Gosia Herba





Interview Vera Shaban


Gosia Herba is multiply artist-illustrator. Her work includes painting, drawing, graphic designer and comics. One of my favorite works of Gosia it's an amazing surreal portraits in profile with gorgeous color palettes. She is doing hand paintings on canvas, gif-files, hand-drawn aesthetics, covers for music records, custom playing cards and ceramic illustration designs. She was born in Poland finished the National School of Fine Arts in Wroclaw and took a jewelry making class. After graduating Gosia decided to study History of Art on the University of Wroclaw. Visual arts and books have accompanied her since she was a child. And her choice of career was almost obvious. Especially illustration for children inspired Gosia to become an artist.




Who is the most important influent for you?


It's very hard for me to point to specific artist or style. I could go on with a long list; from the Gothic painting and sculpture, Japanese print art, painting of polish artist like Witold Wojtkiewicz, drawings of Stanislaw Wyspianski, colorful projects of Zofia Stryjenska,  Frans Masereel's woodcuts or contemporary comic art by Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Seth, Joann Sfar, David B. and others. My pretension of art and human activities in general has changed completely thanks to my studies. So I'd say studying the history of art has molded me. Certainly it was very important for my perception.



Illustrator work requires not only boundless imagination and skill, but also a large amount of time and, of course, perseverance. How much time do you spent on the illustrations?

I still learn to work faster. In the event of cooperation with magazines I get a couple of days for a set of illustrations. Sometimes I have only one day for this. Thankfully I have also the pleasure of working for publishers who give me longer deadlines. I'm trying to be flexible but the most important thing is the quality of my illustrations. 


What kind of techniques do you prefer to use in your work?

My favorite medium is gouache paint. I also work with ink, paper cutout and Eco line. When making illustrations for magazines I often use a graphic tablet, as it's a faster way.




Is it necessary to use a computer, or better still handmade?

I prefer analogue techniques but to be honest computer is indispensable if you want to work in illustrator profession. For preparing printable files for instance. 


What techniques or materials would you like to explore in the future?

Currently I'm working on hand painted porcelain. I think that I'll spend a lot of time working on this technique. In the future I would like to make silkscreens. I'm interested on textiles design also. 


You work in several directions, which do you like best?

For this moment the most important for me are comic books and children illustration. They are my goals for the nearest future. 




Tell us about your project Lava Lake what was inspired you?

"Lava Lake – Festen" is a collection of several objects: paintings on canvas, gif-files, hand-painted porcelain and textiles. What brings them together is a grid motif of red lines that form a vibrating and moving spot. This structure – folded, rugged and slotted – is once an abstract ornament, and another times a base for figurative representations. In this living “fleshy” tissue, there appears a gap revealing the raw surface of the object: canvas, porcelain or textiles. This gap in the pattern encourages the viewer to look beyond the illusion, under the surface of the image. As for the title - the collection refers to movie by Thomas Vinterberg. 


And how difficult it is to work with the dishes?

I just paint on ready dishes, which I bought at a porcelain factory. Porcelain is just another basis for my illustrations. Of course this technique is a bit more difficult. Ceramic paint has very specific texture. It entails a lot of patience and precision. 


What do you enjoy most about your job?