Kalina Juzwiak, also known as kaju, is an artist and creative entrepreneur who seeks to inspire and provoke reflection through compositions that stand out for their balance and aesthetic care. Her creations directly reflect the way she lives: the precision and fluidity of her lines are also the discipline and creativity present in her everyday life. Thus, more than living from art, Kalina chooses to live her art, every day. In this process, people and companies have already chosen her to create disruptive experiences and enable projects with relevant social impact. We spoke with her about her art, sustainability and Earth Day.
What mediums in addition to your installations in homes, and the shirt collaboration with COLLECT, does your artwork appear?
“I believe art, or the expression, has no real limit of surface. I absolutely love a challenge and getting to express myself beyond any boundaries. My art happens mostly on installations, or big murals, from homes to hotels, restaurants and stores. Smaller spaces and big, big panels too, which also require body and mental strength to climb big stairs and scaffolds. One of my strongest mediums at the moment (which actually I’m more in love right now), however, are the canvas’. I paint on cotton fabrics which are then stretched on a structure and framed according to the space they are inserted into. And I love getting involved in projects where I use my art as tools to create awareness towards certain subjects, especially related to human behavior, or the planet. The art for the COLLECT shirts was one of those projects. But I also created, or was invited to other projects. One of them was an online auction to gather funds to send to Australia and recover their fauna and flora – after a very strong phase of burnings they went through last year.
I also collaborated with different projects, in Brazil, to gather funds to help low income families that were impacted by covid. And also created a conscious coloring book, together with Oceanic Global, to create awareness about the journey of plastic, bringing up different scenarios of our daily lives in a ludic also beautiful way. It was a book destined especially for kids, but it was beautiful to see adults getting very involved too. In different parts of the world. It even reached Cameroon, in Africa, where a local oceans activist organized crowdfunding, so we could produce the books and give them to the local community children and schools in order to educate them about their impact in our oceans.
Well, these are just a few of the projects that also move me from inside out, and the other way around. I learn a lot, and absolutely love getting in touch with amazing humans out there creating awareness and, even if physically far away, we are all embracing causes and being agents of change. I feel very honored and lucky to have art as a tool to also be part of that, and actively create movements around what I believe. As I said before, usually these projects that involve art as a tool of transformation, or social impact, go around the subjects of human behavior, self-development, and also the Planet. Nature especially.”
With Earth Day next week, how is your artwork inspired by nature, sustainability, humanity and the ocean?
“What I learned in my journey as an artist, and my deep connection to nature, is that being inspired by nature is not something “separate” of who I am. I am nature, as you are. My art is part of nature too. So if I allow myself to live my life in a truthful and intense way. To live what I came to live, to use all my capacities and power to actively live and create change around me. It’s not only about enjoying life or just existing, but really living aligned and in a respectful way.
To everything that is nature. Human or not human. When we shift that in our minds, we see everything that surrounds us as part of us. So my connection with nature comes from deep inside. I was born close to the ocean. I’ve spent a big part of my childhood barefoot either in the countryside, or climbing trees, or swimming and surfing through waves by the sea. I nowadays live in a very big city, however whenever I can I escape to contemplation and really feel nature on my skin, I do. I actually feel this craving, crawling from inside out, and just calling me to get closer. It’s really a visceral feeling. The same one that I feel when I have the urge to create. So again, I see one thing as part of the other. And in that sense, there is no other way than being conscious about my habits and the impact I have on nature. On you. And me. From food, to the way I walk and talk. I try to be as respectful and aware as I possibly can. I constantly observe my own choices to improve and also reverberate that to my sphere of influence. In the sense of actually having an impact on whoever and whatever is connected to me. We are all living organisms, living in a living system, that also moves according to the impact we leave behind.
This is the way I move, and find ways to develop myself – and my art. And that is why I am very honored to be here, right now, also being able to talk about my work, and my vision of life, in such an important day for us to remind ourselves of. Earth Day. Is also our day. And the impact we have, or the way we are moving on this spaceship of ours (quoting Bucky Fuller here).”