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About Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek from Poland

About Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek from Poland

The Polish graphic illustrator and humorist has obtained, among awards and mentions in international competitions, eight recognitions, in the year that has ended.

Izabela smiles. She is happy, elated. It is not for less. She is a butterfly with huge wings in the garden of illustration and graphic humor. And 2018 has rewarded her by awarding prizes of the highest level, for her drawings where she expresses her concern about what is happening in the world. Women also shine in graphic humor, and their works confirm that intelligence is not exclusive to men.

“All the issues - Izabela expresses - can be a challenge. I choose mainly those that affect me, all manifestations of human thoughtlessness, injustice or stupidity. My goal is a seemingly light and humorous drawing that stands out and makes you smile and, at the same time, conveys a deeper, thought-provoking message. Don't forget that I have been involved with humorous elements for over 30 years illustrating 40 children's books, and publishing 30 calendars. Since 2013 I have ventured into the field of caricature. Because I use a traditional technique: ink, now mainly fine cut, and acrylic paints on paper, which is labor intensive, I cannot address issues that require an immediate response. I only use the computer to communicate and send my drawings ”.

The World Humor Festival Romania 2018, Slaves of money, Award of Excellence. / Izabela Kowalska-Wieczore

Izabela was born in 1955 Torun, Poland, and as a child it was easier for her to express her emotions by drawing. She admits that she was always very shy and did not like to talk. For her, graphic humor contests have over time become a great opportunity to express herself with images, without words, and to exchange opinions with people from almost all over the world.

Izabela studied at the Faculty of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture at the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 1980 she obtained the diploma of graphic designer. Since she was a child, her family had a great influence on her career, since her parents were plastic artists.

“My father collaborated - she says - in local newspapers for which he made, among others, satirical drawings and cartoons. So I grew up surrounded by paintings, pencils, papers, and drawings. When I was little, my favorite activity was "correcting" illustrations in books, so my brother and I were given a huge black chalkboard and lots of chalk. I loved to draw ”.

 “My adventure with cartoons –she expresses- began when I decided to venture into a different field than the children's illustration with which I had been dealing since I graduated. It turned out that satirical drawing gives me many more opportunities for expression and much more satisfaction than illustration ”.

There are dates that she does not forget: In 1983, in the catalog of the International Biennial of Humor and Satire in the Arts Gabrovo'83, her satirical illustration "Bien" was published, which received the award from the Bulgarian Culture Committee.she did not have time to participate in contests, until 2013.

In 1985 his first children's book was published.

In 1986 his first professional magazine cover was published.

In 2013, for the first time, she participated in the cartoon competition as a cartoonist, and his two satirical drawings were included in the Eurokartoenale catalog held in Belgium and dedicated on that occasion to "The bicycle".

Since she is now retired, her satirical cartoons are her favorite hobby, and are currently published on websites and in online magazines such as "e-GAG" or "Aneddotica Magazine", and will appear in the quarterly "Epigrama" soon. She has never tried to publish her drawings in the Polish press. “In Poland,” she says, “there are some names of female cartoonists in various press media. Unfortunately, I do not know these women personally and do not know if they have problems with the publication. I just know that this is usually her additional occupation. They are illustrators, teachers, etc. In Poland, the satirical drawing of the press is mainly the domain of men ”.

“Currently in Poland - she says - there are things to criticize, of course, but there is no specialized press dedicated to caricature. All the old satirical newspapers disappeared for financial reasons in the period of political and economic changes after 1983. The last satirical magazine "Szpilki", which was created before the Second World War, ceased to exist in 1995. "

"There were attempts - he explains - to revive the satirical newspaper to a high level, but all the titles ended their lives after a short time, or were absorbed by magazines with broader topics. They became" satirical corners ", that is, pages devoted to satire. The place in the Polish press for cartoonists has been clearly reduced. For most satirical cartoonists, publication on websites and online magazines is the means where they express themselves. "

Grand Prix, Zagreb 2018, Ambulance, / Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek

“In the previous political system - she adds - (from World War II to mid-1983), cartoonists, despite censorship, trafficked in prohibited drawings, to the delight of readers. Polish cartoonists have always been active in public life. During martial law (1981-83), they printed satirical drawings, cartoons and newspapers in homemade manuals mocking the ruling party. For their actions they were threatened with prison. They were loved and hated. Now nobody remembers his achievements in difficult times. There is no subsidy for the press with this type of profile. It is a sad reality ”.

Everyday Izabela faces her blank page to draw, with dedication and determination, a work that breaks stereotypes and exercises the mind.

20th PortoCartoon World Festival 2018. / Archive 

“Cartoonists - she says - convey important content through an image that is permanently memorable. They warn against the effects of all abuses, restrictions, addictions, they make us laugh and force us to reflect at the same time. With their drawings they reach a wide audience. Satire and humor is a type of safety valve that releases social tensions and often protects against frustration in desperate situations. I can't imagine a world without cartoonists ”-she ends.

Awards won by Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek, in 2018

2018 - 20th PortoCartoon World Festival- "Clean the Planet", Porto, Portugal - Special Mention / ”Cielo Azul” /

 2018 - 4th International Competition Of Caricature and Graphic Humor NOTICARTUN COLOMBIA 2018- “Mujer” (Colombia) - Honorable Mention / „Guardian” /

2018 - 1st International Union of World Cartoonists Cartoon Contest - „Cartoon contests”, Turkey - Group of five winners / ”Show” /

2018- - 12th International Zagreb Car Cartoon Exhibit- „Towing service”, Zagreb, Croatia - Grand Prix / ”Ambulance” /

2018 - 26th Sejong International Cartoon Contest Sicaco 2018 - "Con x De + Struction", Seoul, Korea - Grand Prize / "Construction after destruction" /

2018 - 12th International Cartoon Contest Urziceni 2018- "Together 100", Urziceni, Romania - Gold Award / "Together still" /

2018 - 1st International CAIROCATURE Cartoon Contest- Egypt 2018- "The outsider", Cairo, Egypt - 2nd Prize / "Mismatched" /

2018 - The World Humor Festival „Dictatorship of money”, Calarasi, Romania - Award of Excellence / ”Slaves of money”. @worldly 


By Francisco Puñal Suarez


Gold Award, Urziceni, Romania, 2018. / Izabela KOWALSKA

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