When considering the Vancouver art scene – a community rich with talent, creative minds and thriving artistic careers – one name that always comes up in conversation is Zoe Pawlak. Zoe has not only been one of the longtime forerunners of our city’s fine arts scene, but also a forager of her industry leading the way into fresh mediums, bringing with her a new level of artistic collaboration for Vancouver.
After establishing her career on the West Coast, Pawlak has followed her family, her art and her heart out East and is currently residing and creating in Montreal. Initially embraced for her stunning canvas and paper works, we have watched Zoe join forces with the likes of Jeff Martin for a furniture line and Burritt Bros. for an exclusive rug collection. Now, as she furthers her reach into beautifying interiors, Zoe has recently launched a capsule collection of painted mirrors. I caught up with Zoe and had the chance to discover a little more about her as and individual and what inspires her to take creative risks. Her full collection of mirrors can be explored HERE.
1. We are all familiar with the ‘public Zoe’… tell us five things we may not know about you:
- Some people still don’t know that I have kids. I have 2 kids!
- I think people perceive me as being utterly fearless, when in fact I spend quite a bit of time deliberating over what to do and where to go next.
- I quit drinking 9 months ago.
- I love to pray, write and sing; all fairly introverted activities for an extrovert.
- I am presently learning how to coach basketball.
2. We’ve seen your art transition through so many aspects of the creative world, from canvas to furniture to rugs, and now into a mirror collection. What inspires you to test your boundaries?
Having spent the last decade in client’s homes and working with interior designers, I see a lot of beautiful spaces. I’ve also been to many design shows. When I see something missing in the market, I want to make it. I couldn’t find any mirror that applied fine art imagery on a surface in a palate that I loved and was still functional. There is a thread that runs through all the work I am making. My aim is to have a cohesive career and I want this to be felt in this collection as well.
3. What was the biggest challenge you found working with a reflective surface, vs previous surface materials?
4. What differences do you note as an artist when delving into new mediums, vs. painting in a more traditional format?
The mediums are all new to me. When I paint, I have full autonomy. The process of making the mirrors was collaborative in that it required that I trust many craftspeople along the way to do their part of manufacturing.