I met Natalia Rak back in November the night she landed from her flight from Poland to New York, and even though she was jet lagged, she was excited and ready to paint the next day for ArtBattles at Bryant Park. We laughed, shared stories, and you could sense the same amount of energy and color in the artist that you see in her murals that are blasted all over the world. Get to know a little more of Natalia Rak as we have with our Q&A with the artist.
What is your name/age/where you’re from?
Hello Friends, my name is Natalia Rak, I’m 28 years old and I’m a Polish girl.
What type of art do you do? How would you describe it?
I’m a mural painter, but I also love to paint oil canvases in traditional way. My style focuses on color, portraits and emotions. For me it is very important is to tell a story, that’s why my paintings and walls are so illustrational.
What age did you find out you wanted to pursue art? How did you get to become the artist you are now?
From my childhood I always loved creating things. I was painting on walls in my room and making handcrafts. My teachers and parents always told me to choose art school. I never imagined another way for me. I went to Secondary Art School in Radom, Poland and after that to Fine Art Academy in Łódź, Poland.
How did you get into spray paint?
During my studies I met my boyfriend who persuaded me one day to try painting with spray cans. We went to an abandoned place and I painted an awful pink elephant. I was angry at myself because I didn’t have enough energy to press the spray can. Next lesson was more satisfactory and I liked the results on “Furious Indian” face. This time I decided to use spray cans as often as I will have chance. That’s how I start my adventure with murals.
All of my past can have influence to my paintings in the future. I’m inspired by: dreams, old photos, travels, people observation, films, normal day life, insomnia, book illustrations, music. Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Jacek Malczewski, Norman Rockwell, Hans Rudolf Giger. I like them because, they had unique style. I appreciate Witkacy for his expression gesture, Malczewski for his color palette and symbolism, Rockwell for how he shows emotions and narrative character of his illustrations and Giger for provoking extreme emotions.
Where have you traveled to do your art? What are your favorite experiences doing art?
I was in few countries: USA (NY, Richmond), Germany (Berlin, Halle), Portugal (Ponta Delgada, Lagos), France (Fleurylesaubrais). I always want to feel free, alone in the nature that’s why I love Portugal. I miss my friends from Lagos (LAC), where we lived during the winter time. I was preparing there for my solo exhibition. I think it was the best time I spend with my boyfriend alone in a ghost town there.
When I traveled to another country to paint my art, despite the hard work I have the best time. I remember how big energy New York gives me. It’s an amazing city, whole time I felt like in some movie. One day when we were sitting in park with my friend Dicapria I realized that I see Will Smith’s house from movie “I’m the legend” – one of my favorite movies. It was so unreal that I was there.
How would you define success when it comes to art? What is the reason you do art?
My dream is to be a part of art history. Then you become immortal in some way. It could be after my death, but now I’m more focused on present success which for me is another inspiring invitation to paint a wall. I would like one day to show and sell my art in Auction Houses of Modern Art all over the world. Earn a living with my passion that made me proud and happy.
My dream is to be a part of art history. Then you become immortal in some way. – Natalia Rak
What is a talent or skill you wish to have with your art?
I would like to paint quicker, and get better with gestures, but I know how to get it in the future. I only need things like: my own work space (at last), better camera for references for sketches and more models to paint in real-time, more confidence.
What is the most fulfilling thing about doing art?
There are many types of art: paintings , sculptures, designs, fashion, etc. I like to inspire people to do more creative things in their lives and have fun with it. Many people think and talk only about money, and how to earn it. They buy furniture or cars, but they even don’t see the beauty of these objects. I want to inspire and sensitize people to the arts.
I want to share my feelings and thoughts with people.