Joanna Kaminska-Wujek is a Polish artist and designer living in Cork. She creates silk scarves based on her own original artwork. She talks about her brand, Jokamin, and gives us a glimpse into her world of wearable artwork.
I like to think my brand is provocative, but in a nurturing way. My scarves tell stories; I design them with the hope of empowering women and making them feel good.
My own personal style is effortless, fun, edgy with attention to detail and material. I’m more adventurous with clothes now, as I finally own who I am.
My mum has great style. I think by watching her and shopping with her, I developed an eye for interesting and good-quality design.
My current collection is a small reminder that happiness can be found in little things. Everyone has magic inside them, but in the daily race, we either lose or forget it. Daily Mantras is the flagship scarf. It features different faces, in the middle of which is a person praying. I wrote mantras along the sides about the things I think are important. We might all look different, but we want similar things in life; to love, laugh, have fun.
When designing a collection, I think about the message I’d like to incorporate into my designs, then I look for a common theme across the collection. After that, I carry out rough sketches, I play with the colour palette and start painting. It takes time. I tell stories. Some of the storytelling in my art is inspired by what I have experienced, some of it from what I observe, and some of it from what I imagine. Art and fashion feed each other, and I use fashion as a canvas for my art.
I believe my inspiration comes from every place I’ve been to. For sure, there is a certain type of nostalgia in Slavic people, which influences my work, as does perhaps the graphic art and animation tradition in Poland. Some people see an Asian influence in my pieces, although I’ve never been there. I have lived in New York, and that city has certainly impacted me. When you live longer outside the country you are from, you belong everywhere and nowhere. I’m at peace in Ireland and I find it very magical. My sons were born here, and this is my home now.
If I was to give advice to a young designer starting out, I’d say, be yourself, work on your own style, ask for help, take calculated risks, and dream big, of course!