Interview : Monika Ferris, Shimmering artist



Monika Ferris talks to Déshabillé about her work, her recent exhibition and about how she thinks artists should be out there with their work.



Q. How is your exhibition going?



Monika :  It's been going great. The exhibition is called "Reflection Within the Art of Portrait" and its my first portrait show in Ireland. The goal of this exhibition is to demonstrate my portraits which have been pacifically selected for this exhibition. The opening was on last Thursday evening and even midweek in January we still got a good number at the opening. This is something I can't control...but of course, it helps to have a positive attitude, quality art and digital marketing which helps reach a wider audience.

This Exhibition was a great success for me so far. I had a chance to present my work as a message for audience, to break their barrier and experience the art from their own point of view. I understand how hard it can be for people to visit cultural centers like this...To help with it I combined mirrors with the painting to engage people with the art so they can feel a part of any piece of the painting they like, not just with interpretation, conversation but mainly participation.

The same evening two of my art works found a new home. After the event ends I plan to use the reviews of the event to promote my paintings, portraits and trust with the customer.




Ballerina



Q. How did you get into painting?


Monika : As a child I was always scribbling, painting and making a mess, that was my way of expression. When I was 14 years old I drew my first portrait which later on was sold  at my solo exhibition in a Gallery in my home town Kudowa in Poland. My ability to capture a person's face is a talent which I always had. I won a presidential award for youth talents in Poland at 16 and got a scholarship at an Art & Design High School in Poland where we specialised in drawing and sculpturing.


In 2007 I completed the Diploma in Visual communication. The project included a catalogue for my sculpture in exhibition. Before I design the catalogue I sculptured several heads in clay and cast them in a ceramic plaster. After my graduation I decided to focus on improving my painting skills. I trained myself by self taught, being inspired by many artists. By experiencing many techniques I started to use mixed Media on my latest work in aid of further exploration. One of the latest element that I combine with the painting is the mirror. The intention is to connect the viewer with the art visually as well as mentally. The business side of being an independent artist was hard in Ireland at first.


I moved to Ireland after finishing my studies in 2007. I worked for a few years to improve my English skills and was painting in the evenings. I decide to enrol in BFEI in Blackrock where I completed a course in art with business management. Since then I have been putting these skills to use on promoting myself like this event. I still continue to try improve my knowledge by taking part in courses online, one of them was done with Tara Prendergast, coach for creative professionals, who I recommend highly in terms of individual progression.




Dancer 



Q. Who are your greatest influences?


Monika :  The first person I can say is my mum. As a child I was copying her drawings, christmas angels and I remember my frustration when I didn't get it right or if my drawing was worst than her's. Beside being creative I am also an art admirer. I take a lot of inspiration from the masters who are considered as experts in technique, colour relations, proportions, ways of solving problems with brush movements. 

I always wanted to reach the highest standards of work. Being competitive didn't really matter to me. I wasn't competitive at all. I was doing my own thing in my best way. The masters who influenced my work were; Leonardo da Vinci and his perfection in his work; Sculptor August Rodine; Impressionist Edgar Degas and his ballerinas; Czech artist Alfons Mucha; Zdzislaw Beksinski and his dark side. J.M.M Turner and his romantic atmospheric way of expression.

The degree in Visual communication has definitely influenced my way of presenting a subject in the Painting.





Q. What do you think of the current art scene in Ireland?



Monika :  Yeah it's lively. In recent years the city has a thriving art scene. There are lots of art institutions and galleries offering programmes to encourage gallery goers and support emerging talent. But it is hard for new artists to find their right market place. Although the market for art is definitely improving. There is an interest in buying art but people are still very careful with spending their money. This is influenced probably by the recession that hit Ireland in 2008. It seem to work better for artists who are well advertised.




Sketch of a Girl




Q. Any advice for budding artists?



Monika : Are you locked with your art inside a building where no one's can see it? Then go online! It is important to get your work out there and seen. Present your work on social media, talk about it, share it and you will reach much wider audience.Social media it's also a great way of getting feedback. Once you leave art college it can be difficult to get your work critiqued. Social media gives an idea of what is working and what isn't. It is also great to participate all the craft fair, Exhibitions, Markets for the start. This are the places where budding artists can check how are they doing. 



Upcoming events and exhibitions. 


 *Merrion in Dublin every Sunday

 *Peoples Art Exhibition on Stephens Green in Dublin

*Some of Monika's paintings are available at the Gallery above the Magic Carpet in Cornelscourt village. Follow on fb for updates or portrait comission.

   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monika.ferris.art/

   Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monikaferrisart/

   Twitter: @monikaferrisart






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