Interview: Mural Artist Kamila Lipka
Known for her indoor murals, Kamila Lipka speaks to the Insider about her work…
How did you get into painting murals?
I’ve loved painting ever since I was a child, but for several years it was little more than a hobby. I started painting indoors around eight-years back with a friend, but it wasn’t something I took seriously until I joined Poland’s largest mural company, Goodlooking Studio, four-years ago. I gained a lot of experience there and loved every moment, but last March decided to branch out on my own.
You paint indoors and out – what’s more difficult?
Contrary to how it may appear, I find painting indoors a lot more difficult – because the final work will be viewed at close quarters, everything needs to be precise and perfect. Interiors also require a lot more patience because you’re using smaller brushes. On the plus side, it’s a lot safer as you’re working at lower heights. It’s less tiring as well, and of course you’re not checking the weather every thirty minutes in case all your work gets washed away.
Generally-speaking, we’re seeing a lot more indoor murals appearing in offices, restaurants and suchlike. Have indoor murals become something of a trend?
Absolutely. Murals have gained a lot of popularity in Poland these last few years yet they remain something unusual. They create an impact. Where indoor murals are concerned, restaurant owners have realized that they need to standout beyond just their food. Similarly, when it comes to offices, firms have cottoned onto the fact that they need to make their workplace more attractive and user-friendly.
Is there anything you do differently when painting indoors as opposed to outdoors?
Outdoor murals are more impressive but you need to know how to paint something up close so that it looks good from a distance. In that regard, you need to know when to simplify the work as quite often little details won’t be noticed by people on ground level. This poses a challenge for painters that see themselves as perfectionists. Indoors, on the other hand, you need to make sure everything is perfect. Otherwise, the main difference lies in the preparation: you need finer brushes and a good ladder. You need to secure the floor well and, of course, pray that there’s no carpet as the paint won’t come off!
In your mind, what makes a good mural?
Personally-speaking, a good mural shouldn’t look like a photograph. I try and persuade my clients to try something illustrative which I think looks far more interesting as it fires the imagination. You can see photographic images everywhere you look, so I think it makes a nice change to see murals that do something different. That said, everything depends on the place and the purpose of the mural. If a client asks if I have an idea for a mural, my first answer is ‘it depends’.
Are there any projects you’re particularly proud of?
Yes – the ones that were entirely mine from beginning to end. By that, I mean projects where the client has handed me responsibility for everything. If there was a highlight, I’d say Boca Boca in Warsaw – it’s quite small, so the mural, which is geometric, colorful and a little crazy, is the main decorative element. I also really like Hola Mexico in Rumia – I think the mural fits the restaurant really well. In both cases, I often see photos of dishes taken against the walls, as well as photos of the murals taken by the diners. It’s great that people appreciate the work.