It’s not often you start a discussion with someone who tells you that you share 60% of your DNA with a banana. That’s what happens when you talk to Aga Giecko. She’s the one whose posters you see around the restaurants, website and socials.
Click the image to see each of Aga Giecko’s Halloween 2020 illustrations for Balans.
Having trained at Camberwell she was one of the graduates selected for 2018 ‘It’s Nice That’ roster, a creatively focused website with over 2million visitors a month. The website selects a dozen or so graduate talents once a year.
Aga’s wonderful Halloween illustrations for Balans are part of our new Future Creatives project. We want to commission and support up-and-coming London artists with fun projects we can collaborate on – we’re focussing on artists with a connection to University of The Arts London, where Aga’s studied at Camberwell College of Art.
We caught up with Aga just before Halloween.
Balans – What drew you to illustration?
AG – I’m Polish and came to the UK in 2015 to study illustration at Camberwell College of Art.
I wasn’t sure whether to be a lawyer or an illustrator but thought illustrators have more fun! Camberwell is fantastic, the people, the teaching, the way they help you work out how to make a career in art. I learned so much.
The studios were the best creative environment I have ever been a part of. Everyone was completely different, but we were all inspiring, motivating and helping each other. Sometimes, I wish I could go back, just for a couple of days, especially when I feel stuck with my personal work, or struggle on a commission.
Since Camberwell I have been working on commissions (Lazy Oaf, Lawrence and King, Zeit Magazine), my personal projects (painting, ceramics, publishing), plus exhibitions (London, Berlin, Warsaw, Brussels) and charity work (Evermade for NHS Charities, Abficker Matze for Doctors Without Borders).
Mind you, I still consider myself a newbie in the industry.
Balans: Looking at your work it is easy to see you have a real interest in dramatising and bringing food to life. How did it start?
AG Ever since I was a kid I have been drawing faces on everything. I loved creating my own toys made from clay, because I felt the toys in stores did not have enough expression. I loved drawing a little face on a banana or apple and it naturally became a part of my creative practice when I grew up.
I love bringing inanimate objects to life and creating visual narratives about them. Making people smile.
Balans: What did you particularly like about creating the pieces you’ve done for Balans?
AG: I loved the idea of imagining some of the best dishes and cocktails in a Halloween atmosphere.
Doing the hamburger one was a lot of fun, at first it was my favourite, but the next day I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.
I love bats as well! And then there are bananas – I based my graduate project on bananas. Replacing humans with them. I created this easy-going, alternative universe in which humans are replaced by fruity individuals.
Balans: What do you love about Halloween?
AG: I come from Poland, a very Catholic country that doesn’t really approve of Halloween. What I knew about Halloween came from films and cartoons and when I got to High School we did dress up and celebrate. It was London where I really got to have fun. Dressing up and partying, meeting with friends. Being creative.
You can see Aga’s creations in Balans restaurants over Halloween.
Follow her on Instagram here
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