What inspired you to start the blog on which you sell clothing?
It is on the blog that I present my clothes that I first make and then paint. I paint single pieces. Usually it is possible to buy the items presented. Even if an item has been sold out, you can order a similar one. I operate an individual order system, that is customers send me emails presenting their ideas for T-shirts, I often propose some modifications of the idea itself, sometimes there are some technical difficulties. But their ideas are really very different.
Clothes from SZARAKOWO are unique and original items because you paint and design each pattern, is that a difficult task?
Stimulating.Creative thinking is addictive, I think. You always want something new, different and unique. Sometimes I slave over a T-shirt for half a day, staring at a blank piece of knitwear. Fortunately, this does not happen often to me. Usually my head is full of ideas. I take them down, draw or sketch them on pieces of paper which I later find in my bags or jackets. Of course, today’s fashion inspires me, but I try to make such things in which I myself would feel OK. Quite a number of items are my customers’ ideas in my interpretation.
The credit for the ability to paint beautifully goes to your talent. How did you start your adventure with the arts?
I have been painting since my childhood. First I used poster paints, then oil on canvas. I had a brush with a college of art, design and architecture but in none of those places was I shown how and what to paint. The majority of my paintings are colouristic visions conceived in my head, which are not landscapes or real characters. I do not classify my style of painting as it would be quite difficult to do, so I just term it as “abstract”. I like surrealism, fairy tale paintings combined with real elements. I do not paint people’s faces. I only present such works which I would hang at my place or put on myself (that’s about painted clothes). It turns out that I have a happy knack for painting animals which was quite a surprise for me.
Frankly, I do not know how my adventure with the art started. Maybe from the dream about Szaraki that I had when I was full of doubt, angry and lonely. Szaraki are flying, light and determined sexless and faceless figures. And maybe from the first successful watercolour work or from the first oil painting…
Where do you get your ideas?
Out of my head.
Why are such kinds of T-shirts so fashionable nowadays?
This is an offer of unique clothes. Each customer can invent something of their own or just tell me about their passions, send a photo of their pet and I try to interpret this and paint on a piece of clothing made before. To buy such clothing you do not go to a shop with a million of identical clothes all over the world. This is a unique piece, made with passion and heart, which makes it unique and exceptional.
Is this painting permanent, I mean, will it disappear if you wash your T-shirts?
The paints I use are permanent. Sometimes they get a bit damaged in washing, but this depends on the user. If you wash them in hand or at 30 degrees nothing will happen and the colours remain intact. But paints differ. Once I had a black paint which remained intact after washing at 60 degrees, but let’s remember that we are dealing with a kind of picture on a T-shirt and you’d better treat it gently.
I have recently found some patents of my own and kinds of paints which are easily absorbed by fabrics and if only we stick to the above recommendations, then the painting will be permanent and fresh all the time.
You sell mostly T-shirts and tunics, are you planning to expand and make other items of clothing?
Of course, I’d love to, but I have only one pair of hands. Apart from creating clothing I also implement a number of other artistic projects, so I am a very busy person. I simply lack time for new projects. I do not want to force myself to make skirts or jackets. I have some new ideas for summer, but for the time being I am not going to disclose them.
Can anyone wear painted T-shirts?
I am sure of it, but I am unable to describe my core customer group. There is a significant difference in age, starting from teenagers who want to have something trendy and cool, to the elderly wishing to have an elegant version of a T-shirt or tunic or something original for a gift. The prices start from PLN 100 upwards.
How do you produce your T-shirts?
I have to buy fabric for each piece, then I have to make it, dye and paint. This is not a short process. Sometimes I need 2 hours for one T-shirt, sometimes half a day, sometimes I have to leave it overnight as I am not happy with the result and I have to get some distance from it. Because of this the order queue has to wait. Waiting time is anything from 2 weeks to a month. Sometimes I have something in stock and I can sell it at once.
What are your plans for the future?
I intend to develop Szarakowo and buy new machines. However, above all I want to develop my Foundation Artistic Fuel aimed at the promotion and initiating artistic activities. To sum up: painted clothes and organisation of culture activities. Such are my plans and also dreams.
Interviewer: Ewa Czemerys