Visual Artist Nina Budzyńska // Interview

Nina Budzyńska is a polish illustrator, graphic designer and dj. She’s part of independent zine publishing house Bomba, where she makes design for zines and print them. She’s in love with risography, screen printing, cats, bike and her Honda Civic 6.

You’re now based in Poznań, do you find it an inspiring place to live?

I was born in Poznań and I really like this city. Here we have a lot of small galleries, antifascist movements, sound systems and parties, exhibitions and vegan places; the biggest defect of this city is being part of Poland, in fact I dream about a world where Poznań is not part of this Nation.

The city is not too small and not to big – perfect to meet people and make things with them. Now with pandemic, situation of course is shitty for people who run their own small business, and also for artists! We can just make stuff online, which is unsatisfactory.

On 22 October 2020, Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that abortion due to foetal defects is unconstitutional. How has the cultural response been among underground artists?

After 22 October, in Poland appeared a huge anti-government and pro-choice movement, which was only linked to “radical” feminist before. Now, the theme of abortion started to be normal in Poland, and people are more educated – they also started to think that police is not our friend, especially after their violence during the protests.

Of course a lot of underground artists are taking part in this movement, and they’re making posters, stickers, zines, infographics and graffiti. This is very active and busy time.

We have a lot of fear of the future in Poland, but we feel stronger together, solidarity and sisterhood. Crowds and demonstrations are very powerful!

How’s the situation of queer artists in Poland?

I don’t want to speak for LGBTQ+ people, because I am cis-hetero. But in few words: situation in Poland is definetely hard. In some parts of the nation we still have “LGBT-free zones”, where the president and the members of government say that “LGBT are not people“, and we also have a lot of fundamentalist organizations, that make huge posters and billboards with written that “homosexuals are raping kids” or other sad bullshits like that.

It’s hard to believe that they have inside such a homophobia, transphobia and hate. But queer artists and activists (and supporting people) are still fighting against that to educate society. They are doing beautiful job!

How would you describe your approach to print?

The way of printing is very important to me. I love traditional way of printing – sometimes in my works I use my experience with intaglioaquatints and aquafort. Intaglio prints are so noble and rare, I make experiments with colours – which is not very popular in intaglio. It’s the perfect medium to make old school illustrations for kids! Of course, I also like screen printing and all the process of working with that. But my biggest love is risography.

In my illustrations colors are the most important thing, and every medium I use is to get different effect. Riso colors are my favorite with their vibrating shades! What I really hate is digital print, in fact I use it ONLY if I have no choice!

Can you tell us about your zine?

Zine-Publishing house Bomba has 2 years, and I founded it with my friend, artist and performer, Gosia Mycek. I mostly take care about projects, zines making and I print them, usually with risography and screen printing, sometimes with an old offset machine.

Every zine has it’s own issue (like: trashes, drag, being queer, problem with working in gastronomy, conspiracy theories, guerrilla gardening, climate change) and we print submissions from open-call – which is a good way to promote young and underground artists!

To launch every zine we make exhibitions and small (or sometimes big) parties with djs. We are trying to bring up the important topics, socially engaged and responding (but not only!) to the actual politics situation. Sometimes we cooperate with activist groups, or galleries.

Where do you get your inspiration for your illustrations?

For sure from trips! Especially to Southern Europe. I love the colours of Spain, Italy, Greece, and expression of south countries. I also take inspirations from bike trips, plants from my room, and animals like cats and dogs. In october I spent few days in Leipzig and it was really creative. If you you look for graphics inspiration, I highly recommend this place.

Other artist are also huge inspiration for me – the job made by all the small riso publishing houses in Poland is impressive! Check out Wydawnictwo Eksperymentalne X-Press and Oficyna Peryferie.

Nina Budzyńska 
Behance: tekknina
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