21 kwietnia 2023

Le Rayon Vert

Parfois, au moment de disparaître dans les flots, le soleil lance sur l'océan une ultime et brève fulgurance: ce fameux rayon vert qui, d'après une légende écossaise, confère à ceux dont il a frappé les yeux le pouvoir de voir clair dans les sentiments et les coeurs.
(Sometimes, as it disappears beneath the waves, the sun sends one last, fleeting flash over the ocean: that famous green ray which, according to a Scottish legend, bestows upon those who have seen it the power to see clearly into the feelings and hearts of others).

Jules Verne, Le Rayon Vert

Eric Rohmer's films have a soothing effect on me, and I find myself particularly drawn to them during the summer months. I enjoy immersing myself in the subtle details of his storytelling.

Le Rayon Vert made me dream to see the green ray. I've never witnessed it in person so I just painted it. It's as simple as that.

Bisou, bisou, Jo

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15 marca 2023

Studio sounds #2

Today I'd like to share with you some goosebumps.

I haven't told you yet, but I listen to songs over and over, en boucle. This one has been in my studio all the time this week.

Bisou bisou, Jo

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15 marca 2023

La Géante

Today one more illustration from my favorite series Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire - The Giantess.

La Géante

Du temps que la Nature en sa verve puissante
Concevait chaque jour des enfants monstrueux,
J'eusse aimé vivre auprès d'une jeune géante,
Comme aux pieds d'une reine un chat voluptueux.

J'eusse aimé voir son corps fleurir avec son âme
Et grandir librement dans ses terribles jeux;
Deviner si son coeur couve une sombre flamme
Aux humides brouillards qui nagent dans ses yeux;

Parcourir à loisir ses magnifiques formes;
Ramper sur le versant de ses genoux énormes,
Et parfois en été, quand les soleils malsains,

Lasse, la font s'étendre à travers la campagne,
Dormir nonchalamment à l'ombre de ses seins,
Comme un hameau paisible au pied d'une montagne.

La Géante

From the time when Nature in her furious fancy
Conceived each day monstrosities obscene,
I had loved to live near a young Giantess of Necromancy,
Like a voluptuous cat before the knees of a Queen.

I had loved to see her body mix with her Soul's shame
And greaten in these terrible games of Vice,
And to divine if in her heart brooded a somber flame,
Before the moist sea-mists which swarm in her great eyes;

To wander over her huge forms — nature deforms us —
And to crawl over the slopes of her knees enormous,
And in summer when the unwholesome suns from the West's

Winds, weary, made her slumber hard by a fountain,
To sleep listlessly in the shadow of her superb breasts,
Like an hamlet that slumbers at the foot of a mountain.

— Arthur Symons, Baudelaire: Prose and Poetry (NY: Albert and Charles Boni, 1926)

ink on paper 30x40 cm

Bisou bisou, Jo

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15 marca 2023

The shocking truth about fashion

Today, I'm feeling funky and fashion-forward - I'm picturing myself rocking a hat made of shoe, sipping coffee from Oppenheim's furry cup, and chatting it up with Elsa Schiaparelli! Her exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs blew my mind and I feel like taking a deep dive into the surreal world of her fashion with you.

Bisou bisou, Jo

Shocking ! Les mondes surréalistes d’Elsa Schiaparelli at The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is open till 22 January 2023.

Photos: Joanna Gniady

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14 marca 2023

Magic Manicure of Picasso

Today, I had the privilege of laying eyes on Picasso's personal collection of nail clippings and hair trimmings. Yes, you read that right. The artist was so freaked out by the thought of someone using his clippings to put a hex on him that he entrusted them to his daughter Maya and her mother Marie-Thérèse.

I was looking at the small boxes full of cut nails, the envelopes filled with locks of hair and that moment was kind of a mysterium tremendum et fascinans. The one and only Picasso in his trivial human condition. One of us, mere mortals.

If you are in Paris, make sure to visit the very interesting exhibition Maya Ruiz-Picasso, the Daughter of Pablo at Musée Picasso (till 31 December 2022).

Bisou bisou, Jo

Photos: Joanna Gniady

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8 lutego 2023

Studio sounds #1

I've got to admit, music is my wingman in the studio. It's always there to pick me up when I'm feeling down, and to get me pumped when I'm feeling lazy. Without it, I don't think I'd be able to draw a straight line, let alone a masterpiece! 😉

So here is the first song on my work playlist, hope you like it, too.

Bisou bisou, Jo

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24 września 2022

Au Lecteur

Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire - my endless source of inspiration.

I dream of illustrating the *real* book, make it a beautiful, snobbish and extremely seductive work of art.

For now I create thousands of sketches, ink paintings and digital drawings, discovering this poetry all over again.

Here is an ink on paper, 30x40 cm illustration to Au Lecteur.

Bisou bisou, Jo

Au lecteur

La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine.

Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches ;
Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux,
Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux,
Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches.

Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est Satan Trismégiste
Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté,
Et le riche métal de notre volonté
Est tout vaporisé par ce savant chimiste.

C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent !
Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas ;
Chaque jour vers l'Enfer nous descendons d'un pas,
Sans horreur, à travers des ténèbres qui puent.

Ainsi qu'un débauché pauvre qui baise et mange
Le sein martyrisé d'une antique catin,
Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin
Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange.

Serré, fourmillant, comme un million d'helminthes,
Dans nos cerveaux ribote un peuple de Démons,
Et, quand nous respirons, la Mort dans nos poumons
Descend, fleuve invisible, avec de sourdes plaintes.

Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie,
N'ont pas encor brodé de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C'est que notre âme, hélas ! n'est pas assez hardie.

Mais parmi les chacals, les panthères, les lices,
Les singes, les scorpions, les vautours, les serpents,
Les monstres glapissants, hurlants, grognants, rampants,
Dans la ménagerie infâme de nos vices,

Il en est un plus laid, plus méchant, plus immonde !
Quoiqu'il ne pousse ni grands gestes ni grands cris,
Il ferait volontiers de la terre un débris
Et dans un bâillement avalerait le monde ;

C'est l'Ennui ! - l'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
- Hypocrite lecteur, - mon semblable, - mon frère!

To the Reader

Folly and error, avarice and vice, 
Employ our souls and waste our bodies' force. 
As mangey beggars incubate their lice, 
We nourish our innocuous remorse.

Our sins are stubborn, craven our repentance. 
For our weak vows we ask excessive prices. 
Trusting our tears will wash away the sentence, 
We sneak off where the muddy road entices.

Cradled in evil, that Thrice-Great Magician, 
The Devil, rocks our souls, that can't resist; 
And the rich metal of our own volition 
Is vaporised by that sage alchemist.

The Devil pulls the strings by which we're worked: 
By all revolting objects lured, we slink 
Hellwards; each day down one more step we're jerked 
Feeling no horror, through the shades that stink.

Just as a lustful pauper bites and kisses 
The scarred and shrivelled breast of an old whore, 
We steal, along the roadside, furtive blisses, 
Squeezing them, like stale oranges, for more.

Packed tight, like hives of maggots, thickly seething
Within our brains a host of demons surges. 
Deep down into our lungs at every breathing, 
Death flows, an unseen river, moaning dirges.

If rape or arson, poison, or the knife 
Has wove no pleasing patterns in the stuff 
Of this drab canvas we accept as life — 
It is because we are not bold enough!

Amongst the jackals, leopards, mongrels, apes, 
Snakes, scorpions, vultures, that with hellish din, 
Squeal, roar, writhe, gambol, crawl, with monstrous shapes, 
In each man's foul menagerie of sin — 

There's one more damned than all. He never gambols,
Nor crawls, nor roars, but, from the rest withdrawn,
Gladly of this whole earth would make a shambles
And swallow up existence with a yawn...

Boredom! He smokes his hookah, while he dreams 
Of gibbets, weeping tears he cannot smother. 
You know this dainty monster, too, it seems — 
Hypocrite reader! — You! — My twin! — My brother!

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

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19 września 2022

Playing with letters

I have a thing about old newspapers and magazines. Especially the French ones. It's so interesting to read about the way people saw the world, what they laughed at, what they took seriously.

But my greatest pleasure is looking at drawings and photos, bizarre advertisements and fashions. And, of course, an amazing typography that I always try to copy to my sketchbook as an inspiration for future projects. Just take a look at those brave, sophisticated letters!

Bisou bisou, Jo

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30 maja 2021

NETFLIX mural – behind the scenes

Some time ago I had a big pleasure to collaborate with MOTOR Kommunikation on a very cool project.

It's a neon mural for NETFLIX, promoting their new series "Sky Rojo". You can read the whole story and see all the pictures on my website.

Now I would like to show you some work in progress drawings. Before the vector illustrations were created, I did a lot of research and tried to find good looking poses. Firstly, I started with many ecoline doodles. Secondly, I made simple line art and then more advanced, yet still very simple vector illustrations. I even made them glowy to check if they would look good as real neons. In the conclusion, the whole work was sooo much fun! The final thing turned out even cooler than everyone expected!

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16 marca 2021

Moon watchers

And another beautiful haiku by Bashō that became my inspiration:

The clouds
are giving these moon-watchers
a little break

translated by Robert Hass

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15 grudnia 2020

Winter haiku

Tonight I returned to one of my favourite poets - Bashō.

Here is one haiku for you, just at the end of the year.

What fish feel,

birds feel, I don't know -

the year ending.

translated by Robert Hass

Photos: Joanna Gniady

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21 listopada 2020

Find me here!

This is the spot where you will find my sketches, latest updates, inspiration and all at jazz.

So if you're looking for a dose of creativity and a splash of weirdness, you've come to the right place.

Let's take off on a wild ride through the galaxy of art!

And, just to start, one of my favourite short films - Foutaises by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

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+48 503 557 580

Pilsudskiego 74/307
50-020 Wroclaw, Poland




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