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Mariusz Kozik was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1973. From 1989-1994 he studied fine art at the Artistic Lyceum in Lublin, then from 1995-2000 Academy Of Arts in Wroclaw, earning his diploma under Professor Jospeh Halas in 2000. Mariusz's work has been exhibited extensively in Poland. While he loves the traditional painting methods, he began experimenting with computer assisted artwork in 2006. His enthusiasm for military history began as a boy but blossomed with his career and to this day helps him to create some truly gorgeous and original artwork.
Interview - Mariusz Kozik
Dark Wolf: Mariusz, thank you very much for this interview.
How did you start drawing?
Mariusz Kozik: Very early. Firstly I was a Sculptor. When I was 3-4 years old I liked to make animals from plasticine. I was stealing soaps from my mother’s drawer and carved heads. I need to state that in those times there was Communism in Poland and soap was inaccessible to buy. It was a rarity. Then I’ve started to draw knights. It lasted for long time but in age of 13. I started to train athletics and shooting from sports gun. However after an injury I came back to art and graduated at art secondary school and made Master Thesis at The Academy of Fine Arts.
Dark Wolf: Who are your favorite classic or modern artists? Did any one of them influence your works?
Mariusz Kozik: I really like Caravaggio especially his theatre lights. Rogier van der Wayden taught me about block building. I’ve learned colour from Eugeniusz Eibisch. Important for me is also Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From the modern artists I appreciate Anzelm Kiefer.
Dark Wolf: If I am not mistaken I’ve seen in your portfolio works made using the both techniques, traditional and digital. Which one is your favorite?
Mariusz Kozik: Digital technique is very clear- in many meanings of this word :) Although I prefer traditional. In a matter there’s a spirit. This will never be achieved digitally.
DW: Do you like to work in certain conditions? I mean do you prefer a certain location, illumination, listening music or other things like these.
MK: I like to listen to music while working. Claudio Monteverdi, Henry Percel, Joseph Haydn often accompany me. I listen also to historical movies soundtracks. They don’t absorb my mind so much. The best composer is Hans Zimmer. In my workshop I’m surrounded by antiques, I like old furniture. In the corner hangs chain armour and next to it stands helmet and sword. These are replica modeled on XIII century. All this is lighted by dark, mysterious light, but obviously on the big oak table there are 2 monitors and exude their presence :D
DW: Your portfolio is composed in majority of historical illustrations. Do you enjoy this kind of illustration more? Do you have an interest in the history outside art?
MK: Yes, history is my passion but the fact that most of my artwork in portfolio is about history is the effect of my employer’s needs. I fell good in fantasy and science fiction as well.
DW: Poland has a very interesting culture with captivating history, folklore and legends. Do you find inspiration only in the Polish culture or do you find it in other cultures as well?
MK: There are plenty of nations around the world. All of them are interesting and always have something unique to offer for whole humankind. It’s worth to look at each other and learn. Often the cultures are different but value the same aspects, the most important for human.
DW: Does the historical works require a deeper documentation for the details (I mean for clothing, weapons, etc.) or there is room for improvisation as well?
MK: In historical illustrations there is small field for improvisation. Authors are focusing on technical matters. Artistic effect doesn’t concern them much, but I try to make the good art.
DW: I’ve seen a number of Science Fiction pieces in your portfolio. Do you enjoy making illustrations on this genre as well? Which sources of inspiration do you have when it comes to Science Fiction?
MK: As I have mentioned before Earth is rich in cultures which can be discovered and studied. Inspirations are born on our planet. You can look at “Star Wars”. When I watch them I see plenty of traditions, myths, legends and cult behaviours. In fact we’re not able to discover anything new. All of this did our ancestors. We can only move our puzzles in this jigsaw.
DW: One of your Science Fiction works is on the cover of a novel published recently in Romania. Did you make that piece for that book specifically or did you already have it? How is it working for a client from a different country?
MK: This illustration was made especially for this book. I’ve even started to read it. Scene from the cover is one of the scenes written by author. Characters are “real” so I had to know them better. Cover was made in agreement with publisher. It was a long correspondence.
DW: Which job offer will be hard to refuse? What future projects we will see from Mariusz Kozik?
MK: I think, that if I received the offer of the illustration from the epoch of Empire Romanum, Byzantium, or Sparta, then would not throw aside her. In the future we will see the series "Raid" Osprey Publishing
and many illustration of Legions Cesar.
Thank you for your time and answers.
For a more complete portfolio of Mariusz Kozik please visit his website, lacedemon.info.