Marta Chojnacka's work: Happy moment. Good energy, Good life

Marta Chojnacka's work: Happy moment. Good energy, Good life

Marta, the heart of Materia Rica explains how the art came to the world, what are her sources of inspiration when designing the wooden jewels of her brand and what are her perspectives as an artist.

- Hi, Martha. Please tell us about your work, in two words:

- A happy moment! Good energy, good life, because we already know the ugly side (she laughs).

- How was your approach to the art world?

-It was in my childhood. I remember when one of my aunts bought me some markers that had very bright colours. I didn't want them ever to end, and I filled hundreds of pages of a notebook with drawings. And I think this was a click. I had other colours, but these were special, they painted with a thick stroke and a very bright colour. When I discovered these markers, I thought oh my god! This is colour! I want this. And then, when I had the idea that I could be an artist, I told myself I want this. Since always, since childhood.

Marta Chojnacka as a child, smiling at the camera, in a black and white image.

- Did you have references around you? Who was this aunt who gave you that unique gift?

- I come from a farmers family from a tiny city in Poland; I had no references devoting themselves to art around me. But it was my favourite aunt, Aunt Barbara, who gave me that gift. It was one of those gifts that make you click on life. That's why I like to provide colours for the children around me because what happened to me may not happen to them, but if they don't have them ... it will be more difficult.

- How did you start your career as an artist?

- I studied in Poland Fine Arts. Then I wanted to see another world, meet people, so I decided to go to London for one or two years. I stayed there for ten years and started doing exhibitions while working in various places. And I met Joan ..., and he made me discover the laser world. With the discovery of the laser as a technique, I saw the way to make my living exclusively from illustration. And this was a success for me; it was the way to live on my creativity.

- How was the art you created when you started experimenting with jewellery?

- I painted many situations with people. People in the bar, people in the street, people in the subway. A rather urban environment. My inspiration at that time was the people because I saw so many people from so many different parts, that it was a reference. London was a great inspiration for me. And then I found the perfect format so that these illustrations could be worn: the brooches. My idea was that the clothes were a gallery: you wear a character with a meaning.

- One of your sources of inspiration for that world of characters was Almodóvar, right?

- Yes, I really liked how Almodóvar told his stories. If you come from a cold country like Poland and you see Almodóvar you think: but what is this? This is impossible! When I discovered the culture of warmer countries (well, I call them warm countries, those whose Summer lasts half a year, not two months! -She laughs-), I realised that all these stories were true, all this passionate culture. In cold countries, if someone loves you, it is your mother and what they say here on the street: “hey honey, hey queen” fascinated me. This whole world of Almodóvar, along with the large number of people I was meeting at that time, was a perfect mix that became the first jewels, the Manolo brooches.

Cabaret dancer woman brooch, in wood painted in gold color. It is from the MANOLO brand, origin of Materia Rica.

- Manolo was the brand you created, where you created your first jewels, and was what later became Materia Rica grew. What did Manolo mean to you, and how did you live the transformation in Materia Rica?

- Manolo was a mixture of Spanish language stories, a language I was studying at that time. And they were creations with stories, with quite swing. The moment of switching to Materia Rica gave me some pity because there were already people who knew the brand and it was easy to remember and pronounce. But we also live it as starting from scratch, with very fresh air. Joan joined us, and it was our project, and we turned the concept around, and now I am super happy with Materia Rica and the jewels we are creating.

- Since you have an idea until it becomes a collection there is a lot of work, how is the creative process of Materia Rica?

- How an idea arises, we work it between Joan and me, and we begin to down it to earth visually through sketches. Once we have these sketches, we analyse them and listen a little to what those created elements convey to us. There we decide in which direction to go, and we do tests with the laser-cutting machine. The final touch is the colour modifications of each earring or necklace. And sometimes these final pieces are also retouched or changed so that they just look good or outstanding: they have to be fantastic.

- Where does the inspiration for the collections come from?

- I think about what I would like to wear. If this topic is cool: I do it. "What I would wear." That's how I started, and people caught it very well from the beginning. One of the jewels that have always accompanied us and that is one of the Best Sellers is the Freedom at Dawn. It's amazing how people read it with many meanings. And sometimes, people come and tell you the story about the bird that flew away, or that it didn't fly, that there is a song with a bird. People feel identified. Although you design it with one purpose, people make their own interpretation. It's like poetry: you read something. The poet had something on his mind, but you put your ideas there, and it also works. Well, this was alike.

Freedom at Dawn earrings: one is a golden colored cage, the other is a swing with a bird, also golden in color. The material is walnut wood and the hook is gold.

- What is your favourite piece or collection?

- At that time, carnations and some of the Sea Garden pieces, by its colour and organic forms. I think it is amicable and has an attractive colour. And Freedom at Dawn also has its roll. The truth is that each collection has its own style, but what motivates me most is creating different accessories with different motifs. What does not change is they are always necklaces, earrings, and brooches made of sustainable materials and with lively and vibrant illustrations. And it better each person finds the jewel with which they identify or the perfect gift for that special someone.

Woman wearing Carnation earrings, carnations painted with a gradient of reddish and orange colors.

Sea Grass earrings, in the shape of turquoise blue round seaweeds, with a golden hoop.

- And how has your facet evolved as a painter?

- The commitment to art depends on time and work. But I always try it, if I do not have time for large formats, I make sketches on notebooks, and this is a way of not having frustrations, because doing the sketches you save the ideas for the opportune moment. Now I am in a good moment. I have found a technique allowing me to work with quite large formats for me. On paper, it works much faster than on canvas, and this makes me feel good, I can move forward and create colour in an agile way. And the gouache mixed with watercolour allows me a texture with which I feel very comfortable.

Marta Chojnacka´s Painting

- What are the great themes of your paintings?

- Nature. When I was a little girl, what I drew in Poland was already nature. Now I have returned to my beginnings but in another environment. People like it. People in London tell me "your work gives me warmth." And for me, it is fantastic because all this is created here in Barcelona. People perceive it is Mediterranean. So I keep painting nature, as in childhood, but with other colours, other temperatures, different experiences.

- You were at the London Illustration Fair in December. How was the experience?

- The audience was fantastic. People really liked my work, and that is a super lovely energy rush. I feel very grateful.

- Do you have new projects in sight?

- Yes, I have an exhibition called HalluciNature, with Perrine Honoré, a muralist already famous in Barcelona. The show, with 3D paintings, will be on January 23 at 8 pm at Framed Gang, in Rosselló Street, 283, Barcelona. I wait for you there!


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