Q&A: Martyna Sabadasz


October 4, 2022

Q. What are you working on at the moment?

I'm exploring the subject of a 'nymph' in collagraph and lino techniques. The collagraph is something new I got into recently. I cut a paper board with a scalpel, adding and detracting elements onto a plate, creating wonderfully delicate and detailed images. It's a type of collage. Linocut, on the other hand, gives an image strength. It creates a powerful contrast between lines and marks. Both techniques are attractive and very different.

Q. What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

At this point, the challenge would be to branch out into the commercial book and editorial illustration industry. Until recently, it was mainly a self-published endeavour.

Q. Where does your passion for storytelling come from?

I've always been passionate about books. As a child I loved looking at them - and I mean it. I was drawn to images more than text. I made my own stories from the illustrations I saw. My imagination ran wild. In 2008, after moving to the UK, I got a placement on the University of Gloucestershire's Illustration course. My passion for storytelling flourished. I discovered printmaking and I've been practising it ever since.

Q. How have you enjoyed crossing over into the digital space with collaborations such as your projections in Japanese restaurant KIBOU?

I enjoy it immensely. Until a few years ago, digital software was a new territory for me to explore. I applied for a MA course in Graphic Arts at UWE. Throughout the course I pushed myself to learn new skills. My efforts paid off. I'm always up for a challenge. That's what makes my job so exciting.

Q. What inspired your interest in Japanese art?

When I was a child, there was surprisingly a lot of Japanese anime on Polish TV at the time. A lot of them came from Italian TV, dubbed with Italian, and then the Polish language on top of that. There were different genres, some more serious than others, but we watched them all. I remember noticing different drawing styles. I was fascinated. I bought magazines, like Kawaii, regularly. I read some mangas too. Series like Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon on TV became my favourites. Later on, when the internet became more common, my friends downloaded a lot of Japanese anime online. That's how it all began.

Q. You were recently sketching at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. What are your favourite galleries and museums?

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is one of my favourites. The Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum in London probably as well. There are such incredible collections to visit. The Tate in St Ives is also well curated. More locally, I enjoy Sixteen Gallery and Spring Cheltenham. There is such a variety of artists on show. My top location recently was the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. I spent hours sketching and I would love to go back.

Q. Who are your art heroes?

There are so many artists' work I admire for many different reasons. In terms of comics, I'd say it's Gregorz Rosinski for his illustration style in the Thorgal, a Franco-Belgian comics series. I enjoy Akira Toriyama's expressive and effortless drawing style in the Dragon Ball manga series. Hayao Miyazaki for his magical storytelling with Studio Ghibli productions. In terms of paintings, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood for reaching into folklore and medieval legends, exquisite drawing and painting skills and ethereal style. Gustav Klimt for the colour palette and richness of his paintings. And finally, Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts, in general, for the composition and the craftsmanship.

You can explore Martyna Sabadasz's artworks in our online collection:

Foliage II





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