Written by: Ayat Elgezery
“Despite being born without arms, I was not afraid to live my own great life” that’s how Kędzierski started introducing himself.
In 2013, twenty three year old Polish artist, Mariusz Kędzierski, was the runner up to the Best Global Artist Award by the Global Art Agency in Vienna. His portraits were being sold in many countries, from the USA, Britain to South Korea.
Kędzierski is great proof that amazing artists don’t need hands, only talent and determination!
Q: When did you start drawing; how did you learn?
A: I started drawing over 7 years ago, after my last surgery.
I’m self-taught, but I studied at the Academy of Art and Design for only 3 months.
Q: How did your decision of becoming an artist affect your life?
A: People around me were saying that I can’t live off this profession, that I should look for an alternative; drawing should be just my hobby not a career. It was a difficult decision to be an artist, despite my disability. Now, I know that nothing is impossible for me.
Q: Do you remember your first drawing?
A: I can’t remember, but one of my first drawings was a portrait of my nephew and it was bad.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a portrait artist?
A: I realized that about a year after I started drawing.
Q: How many portraits did you draw till now?
A: I never counted, but I think it’s about 600 or 700 portraits.
Q: How long does it take to draw a portrait?
A: It depends on the size and other things, but it takes not less than 20 hours. My personal record is almost 100 hours working on one piece!
Q: Specifically, how do you get yourself inspired and motivated?
A: I was motivated when I saw Nick Vujicic for the first time on the internet. Now I believe in myself and can motivate myself, because I love what I do.
Q: What is the “Mariusz Draws” project and how has it been received?
A: “Mariusz Draws” (in Polish “Mariusz Rysuje”) is an artistic and motivational project to travel around the world, draw on the streets and talk to people I meet in the largest cities. I wanted to inspire people through doing many things with no arms. I met thousands of people who were asking me questions, crying and smiling. That was an amazing feeling for me.
Q: Tell us about the Best Global Artist Award?
A: It was the 2nd Prize Best Global Artist Award in Vienna (2013) by Global Art Agency. That was my greatest success in life.
Q: What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken as an artist?
A: The decision of being an artist!
Q: What are your short-term and long-term artistic goals?
A: My next goal is my solo exhibition in NYC which I have been preparing for. After, I would like to have another exhibition in Asia. That’s my dream.
Q: If you can inspire people in one sentence, what will it be?
A: Life is like food – it has the term of validity. Don’t waste your time and let your dreams come true.
Ayat Elgezery is a freelance writer, photographer and assistant director. Currently working at the Enti Ahla m3a Amina Shelbaya program, she won the best photographer award across Egypt’s universities in 2015.
Instagram: www.instagram.com/elgezeryphotography; Facebook: facebook.com/elgezeryph