Karolina Koryl’s drawings trace the inner world of a teenage girl with surprising depth of emotion. Acutely disconnected or otherwise failing to communicate, her characters are fighting the long fight at their own pace and the result is a series of introspective portraits of sadness, lethargy and isolation. Only 18, Karolina dreams of longer hair, a quiet studio and a driver’s license. We talk to her about childhood career plans, her developing style and overcoming apathy.
Can you tell our readers a few words about yourself?
My name is Karolina Koryl. I was born in Rzeszów, in Poland, and I've been living there for my whole life, 18 years to be exact. In about two months I'm starting my education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. I think I'm not really good at writing about myself.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember I wanted to have a dog shelter. I didn’t think about becoming an artist. I didn’t think about my future when I was a kid, I was pretty carefree.
Do you remember your first drawings?
Not really, but I've recently found one in my mother's recipe book. It was pretty good. I remember I was ambidextrous back then and I used to fill coloring books with both hands, but my mom told me to choose only one. I also remember that I used to draw on this very thin paper that my mom used to pack sandwiches in.
How has your styled evolved over the years?
In the beginning I didn't have a style at all, I was just trying to learn how to draw pretty classical things, anatomy of the human body and so on. Something started happening in 2012. I have a sketchbook from this year and some of these drawings can be called the beginning of my current style. I didn't have any particular inspiration to be honest. In 2014 I discovered Jean-Michel Basquiat and I guess that was important in the process of developing my own drawing style.
Do you believe in a workspace? Or is the spontaneous nature of your art incompatible with a fixed territory?
I do have my own workspace, but it's the place where more classical art happens. I would like to have a studio where I can work on my illustrations and other drawings, but right now I have to deal with more spontaneous territory. For me, it doesn't really matter how the space looks, I just need a quiet place, that's enough, but it would be really great to have a peaceful, well-decorated studio.
How do you handle reactions to your art?
Positive reactions always bring a smile, but only when someone I like or admire tells me something nice do I get excited. I don't care about negative reactions unless it's criticism that could help me grow. I know my value and I won't care about people who want to make me feel bad.
How do you overcome apathy?
I hate this feeling. I'm a workaholic and I get angry when something stops me from work, especially when I'm not really sure what it is. This is the kind of feeling that is difficult to fight with. Usually, when I try to get over apathy, I just try to do things that don't require a lot of creative thinking but can be called as some kind of artistic activity. It helps me get back to the usual state of mind. There is no pattern, one day I'm super productive and the next that I wake up totally dull. When it happens I just watch movies all day and do simple artistic activities and just slowly get over it.
Where do you hide from the world?
I don't have any literal place to hide (except my room). I learned how to cut myself off from world and it's pretty easy to just go away mentally and stay physically.
What’s the plan for tomorrow?
Oh, I have to finally start my driving lessons, I guess it will be something new in my life. Also I have to find an apartment and it's kind of a stressful activity to do, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as form of entertainment.
What about next year?
It's a very abstract idea, I hope next year I will have a nice apartment, some money and longer hair. I'm not very demanding about that.