We had the good fortune of connecting with Lena Krupicka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lena, what are you inspired by?
My inspiration comes from nature, evolution, and many different cultures around the world. We have so much beauty around us, all we need to do is look for it. I love mixing up these different inspirations and interpreting them into something completely different and new!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art for me has always been translating the everyday magic I see and making it fantastical. In a world that is constantly moving, in a society where we are always on the go, I want to create a moment of quiet wonder. My paintings have little details that pull you in, let you breathe and explore. They invite you to relive the days of childhood imagination. Creating art has been a long journey. For me, being able to paint technically well is very important. If something is make-believe, the more real it looks, the more I’m awed by it, the more I can see it existing. I want the viewer to look at the subject of the painting. If an arm looks broken, or the light is inconsistent, those are things that will catch your eye instead, and take you out of the immersion of the piece you are looking at. Gaining the necessary skills to paint realistically has taken about 12 years. I am so proud of how far I’ve come and sticking with it. That is probably also the advice I’d give: if you want to pursue a career in any artistic field, sticking with it is the key. Artistic success doesn’t happen overnight, you constantly need to improve your technical skills, your social media presence, building client relationships and of course, creating the actual art. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. So don’t start out with a sprint, you’ll need all that energy for the rest of the road. Take it one step, one day, one brush strokes at a time. As far as my brand goes, I strive for diversity and representation. Popular Fantasy art and stories have been predominantly Euro-centric. That just doesn’t make sense to me, when we have all of history and the whole world as inspiration! More modern fantasy has started becoming more inclusive and I want to keep pushing in that direction! POC, people with disabilities, people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum should have just as many beautiful fairies, strong knights and wondrous mer-folk to imagine themselves as!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The botanical gardens and safari park are always great to visit. Swami’s meditation gardens in Encinitas are beautiful, and besides flowers and koi fish, you have a stunning view of the coast below! There are a bunch of little coffee shops on the 101, I love to grab a cup to go, or if I’m more hungry, I’ll grab a burrito from the Taco Stand (they have the best cilantro sauce), and head to moonlight beach. La Jolla’s Cove is fun to check out as well, you can spend hours watching the sea lions swim and lay on the beach. There are many cormorants and other birds nesting on the cliffs too, which are fun to look at. Strolling through the streets along the cove is great too, there are a bunch of small shops and eateries. I’d recommend staying in the area and just strolling around a bit, there are so many fun little places!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so, so many people to thank, who’ve helped me on this journey! I’ll try and keep it concise and just pick a few honorable mentions: I’d like to give a shout-out to the Watts Atelier of the Arts, a school located in Encinitas, CA. They have really helped me home my craft these last four years. All the teachers there are incredibly knowledgeable, inspirational and very down to earth! For anyone interested in traditional arts, I can highly recommend to take some classes there! You can find them at wattsatelier.com. Secondly, I’d love to mention Nicholas Phillips, an incredible artist in his own right, who has supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Being able to talk to someone about your artistic journey is so important, and he always has an open ear for me to bounce ideas off him, or look at my paintings and analyse them with me. Go check out his awesome art at nphillipsart.com. And last but not least, my family, who has stood with me and encouraged me from the very beginning! Thank you for always being so loving and supportive.