Meet the Artist – Maggie Cieslak : planeta444.com
Observing, enjoying, expressing and sharing my visions of life through my art
Your website describes Planeta444 as “Planeta444 is an art and lifestyle project” can you tell us a little bit more about what that means?
I was looking for a quick way to describe what I do and that would sound somehow intriguing.
Planeta444 was initially born as an art project intended to influence and inspire other people’s life and lifestyle through my handlettered quotes.
People, and particularly women feel motivated and empowered through visual messages I offer which in return impacts their entire lifestyle in a positive way.
Mixing text, sketches, drawings, colors and other graphic elements, made my whole project grow through time into a more complete art project.
What inspires your artwork?
I love this question. It can be anything indeed. I am continuously inspired by life itself, ideas come to life looking at a bubble while taking the shower or at palm leaves moving with the wind while I’m on a walk; through conversations I have with my loved ones or while having fun time with friends.
It’s all very spontaneous and I have both notebooks and the notes app in my phone flooded with ideas as I always try to take note of all of them.
It’s funny then that once I start creating something from those ideas, a drawing or a quote, the initial thought evolves and changes into a new one, creating new images, things sometimes connected and sometimes completely different from what was the beginning.
As we say in Italy ‘da cosa nasce cosa’ - a thing is born from another, it’s like a chain that never ends, and at one point you have to force yourself to put a dot and decide which way to go.
I am very inspired by the Italian lifestyle as I’ve been living in Italy for my whole adult life.
Living in a little town by the Adriatic sea is very stimulating to my mind, summers at the beach always result in a long list of ideas.
All the things happening in the world stimulate my creativity, I like observing how new mindsets arise through time often connected to facts that take place. An example of this can be this last pandemic period which in my opinion is triggering the need for a calmer living, appreciating things that we all had the tendency to put off and now we’ve realised more how they’re the center of our living. I believe there’s more need for the peace of mind and optimism now then before. It’s more about slowing down than hustling hard.
I love fashion and style and exploring the changing trends as well.
I am a lover of interior decor, spacing from minimalistic spaces to classic, historical ones therefore my work reflects a lot of different styles because of this.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process – what journey do you take to produce your work?
My favourite way still remains starting with a piece of paper and a pencil, brush pens for quotes before digitalising a project through a scanner. Obviously there are many designs that are born directly in digital form. I work more with vectors, using Adobe Illustrator but Photoshop is also a big part of how I work.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I love the idea-storm part most. Handlettering, brush lettering used to be my favorite activity for a long time but now it is often more about sketching. Generally I enjoy more the first part of the process, while the final digital part feels more like a technical thing and I can sometimes put it off for. I adore the color part however, choosing colors, deciding which color matches to use for my projects and generally following color trends is very stimulating to my mind as well.
A lot of your prints are incredibly inspirational and motivational and seem to speak especially to women, is this important to you?
Well thank you for the kind words! This is indeed a big part of the whole project and I am extremely passionate about these themes generally as woman and as entrepreneur.
I believe the world is in constant evolution and I am so thankful to live in a historical moment of immense possibilities and big technological leap, I feel like the world is close at hand for all of us more than it’s ever been and my work reflects this. I am able to deliver my art to the other side of the world sitting in my home studio.
I find that women today are so much more drawn than ever to ideas like success, power, entrepreneurship, growth mindset as we see these possibilities and are free to go take them. And the new thing is that those possibilities are not made the same for everyone but can be different for each of us without making them better or worse, more or less important. We are not 90s business women anymore, we’re so much more complete, we don’t need to choose today whether to be what we are not just because someone decided it for us, because we can absolutely all bloom in our own way that will not be one fits all.
But most of us are still somehow unconsciously tied to the old schemes and mindsets, past limitations so a push is often what we need. And here’s where the messages I love to share, enter the scene. Sometimes just having a quote in front of your eyes in your home or workspace will do the trick of remembering us where you’re headed and what you truly are and meant to be. And today we are not meant to be anything less than our most daring dreams whatever it means for anyone, as we are all different and desire different things. The key is to follow our OWN journey, acknowledge we are all different and amazing in our differences.
It’s not necessarily women oriented only. There are also a lot of men who need these messages for themselves or to comprehend today’s women in a better way.
On the other hand and hand to hand with the above, I feel like there’s also a growing need for the emotional care, self care, self love, body care, body acceptance and all positive inspirational messages when it comes to all of it are extremely important. This may be for the same reason as above because we all had this tendency in the past to ignore all of it or leave many of those aspects behind for success, work or family sake while now we are somehow being called to remember we can’t go on like this as we are whole and can’t live like we were just 20% of what we are. Let’s all embrace our wholeness.
What does 2021 hold for you?
I have big projects that involve opening my piles of notebooks and letting the ideas pop out. I will continue this journey of creating and probably this year will finally add more photographic projects I’ve been planning for for a couple of years now.
Check out Maggie's inspirational art work in the Planetta444 print collection.