Illustrator Iga Szymanska came from Poland to study Textile Design at Norwich University of the Arts more than eight years ago – and has stayed ever since. Here she talks about training to become a mental health nurse and how she hopes to help people through art
My life has been rather crazy and filled with bold decisions. I moved to England when I was 19 and have started a new life which has led me to where I am now.
I have learnt to trust my intuition and just ‘go with the flow’ when it comes to living. Nothing is permanent. The world is constantly changing, I am just adapting to it.
At the start of 2020 I was feeling rather burnt out and I kept saying that all I want to do is to sit in the sun and draw. Then the lockdown happened and that is exactly what I was doing for four months straight. I was content, sitting in my garden and creating.
I really enjoyed the first lockdown. I also made a decision to shift my career into a different direction and become a Mental Health Nurse. I took the opportunity of being in my own company to work on myself and re-evaluate what else I would like to do in my life.
I haven’t stopped drawing, and I hope I can combine both degrees and help people through art. I think this lockdown has been the most difficult one as I just want to casually see my friends and give them hugs now. I think we all are a little bit tired of the situation but I’m trying to stay positive.
I love to travel and draw places I visit, which I have missed very much. However, I had more time to create and work on my skills which was absolutely amazing. The more you do, the more engagement you get. I think being in lockdown actually helped me as an illustrator.
Art is the best tool to communicate with others. There are so many issues happening in the world and it is important people do know about them. Illustrations often catch an eye and pass the message smoothly. They are very powerful!
I just hope that we will be able to go back to some sort of normality. So many people have lost their jobs and have been struggling with mental health issues. The isolation from society has definitely impacted many people around us. Let us hope we can all interact with each other in ‘the real world’ soon!