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I Was Lost In a Forest
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I Was Lost In a Forest

BRIGHTNESS NEWS

Joanna Concejo was born in 1971 in Slupsk in Poland. She graduated in 1998 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. Since 1994 she has lived in Paris, France.

Joanna began working as an illustrator and artist in the late 1980s. In 2000 she was selected for the Salon de Jeune Création in France. And she was invited to the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Busan (South Korea) and the following year at the Salon d’Art Contemporain de Chelles (France) 2000. In 2004 her work was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition of Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and at the end of 2004 wins the price Calabria Incantata “Abracalabria” Altomonte (Italy). The following year her work was featured in the Biennial of Illustration “Ilustrarte” Barreiro (Portugal) in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

Exclusive Interview With Joanna Concejo | Brightness Magazine

Joanna Concejo was born in 1971 in Slupsk in Poland. She graduated in 1998 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. Since 1994 she has lived in Paris, France.

Joanna began working as an illustrator and artist in the late 1980s. In 2000 she was selected for the Salon de Jeune Création in France. And she was invited to the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Busan (South Korea) and the following year at the Salon d’Art Contemporain de Chelles (France) 2000. In 2004 her work was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition of Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and at the end of 2004 wins the price Calabria Incantata “Abracalabria” Altomonte (Italy). The following year her work was featured in the Biennial of Illustration “Ilustrarte” Barreiro (Portugal) in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

When I was asked what I do, I have a little trouble answering; simply because to say that I am an illustrator is not really right for me. To say that I am an artist, that does not suit me either.
I think that I simply express certain things that inhabit me, that are important to me, that make me thrill, live.
And I do it through the drawing.
I just draw.

It is the form that corresponds to me. That›s my language. A number of drawings, essays and erasures have been constructed – it is precisely the erasures that make me understand a lot of things, which allow me to move forward, to understand myself – through the hours spent approaching better what I want to express, the hours to draw the blades of grass of a meadow, long moments to think about everything and nothing, while my hand pursues a dream on the leaf, while it rains, that the wind blows or the sun shines, I feel good or bad…. This language is, moreover, constantly in motion; it is an incessant arrival, full of surprises and astonishments.

I choose the simplest materials, graphite pencil, crayons and a sheet of paper. I like to draw by pencil because there is something very intimate, sensitive, fragile, and worrying in it… The pencil retraces every hesitation, every trembling of the hand. In a pencil line the soul is bare. It is unprotected despite the mastery of technique. There is a tension and I like it. Between two missed lines there is this third, invisible, which is right. No need to draw it. It is there, all the more present as it is absent. It is the vibration between the other two lines…

I like to draw on old papers that I pick up all the time. I have plenty of them at home. Papers that already have been used. Those have traces of time, tears, spots, folds. Those the light has made them yellow, or on the contrary – pale … The papers that people have already taken in their hands, on which they have already written.

I like to inscribe myself in this continuity, in this journey through time, it inspires me, reassures me. When I draw, I feel like I›m just pulling out what›s already on the sheet, even if it›s not visible yet. It is as if the papers spoke to me, showing me what they hide. They are not merely the support, they welcome my drawings, they make way for them, and they illuminate them with an inner light, soft and mysterious; of nostalgia sometimes, a joy or regret, an anxiety. I like when drawings disturb, when they are insolent…

When I illustrated a book I always think of writing it in another way, with the images. I do not believe that illustration is at service for the text. It must never be. This is not interesting to me. What is interesting, is to create a dialogue between text and images so that both can through their encounter in the space of a book, tell something new, unexpected; Opening new paths, new possibilities for interpretation. Let this meeting surprise, disturb, worry, question. I think this is only possible when the text and images remain free and beautiful in their difference, when they differentiate lovingly. Like the two beings who take themselves by the hand to make end of way together. It is their encounter, their relationship that is beautiful. For me it is the same in a book.

My biggest challenge so far has been the experience of drawing live, with a projection on screen, during a reading of a text, which I knew but I never illustrated. It was a huge risk taking for me because there was no preparation of tests before, everything was going to happen “to live” before an audience. But I was delighted to have experienced it because it happened a kind of magic of the meeting, to be there, all together, during the moment when the voice of the reader told the story (the Author of the text), and the drawings appeared in resonance of the text. What was beautiful was that no one knew what was going to happen, but all were living intensely this moment.

Challenges… there have been more. To illustrate a text by Andersen was one. To face this rich, beautiful and very pictorial writing was difficult, for in my opinion it does not need any illustration. Yet I agreed to do it. I spent a lot of time before finding the way to add images, almost a year, but once the idea was found, I feasted to draw for this text.
Thus, a little in the same spirit, illustrating “Little Red Riding Hood” was a real inner journey for me: A walk in the unfathomable forest of my unconscious, a return to childhood, but at the same time a possibility to propose my reading of the text. My version of the facts… I was very lucky


Read more at :

Exclusive Interview With Joanna Concejo | Brightness Magazine

Joanna Concejo was born in 1971 in Slupsk in Poland. She graduated in 1998 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. Since 1994 she has lived in Paris, France.

Joanna began working as an illustrator and artist in the late 1980s. In 2000 she was selected for the Salon de Jeune Création in France. And she was invited to the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Busan (South Korea) and the following year at the Salon d’Art Contemporain de Chelles (France) 2000. In 2004 her work was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition of Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and at the end of 2004 wins the price Calabria Incantata “Abracalabria” Altomonte (Italy). The following year her work was featured in the Biennial of Illustration “Ilustrarte” Barreiro (Portugal) in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

When I was asked what I do, I have a little trouble answering; simply because to say that I am an illustrator is not really right for me. To say that I am an artist, that does not suit me either.
I think that I simply express certain things that inhabit me, that are important to me, that make me thrill, live.
And I do it through the drawing.
I just draw.

It is the form that corresponds to me. That›s my language. A number of drawings, essays and erasures have been constructed – it is precisely the erasures that make me understand a lot of things, which allow me to move forward, to understand myself – through the hours spent approaching better what I want to express, the hours to draw the blades of grass of a meadow, long moments to think about everything and nothing, while my hand pursues a dream on the leaf, while it rains, that the wind blows or the sun shines, I feel good or bad…. This language is, moreover, constantly in motion; it is an incessant arrival, full of surprises and astonishments.

I choose the simplest materials, graphite pencil, crayons and a sheet of paper. I like to draw by pencil because there is something very intimate, sensitive, fragile, and worrying in it… The pencil retraces every hesitation, every trembling of the hand. In a pencil line the soul is bare. It is unprotected despite the mastery of technique. There is a tension and I like it. Between two missed lines there is this third, invisible, which is right. No need to draw it. It is there, all the more present as it is absent. It is the vibration between the other two lines…

I like to draw on old papers that I pick up all the time. I have plenty of them at home. Papers that already have been used. Those have traces of time, tears, spots, folds. Those the light has made them yellow, or on the contrary – pale … The papers that people have already taken in their hands, on which they have already written.

I like to inscribe myself in this continuity, in this journey through time, it inspires me, reassures me. When I draw, I feel like I›m just pulling out what›s already on the sheet, even if it›s not visible yet. It is as if the papers spoke to me, showing me what they hide. They are not merely the support, they welcome my drawings, they make way for them, and they illuminate them with an inner light, soft and mysterious; of nostalgia sometimes, a joy or regret, an anxiety. I like when drawings disturb, when they are insolent…

When I illustrated a book I always think of writing it in another way, with the images. I do not believe that illustration is at service for the text. It must never be. This is not interesting to me. What is interesting, is to create a dialogue between text and images so that both can through their encounter in the space of a book, tell something new, unexpected; Opening new paths, new possibilities for interpretation. Let this meeting surprise, disturb, worry, question. I think this is only possible when the text and images remain free and beautiful in their difference, when they differentiate lovingly. Like the two beings who take themselves by the hand to make end of way together. It is their encounter, their relationship that is beautiful. For me it is the same in a book.

My biggest challenge so far has been the experience of drawing live, with a projection on screen, during a reading of a text, which I knew but I never illustrated. It was a huge risk taking for me because there was no preparation of tests before, everything was going to happen “to live” before an audience. But I was delighted to have experienced it because it happened a kind of magic of the meeting, to be there, all together, during the moment when the voice of the reader told the story (the Author of the text), and the drawings appeared in resonance of the text. What was beautiful was that no one knew what was going to happen, but all were living intensely this moment.

Challenges… there have been more. To illustrate a text by Andersen was one. To face this rich, beautiful and very pictorial writing was difficult, for in my opinion it does not need any illustration. Yet I agreed to do it. I spent a lot of time before finding the way to add images, almost a year, but once the idea was found, I feasted to draw for this text.
Thus, a little in the same spirit, illustrating “Little Red Riding Hood” was a real inner journey for me: A walk in the unfathomable forest of my unconscious, a return to childhood, but at the same time a possibility to propose my reading of the text. My version of the facts… I was very lucky


Read more at :

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