Hanna Barczyk explores balance and harmony in her mural for Frank And Oak

A hit at Canada's recent Mural Festival, we profile Hanna Barczyk, whose talents seem to know no bounds.

Everyone loves a nice mural. And we particularly love this one Hanna Barczyk created for clothing company Frank And Oak during the recent 11-day Mural Festival in Montréal, Canada.

In Harmony captures the essence of better living while portraying the mindfulness that results from a sustainable lifestyle. "My work explores the idea of finding balance and harmony in life," Hanna explains. "In this mural, the figures, vines, faces and eyes represent interconnectivity between nature and awareness to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

"The circular composition keeps the focus on the main character," she adds. "One living an inspiring way of life; connected to self, nature, community and clothes."

Hannah also recently collaborated with Frank And Oak to create a mural in the Mile End of Montréal. But murals aren't the only string to the German-born creative's bow.

Her illustrations have also been commissioned by major publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Economist. She works with advertising clients such as Apple and Meta. And she recently illustrated a children's book with The Museum of Modern Art.

And this range of activities is nothing new for Hannah, who was born in Germany to a Hungarian mother and a father of Polish descent.

After graduating from The Ontario College of Art and Design (Now OCADU) in Toronto, she worked various jobs, including a stand-in for Hollywood films and as a Latin dancer. In 2014 she moved to NYC and pursued a career in illustration. She's currently represented by Purple Rain Illustrators.

Hanna's passion for dance, movement and music is evident in the flowing shapes she employs to create bold yet delicate, illustrative design. Travelling and working between NYC, Toronto and Montréal, Barczyk holds a mirror up to any place she finds herself in, creating work that is both personal and political.

Her main inspirations come from Polish, Hungarian and Czech vintage film posters, Hungarian folk art, German Expressionism and modernist painters such as Matisse and Picasso. Other artists she looks up to include Marlene Dumas, Chris Ofili and Shahzia Sikander.

"I'm passionate about illustrating emotions, about feminism; on creating work that gives focus and power to women, creating a voice that speaks to elicit socio-economic conditions and helps create a higher consciousness," says Hannah.

"I'm inspired by memory, love, sensuality, exploring sexuality and movement, and juxtaposing emotions with symbols creating a strong image that celebrates the human body as the main focus, often surrounded by nature, vibrant and powerful colours.

"I believe art can create higher consciousness in people's thinking," she adds. "It can influence people to act, reflect, to accept, connect, to converse, to have joy, to find peace; to feel free."


Get the best of Creative Boom delivered to your inbox weekly