Apex Magazine welcomes Ania Tomicka as our November cover artist, whose wonderful paintings redefine the ideas behind portraiture. With nearly all of her artwork titles being based on songs, Tomicka brings emotional depth to her many beautiful paintings.

APEX MAGAZINE: This month’s Apex Magazine cover is your piece, “No Time,” a provocative and multi-layered piece. When you create a piece that’s open to interpretation, what are you hoping that the viewer will see or be moved by? Do you have a specific vision you want them to see, or are you looking for different viewers to have different interpretations?

ANIA TOMICKA: I am really happy to be featured on your magazine, especially with one of my favorite artworks. When I make a piece I always try to show what is happening in my life in that particular moment, it helps me understand myself better. So I really would like to give my viewers the same feeling, not to understand me, but to have their own interpretation and find something that can relate with their lives.

AM: On your DeviantArt profile, you mention that the American Pop Surrealist movement is one of your inspirations. When you are comparing that with realistic renaissance art that you also mentioned, what are the kinds of things that make the surrealists different or more interesting?

AT: It is the magic, the unknown. With surrealism I can show something that exists only in my mind, or something that inspired me and I want to reinterpret through my vision. There are infinite possibilities, and this is why I love it.

AM: In many of your works, the eyes of your characters become the focal point of the piece. When you paint a character looking directly at the viewer, are you hoping to challenge the viewer directly in some way? Does that character focus cause different reactions than in your works where the character looks somewhere else?

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AT: I never thought about challenging the viewer, and at this point I am really curious if that is one of the reactions 🙂 As I said before, I always do my artworks following my mood; sometimes I feel strong enough to have my characters looking directly at the viewer, sometimes I need them to look apart. There was also a moment when I started to paint black faces (I still sometimes do, especially when I don’t understand what is going on with my life).

AM: You seem to move between different materials, say oils and acrylics, often in your galleries. Do you choose the different painting materials based on what you would like to paint? Does a type of material change how you approach the content, either during or before you start painting?

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AT: The fact is that I love almost every painting and drawing technique. My absolute favorite is oil colors, that allows me to do a more contemplative and precise artwork. But when I have the urge to create something faster, I use acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils and sometimes other mediums. I love experimenting and finding new ways to express myself.

AM: On DeviantArt, you have a few uploads such as “Azzurrina step by step” (http://ponyania.deviantart.com/art/Azzurrina-step-by-step-557622477) that show the process of the painting. Many artists do that, myself included, as a way not only to promote the work but to ultimately review their own processes. Do your process posts help you learn about your own methods, and do you look at processes from other artists?

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AT: I love to watch the process from other artists, it helps me a lot learning new things and how others approach an artwork. I often post my work in progress just to show how I do it, hoping that I can teach something as well. The piece you are talking about was an experiment, I used an alla prima technique and wanted to document all the steps. It is always funny to see your own artwork developing.

AM: Thanks to Ania for answering our interview questions, and giving us insight on her work. Her latest work can be found on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ania.Tomicka.Art/and her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ponyania/.

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Ania Tomicka was born in 1985 in Lodz, Poland. When she was only nine years old she moved to Italy where she started to draw seriously: manga at first and realistic things afterwards. She attended an art institute and graduated in 2004. During the school years she starts to paint with oil colors, a technique that soon to became her favorite. Hence she attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice where she found a lot of inspiration for her realistic and academic art. A year later she moved to Tuscany where she graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. She focused her interest in more things like digital art, illustration and new materials.

She also completed her studies at the academy of digital arts NEMO NT where she gained the title of “student of the year.”

Ania has always been interested in realistic, renaissance works. Her first loves are Salvador Dalì and Wojtek Siudmak’s big canvases, full of absurd and strange creations, painted in a divine way.

Her current paintings are inspired by the American Pop Surrealist movement.

Russell Dickerson has been a published illustrator and designer since the previous millennium, creating works for many genre publications and authors. He has also written many articles for various organizations in that time, including Apex, and his work can be found on his website at www.darkstormcreative.com.

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