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Chopping Block: Aha C

 

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POW: At a first glance of your name, Aha C. Two possibilities came to mind. I would either be interviewing the 80’s pop band turned surreal painters, or very mysterious artist, who prefers to go by four-letter moniker. Alas, it is the latter. Telling by your full name, however, your background may be a bit different from most. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Aha C: Well, I am from 80’s but don’t tell anyone ;D. But the real secret of my alias is my little brother... Well, now he is not so little, but when he was a toddler (he is much younger than me) and was learning to speak, he had some problems with my name. My name is Joanna, but Polish short version is Asia (we pronounce it not like the the Asian continent, but more like Ashia), and that was too much for him. So he changed my name to Aha. Short and simple :) And since then everyone started to call me Aha, first my whole family, then my friends. The ‘C’ letter came from my husbands’ surname. ‘Aha’ was too short and too popular for many sites, so I had to add something to that.

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"Dandelions"

POW: Is there anything about your upbringing that shaped your path towards being an artist?

Aha C: My parents were always very supportive. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and to take new challenges. And they taught me to be consistent in what I was doing. All my life I drew something on anything with everything. And each time I saw new crayons or paints, they always got them for me. So I could make my own artistic experiments. I am a self-taught artist, I never went to any artistic school. Actually I’m an engineer. I graduated Technical University. But all my life I was searching for someone, who could teach me how to draw. And I learned from several artists, who taught me a lot. I think that my technical education and contact with some fabulous painters shaped my artistic path. Of course this is just the beginning. I’m learning all the time and searching new ways to express myself.

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"Birch"

POW: While browsing through your art prints, I chuckled a bit when I saw the print, “Color Your Zebra.” I’m always a fan of art that’s minimalistic and playful; your style embodies the two qualities to a T. Have you always created artwork in this manner or was this a style that developed over time?

Aha C: I’ve always loved minimalistic graphic designs with strong contrasts. But on the other hand I just love impressionism, art that can’t be clearly defined, something unsaid. So I think, that you can find bothof these in my portfolio. It seems I can’t decide what style to choose, but I guess the truth is that I’m just not able to resign from any of them. My style is developing all the time, I love to study painters of the past, but also to watch present artists on the Internet. All this influences me a lot.

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"Color Your Zebra"

POW: With artwork on sites like Society 6, I’d say you’re carving out an impressive space for yourself in the commercial world. How do you continue to create work that remains unique in spite of the repetition that takes place in mass production?

Aha C: Repetition doesn’t make art less unique. And thanks to POD sites and digital printing you can have your works on different products. I always liked to decorate things and now I’m far more able to do it. I don’t think there is something wrong with mass production. This is just a different kind of art. And creativity is also needed.
I think, that some artwork suits mass production while some shouldn’t be used like that. Not everything will look good on mug or pillow. And some works are fun and will look great only on a t-shirt. I’m trying to separate those things.

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"All you Need is Cat"

POW: Each illustration possesses a vividly executed message. They seem like they would make great first pages in a children’s book. Have you given thought to publishing one of your own?

Aha C: Yes, actually I was thinking about it. I have a friend, who is willing to write a book for children and since she told me about it, I can’t stop thinking about drawings for children There is one book (exactly one piece) illustrated by me. It is in a comic style, but it was made not for children. It was a gift for my friend. Still it was fun to do it.

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POW: What would you say is your single most definitive accomplishment as an artist?

Aha C: After many years of doing so many different things, I have achieved a situation where artistic expression is becoming my way of life. And I think it is my accomplishment as an artist.

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"Starry Night"

POW: What’s next for you? Any interesting new projects coming your way?

Aha C: There is so much to do, and so many ideas and plans. One of the things I have already started is sacred art. I started to learn iconography. This is a very difficult kind of art using egg tempera and with a very strict rules of painting. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It requires a lot of patience, accuracy and knowledge. It’s a challenge, I hope that I can cope with it.