Artist Spotlight: Thriving artistically

Category:  The Arts
Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 11:50 AM
Artist Spotlight: Thriving artistically by Zeila Hobson
A piece called 'Eggbeater,' which features chicks brutalizing an egg. | Contributed Photo

Hannah Mizikowski, an illustration major, was happy to talk about her artistic journey over steaming plates at Flip Cafe.

In her third year at Edinboro, she has a painting minor and is considering minors in printmaking and graphic design, saying, “I want to make myself more marketable in the art world.”

When asked her opinion on how to grow as an artist, she sipped her coffee thoughtfully. “I think it’s really important to branch out into different realms of art.”

Mizikowski continued: “It helps you figure out what you want to do. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with painting without taking the class as a freshman.”

That referenced course is “Painting I” with Dr. Geoffrey Beadle, who she called a “phenomenal professor.” According to Mizikowski, Beadle helped her understand the regularly-ignored intricacies of color. Her favorite color changes often, but is currently purple.

Agreeing that the versatility of the campus art program is valuable for budding creators, Mizikowski recommended Beadle’s classes and Malcolm Christhilf’s “2-Dimensional Design” course as vital for incoming students. She also pointed to networking with other artists as the key to success at Edinboro and beyond.

Mizikowski recently began joining clubs on campus and is excited to participate in Illustration Club this semester, though a schedule packed with four studio classes has her beyond busy and feeling the pressure.

“You can’t spell painting without pain,” she said with a laugh.

Outside of Edinboro influences, Mizikowski admires Bob Ross, a confession she prefaced with a modest warning about being painfully cliché. Envious of Ross’ ability to move on from mistakes made on the canvas, Mizikowski admitted, “I tend to fuss over little details; I get stuck on one little area of a painting sometimes instead of coming back to it later like I need to.” This trait was not helpful to her in early semesters at EU. Intimidated by the workload of college, her perfectionism seemingly doubled her workload.

“It (art) wasn’t something that came naturally to me anymore,” she said, adding that she almost dropped out. After some urging from her parents to give it another semester, Mizikowski found she adapted her time management skills to better suit the workload. She glowed as she described the satisfaction and personal growth that came from refusing to give up.

Mizikowski’s goal this year is to create a cohesive brand based on her body of work for an eventual solo or collaborative show in Bruce Gallery.

Creating art is no easy feat, and she admitted to succumbing to artist block during her efforts.

When she lacks the necessary creative energy, she credits her 6-year-old bunny, Bagels, with being her inspiration. “I use him for reference a lot. He’s an old boy, but he’s still living his best life, and he’s really helpful when I’m stuck.”

Mizikowski gets “back to basics” to beat artist’s block by sitting down with her sketchbook and drawing anything that comes to mind, especially if it is Bagels-related.

Her career goals are currently tentative. “I know I want to work somewhere with like-minded artists and creators.” She added a description of the people she surrounds herself with, saying, “We’re all makers in some way.”

Mizikowski then paused to take a few pensive bites of her brunch, also expressing interest in teaching art to high school or college students.

“I’ve always thrived artistically, and my high school art teacher, Jess Olesso, really inspired me to pursue it,” she explained. Mizikowski wants to do for others what Olesso did for her.

“The idea of what I want to do has changed a lot as I’ve matured as an artist and been exposed to more art. I appreciate design a lot more now that I’ve grown as an artist,” she said.

Mizikowski appropriately pointed out the mug in her hand — white porcelain displaying the painted branch of a lemon tree bearing fruit. “I get distracted by art around me constantly, especially in places like this where there is local art everywhere.”

Mizikowski has designed several tattoos for friends and for herself. She is currently accepting small commissions for tattoos, business cards, band posters and more. You can message her on Instagram. 

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A post shared by Hannah Mizikowski (@hannahmiz.art) on

More of Mizikowski’s work can be seen there and on her website.

Additional Photos:

This week's Artist Spotlight, Hannah Mizikowski, is an illustration major. | Photo: Zeila HobsonA piece called 'Eggbeater,' which features chicks brutalizing an egg. | Contributed PhotoOne of Mizikowski's pieces, 'Wine and Dine,' features her bunny Bagels. | Contributed PhotoOne of Mizikowski's 2019 pieces, 'Alone.' | Contributed Photo
 

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