the lexicon

a writing portfolio by Alexandra Savvides

romantic anarchy

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Seldom does an artist deliberately try to make things harder for themselves. But for romantic anarchy, Melbourne-based illustrator Karolina Partyka, this is an essential part of her creative process. Having trained initially in fashion design, it was a stint living and working in London which prompted Partyka to leave the world of fashion behind and take her drawing seriously.

“About half way through my time in London I began to play with the idea of illustration. I hadn’t really drawn anything in maybe two years…but when I found my way to a sketch pad and pencils, it just came so naturally, and I realised that this was it”, she says.

Working with traditional mediums such as pen and paper, Partyka’s illustrations are still centred on the female form despite her conscious shift away from the fashion industry.

“On a stylistic level, my [previous] work drew upon fashion imagery quite strongly; however, on a conceptual level my work tried to challenge the accepted discourse of standard fashion illustration”, she says. “My current work lies somewhere between illustration and art. I’m experimenting with subject, technique and media.”

Citing abstract expressionism, graffiti art and experimental music as current influences, Partyka’s work has an understated elegance to it from its elongated lines to its bold colours. Wild, unbridled female hair also seems to be a recurrent theme in her work, perhaps a throwback to the name romantic anarchy itself.

Partyka puts mismatched, seemingly incompatible elements together on the page and forces herself to make them work together in her illustrations. It is this challenge that she finds the most rewarding. “If I sit and ruminate and make myself completely insane for maybe a week, something will eventually come out of it”, she says.

“I always try to make things difficult for myself. It’s boring any other way.”

Alexandra Savvides
Mink Magazine

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Written by lexstatic

May 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Feature Articles

Tagged with , , ,

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