A VIP Meet and Greet with Martyna

7th August 2015

Shaun in the Jungle

My name is Martyna Zoltaszek and I am a freelance illustrator and painter. As a child in Poland I first started painting big cats applying a palette of exotic colours and patterns, I then went on to study Fine Art & Illustration at the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts (MA). 

I am currently going through a phase in my artistic practice where I draw inspiration from exotic nature. It felt natural to propose the design that would encompass this – I am a strong believer that the most creative work comes to life when we are really engaged with the subject matter. My most recent oil and collage paintings are dreamscapes with botanical motifs which are inhabited by people and animals. I have exhibited extensively in London, around Europe including my homeland, Poland, in Australia and the USA (where I studied) and am now settled in Stokes Croft, Bristol. http://www.mzillustration.com/ .

In the early stages I imagined the sheep as a three dimensional morphing blank canvas to wrap the design around. My proposed design was fairly loose and I came up with most of the details during the painting process, this ensured the work had a fresh energy to it.
Painting the ‘Shaun of the Jungle’ took me over 30 full-time days this February and was tremendous fun. In the process I had my nose in books of vintage botanical drawings and spent a lot of time analysing plants and images of exotic birds, leopards and tigers.
My goal was to create an engaging design that can continuously surprise the spectator and new elements can be discovered with each glance. I would encourage viewers to walk around and check out all sides since a brilliant hoopoe bird, toucan and tropical alien-like flowers can all be found on Shaun in the Jungle’s tail!

Getting involved in the Shaun in the City Trail was a dream was come true. The Grand Appeal is an amazing cause. Working alongside inspiring minds and learning new ways of visual problem solving was thrilling. To see the lacquered Shaun of the Jungle in a public space against the backdrop of lush greenery of the university of Bristol Botanic Garden was an exhilarating moment.                                            

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