Born in Poland. She came to England in 2004. It is hard to say when exactly she discovered her passion for art. She has been drawing ever since she can remember and painting in oil since her teenage days. In early 2012 she signed up for ‘Drawing and Painting’course at Morley College London. It was there that under the mentor by Denzil Forest, she developed new techniques and way of painting. The classes gave her the opportunity to work with others who shared her passion. She studied in Denzil’s class for 3 years. After leaving Morley College, she has been working home in her art studio and live paint in Artfix Woolwich London; finding painting and drawing as a way of calming her mind and expressing her soul, by filling her heart with blissful joy. ‘The subject comes suddenly or follows me to the moment of transferring it to the canvas. I usually see something that grabs my heart and I want to paint it’ Bozena Koj and her passion for creation.
Luxury Splash of Art: Bozena Koj, thank you very much for your time. It is a pleasure to interview such talented and prolific artist. You draw and paint since you were a child. I am interested to know when was that moment when you realised you would love to earn and live from your passion. When did you become full time artist? Can you please share your story?
Bozena Koj: The first thing I understood was that my hobby and my talent is actually a great gift and that I want to fulfil it and practice it as often as possible to develop my skills. I made the decision to turn my love for painting into a business while still working at M&S. It was in January 2019. The same year, in June I had my first solo exhibition, which went very well. In July, I left retail job after 15 years with no regrets and ready for the art adventure. I finally had time and space in my daily life to turn my job into passion.
LSA: On your social media your say that ‘everyone has a purpose in life’ and yours ‘is painting and drawing’. Why painting and drawing, what is so unique and special in it for you? What is so rewarding and do you face challenges and obstacles?
Being a full-time artist is not just a brush creation on canvas. That’s actually the best part of it. There is also matter of managing a family life and the artistic one. I spend a lot of time on making new connections with people through social media, marketing, learning and improving my artistic skills. I also spent time on my personal and spiritual development.
LSA: Is there anything that differs you from other artists?BK: My education in Poland was focused on marketing and company management, which is now a great help in my sales activities.
LSA: You are very creative and prolific artist, you paint a lot. I can see many new artworks on your social media lately. Where do you take your inspiration from? And what is the creative process looking like – do you wake up in the morning and you know exactly what you are going to paint?
BK: Yes, I am a very prolific artist. Creative inspiration comes whenever my mind is calm and I have space to paint. I believe that an artist’s soul is always ready to pursue his passion. The subject comes suddenly or follows me to the moment of transferring it to the canvas. I usually see something that grabs my heart and I want to paint it.
BK: The charity organization Help Furaha came to my life in 2019, when I saw an interview with its founder, Marek Krakus. He is a man who devotes his life to help children with cerebral palsy, autism and Down Syndrome in Kenya. Often these children are forgotten by their families and communities in this country. Furaha in Swahili means ‘happiness’. I do believe that every donation makes their life little bit brighter and I know for sure that Help Furaha makes the best use of donations they can. In the last role, I organized an auction of one of my paintings to help these children. Thanks to the generosity of the people, the campaign was a success. This year, I will continue to support Help Furaha.
LSA: You had several solo and online exhibitions in UK and Poland. Due to current situation most of the exhibition went online and your latest online exhibition was with group of artists (Artist2Artist Gallery), can you please tell me more about. Was this challenging, how different it was to an exhibition you had in gallery?
BK: Together with a group of Polish female painters, we decided to organize an online exhibition on Facebook. The original idea was an exhibition in Greenwich, London. However, the situation forced us to change our plans and take on a new challenge. Artist2Artist Exhibition was a great experience to us and also big fun and work in one. The cost of that kind of exhibition is obviously much lower than the one organised in gallery but the amount of work we put towards it was pretty much the same or bigger. Currently, the fanpage of the exhibition is still active under the name Artist2Artist Gallery and we present our new paintings there, enlarging the group of people interested in art.
LSA: What do you want to tell to others through your art? Do you have any message?
BK: The whole process of creating a piece of art is, therefore, a source of personal satisfaction and fulfilment to me. I hope that people, who see my artwork will find some inspiration, feel the good energy and enjoy watching my paintings as much as I do painting them.
LSA: Do you have an actual art project in progress? Is there a dream project that you would love to be part of?
BK: My head and heart is always full of ideas for new projects. I don’t want to talk about them before they come alive.
LSA: If we were living on a planet where you don’t need to worry about money what would you do, what dreams would you follow.
BK: I feel and think that if we trust ourselves and let ourselves be led by our lives, then worry will no longer exist. Money is also energy that likes movement. It comes and goes. That’s its purpose. If we are in the process of creation and we commit ourselves to the flow, then life takes care of us and we flow with its support. The only condition is to follow your soul’s voice and do in your life what you really love to do. That means to follow your dreams.
LSA: What would you like to tell Luxury Splash of Art magazine readers and starting artists?
BK: First, think about your dream life and then live it.
LSA: Thank you very much for your time and the precious insights about your work and upcoming projects. Please let us know about the progress and the art shows. We wish you all the best!
BK: Thank you for your invite. I wish you all the best.
Interview by Agnieszka Kowalczewska
Places where you can find Bozena Koj’s artwork:
If you would like to support Furaha charity please follow this link: https://helpfuraha.org/en/donate/