Aksela Kolodziejczyk is a creative and fine art photographer who currently resides in Berkshire, England and grew up in the west part of Poland. Aksela held a variety of creative jobs before deciding to follow her dream of being her own boss. Influenced by playful emotions, color and elegance, Aksela is working on fine art projects, as well as editorial and commercial assignments.
– Pure love for photography
– Passion for the beauty of people
– Pinch of fashion and fine art
– Atmosphere that makes a person feel gorgeous and comfortable
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Aksela. Can you describe to readers what you do?
I am very lucky to see beauty around me. I capture fantastic emotions, expressions and realities within my photographic frame. This includes anything from creative fashion portraits to conceptualised fine art. The majority of my artworks focus on human form, especially women. My photographs are full of life and often use strong colours. One of my current projects is a fine art series “Rainbow of Mind States” inspired by the psychology of colour.
Carrie: When did you first realize your love of photography?
I remember walking at the riverside with my first compact camera, photographing flowers in a macro style. When imported, I started playing with them and realised I could create a very special world. Next I photographed some volunteers; I fell in love. I realised that I can create anything, change a person or simply bring the best of them out. I started experimenting with styling, light and models. This was about seven years ago and since then I can’t stop. It’s become my love, my passion.
Carrie: Where do you get ideas for content?
I am an observer type, focusing on many details that people usually don’t see. My ideas come from conversations, music, quotes and industries unrelated to photography. These include automotive (metal, cold textures), architecture (patterns, glass in office buildings), biology/nature (florals, delicately built structures, cells, colours), psychology (mind states, emotions) and many more.
My photographic journey didn’t start at a an early age. I had to work very hard for my first camera and hence I appreciated it very much. I made a promise to myself to learn my gear properly. I first photographed weddings, pets and children, which taught me to work with people in general. Having in mind that majority of “normal” people are very self conscious in front of camera, I had to articulate myself in a diplomatic way; this was ripe with learning opportunity. Gradually I started adding some work with models, styling, and makeup. The next step was my fascination with fashion and beauty work, so I followed this style for a few years. Then I fell in love with more meaningful, open for interpretation fine-art beauty portraits. The more conceptualised images are a great way to move people to an inner level, to appreciate art and world more deeply. It’s a chance to stop and be present, even if just for a moment.
I’m not only a photographer, I’m also a coach. I started connecting these two passions, as strange as it may sound. Talking to people and hearing many stories allows me to look at the world more openly and see even more than ever. An artist needs to have eyes and ears open. It’s the tiny moments that generate ideas. Those moments are translated into a unique style, which then is marked with colour and emotion.
Carrie: Do you use goal-setting in your career as an artist? How so?
Being an artist is an amazing state but it isn’t a vocation itself. As dreaded as it usually is by creatives, in order to earn a living based on our talent, we also have to know at least the basics of business. Setting goals is an important part of development. Having goals written or saved somewhere makes them more of a reality. In the beginning when I still worked in a corporate environment, sometimes I felt I couldn’t breathe because my creativity was very limited. Having a goal of at least one styled photoshoot a month not only made me feel alive, it allowed me to realistically prepare to leave my job and follow my passions.
As a photographer I set various goals at various stages of development of my portfolio. They include organising several shoots, establishing connections with models, designers, and makeup artists. Another level of goal setting is approaching magazines, online professional websites and galleries so my work can get featured; I continue to do this today. A different aspect of my goals is the technical side. Every month I learn a new technique and experiment with it, which allows me to edit images better, as well as create interesting effects in the camera.
The process varies depending on the type of work that needs to be created. If it is a commercial product, such as a lookbook or advertising photoshoot, I may be the sole organiser but there may also be a team involved. In both occasions there are always several creative individuals involved. It always starts from receiving a brief with the details of the job, then creating a moodboard, so everyone can be on the same page. Next comes preparations, studio/location scouting, organising/booking a team. After the photoshoot happens images are backed up, edited and delivered.
For fine art photographs all starts from my concept. I rarely work with a full team, very often I work only with a model. I still start by creating a moodboard, this time it is more for my own reference to help organise my thoughts. The look of the model is different from commercial or editorial jobs. Here my focus is usually on one or a few images as an end result, as opposed to the earlier mentioned type of fashion or editorial images, where there are several images needed for either illustrative purposes (for articles or stories) or for a whole fashion story.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
The older I get the more deeply I appreciate life: the more details, moments, I see and fall in love with. Art becomes a more conscious effort as opposed to the quick expression of my younger years. My art is very related to a current state of mind, which often ends up being inspiration for developing a concept.
When I edit photographs I like to use music that puts me in a specific state of focused relaxation. Over the past few years I’ve created a playlist that always works.
Carrie: When you process an image, how do you know when it is “finished?”
Editorial/commercial projects are different than fine art. For the first I usually have a pre-conceptualised end result, especially when art directors or editors are involved. This sets the tone for the finished product.
I work in turns on fine art projects. I may start an image one day and then come back to it a few days later, when some thought comes to mind. In a way no image feels finished, as there is always the thought that it could be better. Here comes the goals setting, which stops the creative mind from wandering into too many directions.
In the end it’s always a moment when I look at an image and I just know.
I want the viewers to stop for a moment, to provoke a thought, even if only for a moment.
My fine art images are created with a thought of suiting contemporary art collectors, minimalistic and/or elegant interiors. I want people to be able to focus on images different to the everyday visuals they see on the street, shops or on TV.
There is no one thing, I certainly learned how to structure the flow, so it is the most optimal time-wise. Saying that I know there will be new things to learn that come with the current pace of technology development. It all comes with experience and preferences. The most important element to have in mind is to note what worked and what didn’t, so I can create workflows that are suitable to my lifestyle, time availability and personality.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity is an ability to see the invisible, to perceive the world in new ways, to put the puzzle pieces together and create something exceptional. It is giving ideas their own life and acting on little urges of imagination. It requires passion, commitment and discipline.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How has taking time to observe “the little things” informed your artist practice? I want to know! Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Additional Contact Info:
Finally, you can be part of the artist community you've always wanted.
The Circle opens for enrollment every November. Sign up here to be the first to learn about special bonuses (like early bird pricing or the bonus Podcasts while Painting) and other sign up offers.
(Enjoy this free benefit when you sign up for Artist Strong's weekly newsletter.)
We honor your privacy - read more here.