name: Joanna “Invisiblemartyr”
year of birth: 1989
Q1: When did you start making art?
I started taking pictures about 8 years ago but art was always close to me. My parents raised me in an atmosphere of adoration of art, being sensitive to beauty in any form, whether it’s painting, film, literature or music. However, photography has become the most beautiful way of expression. In the beginning I tried to take pictures using the simplest compact camera, after that, when I realised I wanted to know more about photography, I participated in traditional photography course which took over one year. In that time I learned analogue techniques of developing pictures, how to work in darkroom and of course how to set the lights in the studio. It was a really helpful long- termed lesson. Eventually, I bought my first slr camera and from that time I can tell my interests in photography became much more serious.
Q2: What does inspire you?
There is a quote that describes this – “Everything around me has influenced my artistic behavior – music, culture, people walking, silence…” – said E. Pena. This short sentence defines my way of perception. The most inspiring things for sure are movies and music, also literature and poetry. However my personal experiences has influenced me a lot. It’s funny how some dramatic moments can push you to create amazing things. To me death of my beloved grandma who suffered from cancer was the hugest life lesson and also the most inspirational time in my whole life.
Q3: What are your techniques?
Well I mostly use natural light but still learning about studio shots. I try not to exaggerate the postproduction process so it always has to look quite natural. I’m using Photoshops with some helpful plugins but basically I just add more contrast to my images and play with colors, that’s all. No magic tricks:) From time to time I like to play with textures to get some effects. But I guess when Your basic raw image is good, it’s quality and subject is good, there’s nothing more to add.
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
I always repeat that the most important feeling to me is to create a sort of anxiety in spectators. This anxiety is the essence of my photography, wheter it is portrait or a landscape – it always has to make You feel scared. There is a sort of fear inside you but you still want to watch. I asked my mother some time ago what does she feel when looking at my images and she said very interesting thing – ” You see, it’s hard to explain but each time I look at your photography I feel this kind of disturbing feeling…It’s like traveling by train when dusk covers the skyline and You see empty kilometers of fields. And suddenly a tree, lonely tree appears. You see this tree, no one near it, the night is falling and you keep wondering how would it be to stand right there on this field, all alone, in this particular moment. This is exactly how I feel – I’m scared but I’d love to be there, in Your image”. This is the biggest compliment I’ve ever received.
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
I used to make only black and white images but after a while I realised that there are concepts that need color ( esp. when I started to make more thriller/horror images with fake blood or specific make up). Always loved desaturated, cold images, for sure all shades of blue/cyan are my all time favourites. Why? I guess it depends on personal taste. Daily I wear most only black and I guess this dark side of me also has an influence on my works, haha
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
I think you learn your whole life and each day is a great opportunity to learn more. Still have unused ideas for new photographs inside my head but I’d love to get more advanced in technical things like using of light (esp. this artificial in the studio). – I’m creating a lot of images for stock market and need to develop my skills to get better and better. My life consist most of photography at the moment so everything is subordinate to it. Every day I watch others work, watch movies, getting inspired. Would love to spend more time with books about history of photography, to improve my knowledge about other great photographers. It’s always better to know more in this subject. The more You know the better artist you become.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
Oh sure, many many plans, many visions and concepts inside my head but there will be time for everything. I try not to live in a hurry, it always makes me feel tense and it doesn’t help in the process of creating. I’d love to make a project about my family and friends – a series of simple, black and white portraits as my “thank you gift” for everything they’ve done for me. I’d also like to make some project based on Roman and Greek mythology, which I find very inspiring.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of invisiblemartyr.
atmosphere, melancholy and anxiety
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
I can show You and image that was one of my first “made consciously”, with the emotional background. There was a time that I was practicing photography only by taking self-portraits and this one isn’t even in my portfolio: HERE
It was made in my room with natural light coming from the window. Looking at this right now I see many mistakes, but I still love the tones and shadows, esp. my hand on the windowsill. It was made with the with Nikon D80 and 50mm 1.8f lens (one of my all time favourite, still use it), the original image was of course in color but after seeing so many beautiful shades I decided to turn it to B&W version. I also played with curves in Photoshop to get more dramatic and contrasted look. I guess this image was made when I was in my first serious relationship and first problems appeared so that’s why it’s so sad.
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
For sure I’ve improved my technical skills, from buying a better SRL camera to getting knowledge about taking photos in general. I also grew up emotionally so this aspect also matters a lot, because I see me, my life and my art from totally different perspective. When I was younger and began to photograph I didn’t realised what I want to say by those photos. They were just only “pictures”, nothing more behind this. I just have a camera and that’s all. Now I see this 100% different, than 8 years ago. I know exactly what is my main goal in photography, what my images are about. I’ve become more aware of what I want to say to the others by my work. It was a long but very valuable lesson.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
I would say that my essence of life is escaping from reality and art is this element that manages me to create my own, personal worlds. The world is such a cruel place to live in nowadays and photography has become my escape to better places. To me art is a tool that helps me to understand me and my emotions. It’s like finding answers about who I am and what I want in general.