Ep.18: Why you can learn much more by focusing on specific art topics with Tomasz Mro

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 28, 2017 •  Interviews

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz, also known as Tomasz Mro is a 20-year-old, Polish illustrator currently living in the United Kingdom.

My passion for art started with drawing nothing but dinosaurs (you gotta start somewhere!). Over the years, I grew a strong affinity for watercolors and in addition I also work in pencil, pens, acrylic, inks and digitally in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. My works are highly influenced by graphic design, which I studied for 2 years at college.

In 2016 Tomasz decided to drop out of his art course and continue the art journey by himself. As a freelancer, he creates personal works which you can find on his social sites and purchase in his shop.

Get in touch with Tomasz

Key Takeaways

“Focusing on fundamentals will speed you so much! Don’t try to make masterpieces, try to learn things that you feel will make you improve, make fewer excuses and just do it! … and be yourself! “

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Tomasz for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Tomasz Mrozkiewicz, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative patient into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is an amazing illustrator. Originally from Poland and currently living in the UK. His passion for art started at very young age with drawing nothing but dinosaurs. Over the years he grew a strong affinity for traditional tools like watercolors, pencils or acrylics. When he creates digitally he turns to Photoshop and Illustrator. He studied graphic design in high school and that influenced many of his works. He decided not to continue studies in traditional schooling, and instead follows his art journey by himself, focusing on getting better in art fundamentals and producing his fine art series. The latest being inspired by the color yellow with his work, he wants to connect emotionally with as many people as possible touching hearts and even inspiring them to start creating. So please welcome Tomasz Mrozkiewicz, also known as Tomash, bro, and let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have my guest here today. Tomasz. Hi.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Hi. Nice to see you.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, my pleasure. How are you?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I’m doing great. I’m doing great. Thanks so much.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, perfect. Let’s start with your background, then. I would like to know how you kind of had like creative outlets when you were a kid. Did you have a board games? Or did you write like, Drew when you were a kid?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

So basically, I was a massive fan of dinosaurs. Like I used to love dinosaurs so much as a kid. You know, I watched Jurassic Park on a daily basis literally every day. And I often watch scenes. So how people I created the you know, the animatronics, the models, the sets, and that really inspired me as a kid, you know, creatively and they would actually buy like plasticine. My parents would like buying the plasticine? Like modeling clay. Yeah, I like build my own dinosaurs. I really like the clay, but they’re very, very rubbish. But, you know, I tried. And then, you know, I would just do loads of dinosaur drawings. And I’ll probably draw dinosaurs till I was like 12. And I would watch loads of the rings out. I love that movie so much. And I would watch the behind the scenes as well and how people you know, produced the sets the, you know, the characters and how much skill and effort they put into, like creating the whole movie and how much time went into it. And that really inspired me as a kid to you know, to just draw, and I feel very, like creative just by watching the films. And that kind of motivated me as a kid to to basically draw Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Wow, that’s amazing. Because there’s like already now you can like watch what, what happened behind the scenes in the movies and how it’s done. So it can kind of get you inspired. What do you want to do if you want to be like makeup artists or like yeah, whatever. 

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Yeah, exactly. As as a kid, I was very much into video games as well. Yeah, different, like fantasy games. Mainly, I think it’s because of pre loaded rings. And that kind of motivated me to like, you know, draw like orcs goblins. I found it very fun and like very relaxing, and you know, show off to my parents and friends. And yeah, that kind of just boosted me creatively. I also had good teachers. I always like good art teachers at school at primary school. They kind of knew that I was very passionate about art. So they like very much motivated me to, to do what I do.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And so which are kind of the biggest decisions you had to do when you wanted to follow your passion.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Um, I think just being involved with art 24/7 was very important for me because I had sometimes I had breaks and I think that kind of stopped me from doing it. Because I was interested in like, you know, other things as well. But the biggest decisions probably were right now when I dropped my course in November. I did a pre degree I A foundation course with a course that you do before you go to university. And I only did it for about two months because it was very old fashioned. I wasn’t, I wasn’t fond of the teachers, I first stories that they did the same thing over like 25 years. So, you know, they didn’t very much know how art was not is nowadays how much it has evolved. So the biggest decision was probably when, you know, I had to decide whether to drop it or continue of the course. But I decided to drop it. I just, I just felt so unmotivated. And, like, you know, we did like origami that didn’t even look like origami. I was like, How is this helping me develop, you know, I wanted to do like live drawing, I wanted to do like, you know, learn about perspective. And that to me, kind of more hardcore, like art fundamentals, rather than just like, you know, with like ink and just made like splatters, I was like, how’s this like helping me? I was like, Ah, so, yeah, I decided to quit the course after about two months, I finished college, I finished my high school. And I did, I did economics there. I did maths, graphic design and fine art. And one of the biggest decisions, there was actually, you know, to choose whether I want to go into maths and economics, or whether I want to go into art, but I just felt that I was so passionate. When I was like, you know, in my childhood, like, do you think they’re drawing the dinosaurs orcs? You know, watching those films, the behind the scenes that kind of inspired me so much that I was like, Screw it. I want to do art. Yeah. And yeah. And then, you know, I was just like thinking, you know, whether I should drop the mast economics was kind of my, like, my plan B. So the decision there was whether to drop it. I did. I just kind of told my parents during the second year, you know, guys, like, I don’t feel motivated doing maths, like, I didn’t want to do it, you know, I was okay at it. But it wasn’t, I wasn’t passionate about it. So I decided to quit my maths and economics course. And I carried on with graphics and art. I think that’s one of the hardest work very best wishes decisions I’ve made, because I’m still carrying on with doing art. And one of the things that annoyed me, it was my maths teacher, he kind of told me, like, don’t do art, you know, you will not get anywhere in life, you need math, see, you need math to you know, have a proper job profit income, like the you making a very bad decision. And that kind of kind of annoys me, but at the same time got me so determined to do even more, because I just wanted to, you know, show him that I’m really passionate about doing art. So I was like, you know, screw you, like, I just want to do art and like quit mass completely.

Iva Mikles  

But then how did you know that you are doing? Like a good decision? Because when you’re in school, and you’re not sure? Or did you? Did you have someone you look up to? Or did someone advised you that you can do this? Or what was the jerk.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

And during during that time, I had my Instagram account on I had a lot of, you know, my, my, my, my follower. Followers growing. You know, I I kind of saw that maybe I could be ready for you know, for this industry. Nobody at my college, you know, was selling their own art, I was the only one saying my art through, you know, my website, my, like a local gallery in my town. So I kind of felt like, I was ready, you know to be to do this, I felt very determined that that age because I think like you know, when you’re young, you have so much energy, I would stay up to like 2am doing art. So my parents could kind of see that I was very determined. So even when I quit my maths and economics course, they could kind of see that. I think like, like he’s making the right decision so that we’re going to support you no matter what. I think yeah, just being very determined at that age, kind of, like, told me that. Yeah, I should definitely quit maths and economics. And my art teachers were very supportive as well. And even when I told my economics teacher when I quit the course she was kind of like, I don’t know why you took you come on with art. That’s very strange. Like that’s so different. It’s like why? So she was like, Yeah, but you make the right decision. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So did you have some mentor or someone who inspired you the most?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think just probably, you know, artists on Instagram like if necessary. I was very inspired by her work during that time. I did two projects on her. When I was 16. I did a project on her and then when I was 1718. I did a project on her in college and Just looking up to like different artists and seeing how much they develop, I always love to look how artists drew like six years ago, and then now and how much they improved, that very much motivated me. But I never really had a mentor, I think I was my own mentor, like, I would just, you know, try to talk to myself basically, in my head, like what I want to do. And, you know, I’m an over thinker, I think through loads of things in my head on a daily basis, I think it’s something to do with my anxiety as well. Quite an anxious person. So I think through loads of different things. And I think that’s kind of why I made you know, all the decisions, like, at this age,

Iva Mikles  

so did you set up some goals that where you want to be like, in few years, or five years or 10 years,

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

um, I think the main thing is just I always want to develop, like, I get very frustrated, if, you know, I see that I’m not improving. And just constantly listening to podcasts, and listening to other artists and their tips, and, you know, on how to grow. Kind of just helped me to know what I need to do, like for the future to be ready for the future. I just turned 20. So I’m thinking of like, just for the next few years working really hard. On my fundamentals, I know made quite a few bad decisions and the past few years, because I didn’t do enough sketching, I didn’t focus enough on my fundamentals. So right now I kind of feel like very, you know, determined to try keep improving and getting better.

Iva Mikles  

So how do you approach learning because, you know, you have like, different opinions on like, how to learn because some people will want to kind of level up all their skills, like, Oh, I’m not good at fundamentals yet, or color and light, and then they’re just learning everything, and others are just building up on their own skills, you know, just like I’m good at color and light. So I’ll just be like the best. So how do you do that?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think just looking back at what you not, you what you think you’re not good at is, then you can just kind of be like, Okay, I’m gonna, you know, purchase Andrew Loomis book, and, you know, focus on my anatomy, and then do that for, let’s say, three, four weeks, and then just, you know, do hardcore learning, Anatomy Learning. And then if you draw another piece and be like, Oh, wait, but I’m not that great color, I don’t feel very comfortable. And then maybe, you know, you purchase like a coloring book, I mean, not a coloring book, like a color and color theory book. And then just learn from that, I think it’s just good to take it in steps. So you know, just moving on from one thing to another, because if you do this, if you do something that’s personally for me, if I, let’s say do anatomy, and then color, and then you know, perspective, and then do it all at the same time, I feel like I’m not learning anything because I’m just taking like bits, and then I forget what I learned. So I think the best thing to do is just like for me, you know, I live recently purchase or the Andrew Loomis books, I’m focusing right now on like figure drawing. And I think it’s important if you let’s say, like environments, the painting environments that you should mainly focus in, on like color spected but if you prefer teenager or portrait child and focus on like anatomy, creating different shapes, you know, to create the face, you know, escaping. So I think just knowing what will help you in what you love doing, and then purchasing those, you know, the books like doing a workshop specific for that thing. I think it’s important in order to develop that type of skill. Yeah, perfect.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that’s really good advice. Yeah, just to find your passion and then try to develop from there and yeah, fundamentals.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think that’s the probably the quickest way I don’t know I keep listening to podcasts and I you know, I get a lot of advice from different artists that are so much more experienced than me. So I think just listening to your probably favorite artists and kind of how how they went through different stages like early career and learning from them and following kind of the steps but not only one artist I would suggest for me like following you know, like for your favorite for your favorite artists and just taking bits and bobs out of them. I think that’s going to help you grow like a lot more in how would

Iva Mikles  

you would you still decide to go to the break school or like a college or would you if you want to do it over and give like advice to young self you know, like, oh, do I go to like school as like physical School or just learn online and books. How would you do it now?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think because basically the decision of me not going to uni was based on I got invited to Karl Lagerfeld event by Faber Castel did, like duration. And they had a lot of artists that you know, have finished uni, or in the 40s 30s. And they kind of went through all the stages. And they basically said, you know, if you don’t feel like the Art Foundation course is going to be good for you just quit and you know, develop on your own. It’s very expensive, obviously, university in the UK is 10,000 pounds for just one year. So that’s crazy amount of money. And some of my friends that went to uni, focus on to study graphic design, they only had eight hours a week, and they paid 10,000 pounds, you know, for the whole year. So I was like eight hours for one week is not enough. I don’t feel like I feel we can learn so much more. I think personally, just for me, I don’t think I’d be good Feeny. I’m not that type of person. I prefer learning just on my own. So I think just, you know, doing workshops online is great, and you only pay like 300 pounds, let’s say for a workshop, that’s, let’s say two weeks long. So it’s not that much money. But if he’s spending 10,000 pounds to go to uni, and then you feel like the course is not for you. You waste 10,000 pounds, and it’s gone. Whereas if he you know, spent 300 pounds there, 400 pounds, 200 pounds here, you know, it’s not as much money it’s not that crucial. So I think nowadays with like online workshops, you can learn so much like it’s crazy, even for you listening to podcasts, like your one on YouTube or in a Bobby Chu. Level up. You get so much advice and you can learn so much from from that. I lit me listening to them, like in the past year has, like grown me so much as a person.

Iva Mikles  

And what would be your favorite course maybe what you took like about art, what you can recommend from your experience.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Um, I didn’t take many online courses yet, but I’ve bought older Andrew Loomis books, which I’m learning from now studying from now on, I think they’re great for you know, trying to boost my anatomy. I also bought a color theory book recently. I can’t remember the name of the artist. But yeah, I’m hopefully gonna try and learn from that as well. But I’m thinking of doing school ism as well with the publisher. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

they have your courses. Yeah, yeah, I

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

listened to the first episode they put on. And he said that he did one of the school ism workshops or lesson some I’m thinking of signing up for that, too.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because you can choose your favorite artists, as you said, and then you can just learn from the person, which is great.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Yeah, that’s, it’s awesome. You know, they’ve been in the industry for so many years. So it’s, so it’s great to learn from them.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And what do you think? What was your best advice you ever received? And maybe also the worst advice? If you think about that?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think the worst advice, probably my maths teacher, you know, when he told me, you know, art is not gonna get you anywhere you need maths, you know, to have a proper job. You know, he was very one one sided. So I think probably, I didn’t agree with his advice completely. I, you know, I always tried to prove him wrong. So I’m happy now I quit mass. And the best advice I got a lot of advice is listen to podcasts in the ship. I think the best advice to just do it, is to just do it. Don’t make excuses. Yeah, just making I make so many excuses all the time. Just like, like I, you know, I want to create a peace bomb, like, Ah, I’m not good at this, or I’m not good at that. Maybe I should like do something else. And then, you know, the whole day passes, and I haven’t done anything. So I think just doing it and you know, just just being involved all the time, just like researching and going on Pinterest, finding new ideas, concepts, and just constantly trying to be inspired, looking out to different artists and learning from them. I think. Yeah, just the best advice is just to just do it, I would say

Iva Mikles  

yeah. So what now? What are your projects, whichever you’re working on now.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

So I’m working right now on my yellow series that I’ve done in the past and I just just kind of want to go, because it was it used to be my car color as a as a as a child like the yellow color. So I’m just working on that series now. And then I’m doing a lot of behind the scenes just sketching anatomy drawing, because I feel so behind on it. When I look at different artists that are at my age, like, just for Instagram, I’m just like, oh my god, I’m so behind. So I’m just trying to you know, to get better at the fundamentals. But yeah, I love doing different series. So like I did a rainbow series. I did a yellow series, I’m just kind of constantly switching different color, color themes and working on on different series

Iva Mikles  

are perfect. So what is your main inspiration? Is it color? Was you mentioned yellow or rainbow? Or do you have something strange which inspires you?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Um, I don’t think I don’t know if I have anything strange. But yeah, definitely, color color inspires me a lot, just looking at different pieces with a lot of different artists and how they use color, you know, to kind of project emotions, I’m very much inspired by different emotions, like, you know, sorrow, sad, different types of like sadness, like depression, anxiety. I may look back on to my childhood, I mean, I had a great childhood in, in Poland, but then the school years, I kind of got bullied at school. I didn’t feel very, like comfortable, you know, people would like to talk behind my back about, you know, questioning my sexuality, and all that. So I often look back in my, like, younger years, and kind of try to project those emotions that I like, you know, went through the last few years and kind of tried to, like put it into my art. So I’m inspired by, you know, different emotions, different stories of people, like, if they wait for anything, you know, traumatic when you think I kind of tried to put that into my pieces, like a lot of my rainbow themed pieces, kind of talk about, you know, my coming out story and, and all that and how I kind of got, you know, bullied at school. So, I think emotions and color together, like the combination of the two is kind of like my main, my main inspiration, you know, for for my pieces. And then yeah, just different artists like listening to podcasts. Yeah, because it

Iva Mikles  

might help as well, when you create art, right? If you have a hard time at school, or in the community that when you think that helped me,

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I can glitch my life during that time. Because, you know, when I was depressed when I was like, you know, sad when I was very down, you know, I’ll draw, and now it could be though, that would literally be my outlet, just to you know, express myself through art rather than one to one with someone, you know, somebody bullied me out and you know, talk back to them, I would just kind of, you know, be in my own like space and kind of just, you know, go to my room and just draw and, you know, close the door and kind of be very involved just with just like making work. And that, you know, just doing art is to be my favorite lesson at school as well. You know, I hated them. Like, you know, sports, because people kind of make fun of me. So, you know, going to lay that up art class and just like, you know, producing art and like expressing myself through like painting was like, like, the best thing that could have happened to me.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Because then you can express your emotions and feelings and just do and you will find your community which supports you also own Yeah, exactly.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Like the different you know, Deviant Art, like different forums like concept bother org, and all those websites, you know, now Instagram and YouTube and you know, having a calm having followers, you know, like receiving nice comments from people. I think art. Art says people like music, you know, if there’s musicians, like, if they produce music that kind of, you know, saves, save them and like for other people, like painting saves to them to, you know, depends. Depends what you went through, you know, some people have different stories, but yeah, for me, art definitely helped me like so much.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because for sure, like young artists or just young students or everyone in our audience, they might think like, oh, I don’t have a community in real life. I like physical people around me, but you can always find it online as you mentioned. So

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

yeah, definitely. Definitely.

Iva Mikles  

And what are some projects exciting which are coming up later on if you want to share something?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

So kind of like a project I’m working on this phone cases that I’m planning to release very soon. I’ve got a lot of feedback on my Instagram when I kind of asked like, you know, which, which ones do you think work and a lot of people are excited to, you know, to, to own some so hopefully I can get them released soon. So I’m trying like really hot I’d at the moment to, to, you know, produce all the files and have them printed on the phone cases. So I’m working on that. And then definitely, like, I planned, like the next V series that I’m gonna work on, I’m probably gonna create few more pieces for the yellow series. And then yeah, I’m doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff, like just the sketching, and just learning and studying. So I’m not showing a lot of my work on Instagram right now, because I’m just trying to, you know, you know, go through all the learning. But yeah, hopefully, the phone cases than the next series will go well.

Iva Mikles  

And so when you mentioned as well that you are, like creating phone cases, and then you be able to sell them or people can purchase them, what are the other things you are making income with? And because we discussed this before recording it, so if we can talk about that, like, what do you leave from? Or what can you advise young artists to do? Like when they are maybe starting to sell their artworks? Or?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Uh huh. So basically, I make most of my income right now, just for selling prints. T shirts recently, and hoping to release the phone cases. I still live with my parents. So it’s much easier for me, you know, some people don’t have it as easy. They have to, like, you know, move out at the age of, let’s say, 18. And you know, you know, pay rent, and it’s so difficult for them to, you know, do at the same time, so I feel very lucky. But, yeah, right now, I’m just focusing on studying. So I think, probably in the next few years, I maybe want on a start a Patreon page, or, or YouTube finally, because it’s the loads of people been commenting like, you know, do YouTube. Yeah, yeah, I find it’s so time consuming, like even recording, you know, a video on my phone that takes so long to then just like, edit it and everything. But yeah, hopefully, after I do all my studies, then hopefully, I can make a start on, you know, different projects and the Patreon need you. But I think, for young artists at the moment is very, I think it’s very important to just make that, you know, Instagram page and make that Facebook page, make that deviantart page. And don’t be afraid of putting your work out there. Because so many people, you know, close up, and they don’t know how much feedback they can actually receive on their art. So I think it’s very important to put yourself out there. And then, you know, even if you have like, 300 followers, it doesn’t matter. Like I started with like nothing, you know, I just put run run one random painting on my Instagram page, and then it just grew suddenly. So you never know what will happen.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Because actually, if you imagine 300 People in like, one room or there is like a lot of people actually

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

there’s a lot of people. Yeah, exactly. I still can’t believe how many followers I have on my parents often, like, littering my Instagram, and they kind of just blows blows their mind, you know, I never kind of I still don’t believe you know, how the following is, I think it’s crazy. Right now social media is exploding and how how much it’s helping artists to kind of grow and you know, their work?

Iva Mikles  

And can you share maybe some tips from Instagram? What do you learn over time, something like, Oh, this is actually a really good thing to do.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Ah, so I think at the beginning, I’ll just probably just say a few tips like, like, how, when I started my Instagram, so I think at the beginning, definitely try to have relevant hashtags, you know, watercolor, hashtag drawing, hashtag art, and don’t do, like, follow the follow, I guess suggesting that just like having very relevant hashtags, so people from the community follow you. And then I think having, you know, good pictures, good lighting. posting regularly, like on a regular basis, you know, so you don’t post like seven pictures in one day, and then suddenly, you don’t post for one month. It’s like having, like posting like, let’s say, three, four times as we go through, it’s good. And then, you know, following your favorite artists, you know, just producing quality work, I think it’s quality rather than quantity. Personally, because I often fall into the trap of like, you know, posting work, I don’t think it’s great. And then, you know, I make the bad decision. And then I’m like, I’m gonna delete this. So I think just like, you know, if you are confident and you like the work, then you know, I think you should, like, you know, poster, obviously, and then you know, it’s just This is like social media is constantly growing. So you know, you never know. You know, you never know how much is gonna grow your account. I never, I never expect it to grow as much so,

Iva Mikles  

but the artworks are amazing. So we’re also when I started I was like, wow, this is really and so when you’re creating stuff do you also adjust it later on in like Photoshop or other digital tools or it’s like purely like traditional art,

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I yeah, I often actually adjust my even more traditional work. Like, for example, the yellow series, when I paint it with, I do like a pencil sketch logo with pen. And then acrylic over the top, sometimes do acrylic, the layers kind of don’t turn out as, as vibrant as I would like. So you know, I scanned that piece, put it into Photoshop, I just like the lines and the colors. And you know, for Instagram, for example, my phone is so bad, I still use like a Samsung Galaxy S four which is literally like six years old. So every time like I you know, take pictures very dark. So I have to like put it into Photoshop, edit, edit the lighting and everything. So even with pictures, not even with my pieces, even with the pictures, I still have to edit them digitally. And I’m very much inspired by concept art. Even though I don’t do concept art myself, and like it’s very inspiring for me. I think concept artists are insanely skilled. They put so much time into, you know, knowing so much of the like fundamentals and the theory. So I think you can learn a lot of concept artists. So maybe, I don’t know, maybe in the next few years, I will try to go back more to digital work. Because I you know, I was always inspired by Lord of the Rings and other movies like similar to that. So, you know, maybe sometime I go back to those, you know, fantasy creatures. And

Iva Mikles  

yeah, I would love to see that actually worked on Lord of the Rings for a bit in Lego as well. So I really love the movie too. It’s really cool. And do you have like a favorite brand of pencil or paint or something like okay, this is my pen. My thanks to one.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Think this with the watercolors because I do a lot of watercolor, I think it’s important to have a very good watercolor paper, it can save so much of your time. Because if you have a cheap quality watercolor paper, you know, the water doesn’t flow that well to pick members and spread that work. And you might think that you’re “beep” at watercolor, but actually, it’s sometimes the paper the materials that you use. So use Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, which I’ve been using for I think three years. It’s quite expensive. It’s similar to the Arches watercolor paper, but it’s very good quality. I think it’s shipped from Italy. So I think I purchased it for about 30 pounds for like 23 sheets. So that’s my, like, favorite material. But even just like with pencil, I think with pencil sometimes you can use like a regular pencil and you can create amazing work. So it’s not always the materials that can be like 14 I think most Skyn drawing notebook is amazing for graphite, but I’m very much against the watercolor one because they changed the paper about two years ago. And so many people are complaining like why they changed it because like I used it recently and it’s just oh it’s terrible. I haven’t posted on like Instagram, how frustrated I am about the paper. But the graphite one, the one for graphite is really good. And then the brushes I just use as you know, like regular brushes. My old watercolor I don’t buy anything like fancy. And then I think having a big workspace especially if you’re a messy is awesome because you can like stack up everything and then you know, I’m a very messy person so like I always need like a big workspace. I think that can save loads of your time because then you’re not like you know squashed like a little desk. So yeah, having a big workspace and then more Skyn Fabriano Artistico Farber, pastel pencils are awesome. And poly black poly camo is awesome for drawing. And then you know like a Wacom tablet. If you’re into digital art Wacom I think it’s great. And then you know, Photoshop.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have like Intuos or Cintiq or

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Intuos Pro? I think? Yeah, I

Iva Mikles  

have that one as well. I think I have what it was four or something. Yeah, yeah, the great. So it’s quite good, like portable. You can take it with you and just go

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Yeah, like Mine’s the medium size so it’s like slightly That’s good. And then, like, maybe in the future, I will try and buy some, because I’ve had a lot of positive feedback. Yeah. But yeah, I don’t do as much digital art as I used to. Because actually, like when I was 12 to 16, I did a lot of pixel art. Like, like, again, like creatures I did, I worked on like a game project, which was like a game modification. And I did that for about four years, you can probably find somewhere like the Pixar logo made, like on DeviantArt. Somewhere, it’s like out there in the world. But yeah, right now, I’m just focusing on my traditional art, mainly.

Iva Mikles  

So how do you design your day? How does it look? Like how, how many hours? Do you spend maybe on one piece? Or how much time do you spend on the research? Or how does it look like?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

So I try to wake up at night, sometimes, sometimes doesn’t work, because I’m always like, you know, up to like, 3am, like a zombie. And then I don’t want to wake up. But usually I try to wake up at 9:10am I, and then my parents come back from work round free, and I help them with the groceries and all that. And then you know, have dinner five, six. So I drove from about, like, doing my stuff from about 10 to five, let’s say so seven hours. And then you know, I hope my parents like groceries or that dishwasher, blah, blah, blah. And then from around 8pm to 12. Let’s say I draw a bit as well, but a lot of it consists of like procrastination, being lazy. And like, you know, going on youtube going on Facebook greeting, I actually tried to stop going on with Facebook as much because I find it so pointless nowadays. It wastes so much time. Like, again, social media can be a good thing, but it can be a bad thing. But yeah, I would say about I try eight hours a day, I think yeah, even like weekend, Saturday, Sunday, but then obviously, like tried to socialize a tiny bit if I can.

Iva Mikles  

And how do you motivate yourself, when you have a down day, you know, like, you don’t feel like I don’t want to draw or create.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

That is That is crazy difficult. A lot of people struggle of it. I think again, just doing it not making excuses, I think, always saves a lot of time. I think to motivate myself doing research, if I feel like you know, I’m having a bad day of drawing, like just doing research and going on Pinterest, finding different inspirations. Looking through my favorite Instagram accounts, and instead of looking down on yourself, like being like, Oh, I’m never gonna be this good. Kinda think it like, I want to get that on achieve this, I think it’s gonna motivate you so much. And it motivates me just to instead of being like, Oh, I’m never gonna be able to do this kind of be like, you know, maybe I can like if I work really hard, and then doing sketches. I think I haven’t done sketches for so long. And when I was like 1617 sketching now has helped me so much to kind of continue drawing, you know, even if you feeling very bad, like if you’re having a bad day, just like doing sketches.

Iva Mikles  

The you go schedule, so outside or like something. No,

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I wish I wish I did. But I never really, I think if I was more into environments, I would really love probably drawing outside.

Iva Mikles  

Maybe people you know, like, when you go Yeah, and or, or something like yeah,

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I was thinking of like painting freehand sketch classes. But you know, I always see I make excuses. I’d be good at this. I wish I wish I am, you know, was a bit more brave and kind of went to like a sketch class. Hopefully, you know, I feel braver day by day. So hopefully there’s going to be a point where, why, like, sign up to a sketch class, but I’m hoping you know, do the school ism at the moment. I’m going to probably sign up very soon. So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And so what do you think like, for networking, you know, like if people are shy or they’re not, like, write good or making like new friends or either way, or kind of find new paid projects? How what would you advise young people or have you experienced something like that, like when you are shy, and then you don’t know how to approach people? What would be kind of the best practice or?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I mean, I was, I was very shy, like when I was, you know, very young like 16 And that’s kind of when I even started my Instagram, but I think it’s, I can share a lot of my personal life on You know, Instagram, I felt like showing my pieces was kind of, I was still shy, but I felt like if I didn’t show my personal life, I would feel better about showing my artwork instead. I think it’s difficult to you know, overcome your worries, but I think there will be a point that you just, like, for me, I just had a point where I was like, you know, Screw this, I’m just gonna post my art and let’s see what happens. But you know, sometimes it can get negative comments. And that can feel like they can really like touch you. But I think, I don’t know. It’s difficult. I think it’s different for everyone. But I just tried to ignore it. It’s, it’s difficult. I can’t really give much advice about it, because I think it’s so personal. But I think because I was so shy, and I kind of tried to make art my outlet. I think that’s kind of how it made me less shy, I guess. Yeah. It’s difficult to explain. But

Iva Mikles  

yeah, because it’s actually good idea to just start sharing just artworks and nothing from the personal life and just like, see where it goes. Because I had few questions. Yeah, like, if you go for, like, event, like, I don’t know, Comicon. So how do you do networking, if you are shy, but I was always like, blah, you know, so. For me, it’s like, I just go there, and I can just make fool of myself. And I’m like, Yeah, whatever. But

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

yeah, exactly. That type of attitude is great. To be fair, because I remember when I got invited into Germany, and when I went to the car, like I felt like I was, oh my god, I was so nervous that I had the best time ever. And, you know, I, I was thinking in my head, like, Oh my God, these amazing artists, like, I’m the, you know, I’m the crack this person, they’re like, why am I here? I was so nervous. You know, I was thinking in my head, like, I was like, over overthinking every possible situation. And that’s again, because I’m quite an anxious person. But it turned out to be like, I had the best time of my life. At this event, I felt so comfortable. It was like such a big one big family, you know, salad table, we had dinner, we talked for ages, you know, we went to bed at like, 3am we have loads of chats about everything, like from my personal life to You know, I cannot so you know, our pieces, artwork or inspirations. I think. Like, even though I’m like a shy, shy person, like in real life, like when I share my artwork, I feel a lot more free. Because I feel that our community is, like one of the best probably, everyone’s like, 99% of people are so kind and so lovely. So I think like you, if there’s a person that feels shy about their work, don’t be because so many people, you know, feel the same. You know, it’s always great to show like, you’re yourself and you know, what you do what you make, you know, people were always gonna appreciate it.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because I also think as you said, like, if you go for an event, and don’t overthinking that, you just see because it might happen that the person you start talking to though that’s like you but then I mean, like, what can you lose? Okay, you don’t talk to that person, you will talk to another

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

person. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. That’s why I thought like I for people were not gonna like me, but I had the best time and you know, with Syrah and piccola like when he went to Germany, I didn’t expect them to put so much time into me. Because you know, there’s so much bigger there’s so they’re so skilled, and I didn’t think they’ll give me like the time of day, but we spent so many hours together and they’re so amazing. And, you know, I really appreciate how much time they put into like when I ask them any questions so I think like if you shy like asking questions can like help you so much more because he kind of going to begin to feel more comfortable?

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I think it’s perfect. So everyone listening or watching just try then and see and a lot of nice so

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

yeah, definitely of the art community. I feel like so many people are amazing.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect then so let’s talk about the future and maybe like five to 10 years, what would be your scenario you know, like, what if you cannot fail and you’re like okay, this is how I want it to be

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think probably like in 510 years you know, I just constantly on the learn, develop. You know, I think you’re a student for life. You can always learn something you know, if you think he got to a stage where you know everything there’s always something he can learn. So I think I probably want to still be a freelancer rather than work for studio. Because I’m very much an independent person, I can work in a team, but I much prefer, I’m kinda like my own mentor. So I kind of really talk to myself a lot. I’m like my own teacher, basically. So I think like if I carried on being a freelancer and see how it goes, but you know, life changes every day. So you never know what what happens. But I am hoping to you know, carry on being an illustrator, you know, sell prints, kind of create different series, you know, start YouTube, stop Patreon, you know, have my own little like studio, like, where it can, like, you know, organize all my materials and stuff. Living kind of very calm life, hopefully, stress free, let loose, you know. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

that sounds good. And what about like, really far, far in the future? And if you imagine, like, in 100 years or so, and what would you like to be remembered for?

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

I think just connecting with so many people, like my connecting their emotions, through my paintings with as many people as possible. And I often love hearing stories, how, you know, like, a piece touch someone’s heart, because it’s so it feels so personal to them. And, you know, everyone has a different story. You know, like my coming out experience, you know, I tried to kind of put that through into my, you know, Rainbow themed paintings. And, you know, so many people nowadays struggle with that. And they kind of feel connected to those pieces, and it kind of, can make them feel, you know, that they’re not alone. So I’m hoping, like, I’ll be remembered for maybe just, you know, connecting emotionally with as many people as possible. You know, I’m not planning to be, you know, the best artist ever. I’m just, you know, doing my own stuff. So, you know, some people can hate this, some people can love it, some people can, you know, be like, mad, but, you know, I just do it for fun, basically, and try to have fun, I think it’s very important to do what you love. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely. And also, like, if you can influence someone in a good way with your art, it’s the best thing ever. So

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

yeah, definitely, like, I keep hearing stories and messages where people will, like, say that, you know, they haven’t done art for like, 10 years, and now they’re in their 30s on there, and they picked up a brush. And I’m just like, you know, only 20. And I’ve made such a big difference in someone’s life. And I think it’s crazy. It’s amazing.

Iva Mikles  

You create them, so keep. And I’m super happy that he took time and joined us a year. And before we say much, Oh, definitely. And before we finish, maybe you can share like, key takeaway, or the last piece of advice.

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

Um, I think focusing on fundamentals, the basic x is, speed you up so much, if we, you know, start with the basics, you know, don’t try to make masterpieces. Focus on like the fundamentals, you know, try to learn the things that you feel are going to make you improve. And I think try to make less excuses, kind of just doing it is gonna, you know, get you so much more further than, you know, if you’re on the sofa, like watching TV. So I think just doing it, you know, getting the basics, fundamentals, learning all that is gonna, you know, make you a great, great artist. Perfect. And being yourself being yourself. I think it’s so important. You know, you can take loads of inspiration from different artists, but, you know, having your own personality, I think it’s very important.

Iva Mikles  

I agree. So thank you again, for being here. It was so much fun. Thanks

Tomasz Mrozkiewicz  

so much for having me, guys. And

Iva Mikles  

thanks, everyone for joining and see you in the next episode. I hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a kid’s name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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