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Herbivore Interviews...

Agata Wierzbicka is a freelance illustrator based out of Warsaw, Poland. We discovered her via Pinterest and loved her work so much that we are featuring the below on our new Coco Rose Body Polish box! Read all about Agata...

What sparked your career in illustration?

I have an educational background in furniture design and architecture. Nevertheless those fields were always too technical for me, and because drawing and painting has always been my passion, illustration and graphic design came naturally. The creative fields are closer to each other than people think. Once you learn how to design, you are able to cross over to different creative fields – you just have to investigate the subject and learn the technique.

What do you like about living in Warsaw?

Warsaw is a city with an extremely complex history and unusually strong identity. Before the Second World War, Warsaw was called the Paris of the North – well, you can imagine how beautiful the city was at that time. Nowadays, due to a lot of historical circumstances, Warsaw is completely different and you have to be very curious and patient to find places that define this city in a new way. Moreover, because of what happened during the past decades, Warsaw has its own imperfections which opens the space for creatives to make a difference. It can be very inspirational. Unless you understand the complexity of it, you won’t love this melancholic city, whose outward appearance can be rough and chaotic. Warsaw is all about mood, people, actions, and history.

What are your favorite subjects for your illustration?

Daily life. I like to draw people in ordinary situations, travelers, and of course people on the beach — I love their different body shapes in un-posed situations. Fashion illustration is my second theme — in this sector the most interesting thing for me is street life and street fashion. It is fascinating how people can be creative in mixing styles and how it influences the fashion market. Botanical illustration is something completely different, but nature can be very inspiring while drawing foliage compositions.

What are your hopes for the future of your art career?

I wish to develop more as an illustrator, try new techniques and increase my drawing and interpretational skills. I would like to have time to focus partly on the more artistic side of illustration, to be less literal and precise.  

Do you have any dream clients to illustrate for? 

Yes, of course I have :) I would love to do a series of illustrations for Vogue. Maybe someday, who knows?

What is your typical day like as a freelance illustrator? 

It looks like working in the smallest company in the world — a one-person company. I start working at 8:30 a.m. I have an office in my flat so I do not waste my time traveling to an office. Till 10 a.m. I answer emails and update my accounts on social media and check my favorites artists' — when I see their fantastic work, it stimulates me to work more ;). When everything is checked, I start drawing or painting — depends what I am working on, but those are long-term projects like pieces for exhibitions. If I have a commission, then everything is subordinate to it. Almost all commissions have a very short deadline, so I do not have time to answer mail or other things. I just work till it is done. As a matter of fact, I do not like to postpone the work because I can never be sure what will be the final result of my work — will I like it or not? — that is why it is better to have time for corrections. Normally I finish my work at 6 p.m., sometimes 6:30. When I meet my friends, I finish an hour earlier, so we have time to go to a gallery and later for a dinner or a cup of tea.

But of course from time to time I use being a freelancer to have a walk to the nearest forest during a sunny day or to visit my beloved textile shop instead working — those are the advantages for working on your own.

Since fashion is a favorite subject of yours, do you have any favorite brands or designers?

I think that my educational background in architecture influences my fashion taste. I love everything that is simple and clean in its form and material. And what is functional too – I mean wearable ;) That is the reason why I like Céline and Chloé. Phoebe Philo is an amazing designer who perfectly combines simplicity with femininity. I also like Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham. There is also a new Polish company named This is NON, which designs beautiful forms as well.

Changing subjects, what are your favorite beauty products?

I have very dry skin, so everything that moisturizes it is perfect. Basically I use very good cleaning masks and peels and later I put on moisturizing cream. I also like regenerating facial oils.

Do you have any beauty tricks or words of wisdom that you'd like to share?

The most important things are very simple: Basically, do not smoke. Secondly, drink a lot of water and do not eat processed food. And the third thing is not to go to bed without cleaning face before.

Lastly, what is your favorite Herbivore Botanicals product ;) ?

I love the Blue Tansy Mask. It is definitely my number-one. It perfectly cleans the face, leaving it brighter and smoother. I also like Phoenix Facial Oil — it is brilliant for hydrating skin.

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