or freelance, and illustration was my side gig. But last year I decided I was ready to fully commit to my art, I was willing to take this risk.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

There are some continuous threads that I follow throughout my creative process, but my aesthetic changes a lot. Currently I’m fascinated by color explosions, intensity, fauvistic combinations, mutations and psychedelic vibes. But I do also sometimes feel like a pencil is all I need. I love change and movement, maybe this is actually the best description of my aesthetics!

How did you find it? How has it evolved over time?

As I mentioned, my style is constantly evolving. I’m inspired by artists who were never able to settle on one technique or one style. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who want to master a single aesthetic, but to me art equals movement. I personally am changing, therefore my work has to change as well. 

What inspires you? Which artists have influenced your work the most?

Everything is inspiring. Currently I’m making a lot of animations, so every movement fascinates me, especially wind and clouds, the Sun, reflections. Visually, everything in nature inspires me. Philosophically, I draw inspiration from books, stories, legends, religions, therapy, self development, spirituality, life events, friends, my boyfriend, his growth. I admire artists who have no fears, no limits, who get out there and expose their bare craziness to the world. Lately I’ve been fascinated by Maria Lassnig. Obviously I adore Picasso, for his ability to follow every idea, change styles, evolve, never settle. 

What is your creative process? What are the different steps in the making of a piece?

My processes in painting, animation and illustration are all a bit different. Painting feels very personal to me. It comes usually from a willingness to see a certain feeling, to give it an actual face, a personality. When I have an idea, I draw quick sketches and then I paint on canvas, playing with colors as I go. I never repaint the same thing and I don’t devote too much time to sketching. I know the final effect can suffer from that kind of approach, but I like the feeling of freshness it creates, like with a new friendship. On the other hand, my animations are a fully spontaneous and intuitive process. I usually start with an idea, but I let it evolve as I draw frames. Very often I’m fully surprised to see where this process takes me, I love this feeling.

Have you ever wanted to experiment with other art forms?

I would love to make large sculptures, I’m sure I will give it a try sometime in the future.

What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately?

I’m a total podcast-addict. Lately, like many of us, I’ve been needing a break from reality, so I escaped in drama podcasts, like Tanis or The Deca Tapes. Thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement I got to watch great movies, such as I Am Not Your Negro, an extremely touching, smart and deep documentary based on the writings of James Baldwin. A book that has been an amazing inspiration to me is Primeval and Other Times by Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, last year’s Nobel Prize winner. I’m a big fan of all of her books but this one is just a masterpiece, where life, death and magic coexist in a beautiful universal order.

Is there a question you wish I had asked you?

No, nothing comes to mind!

Weronika Marianna is a Polish painter, animator and illustrator based in Amsterdam.



(Headshot by Myscha Oreo)

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.