Our responses to the global pandemic have come in many forms but for Karolina Di Duca and Joanna Figasinska, it was time to get creative.
The pair are behind new children’s art classes under the name didArt Studios and they recently held classes at Applewood Community Centre where the Fingal Independent went along to investigate.
Karolina explained: “After a period of uncertainty and confusion created by the pandemic, we tend to re-organise every aspect of our private and professional lives.
“From locked down and depressed we became creative, fun and detached from the sad world full of worries and bad news. Even though we must coexist with current reality, we decided to concentrate around colours and happiness.”
Joanna is an owner of a beauty academy and beauty products shop. When she received many deliveries, the products were packed in large boxes full of polystyrene “crisps”. At some point it was so many of them, that she decided to advertise on Facebook, that they are free to take away. Karolina contacted her and that is how the pair met around five years ago.”
But then the pandemic hit and business became almost impossible and like many of us, Joanna ended up working from home.
Karolina is an artist whose works are sold locally and internationally.
During most of 2020 and 2021 she had to change her way of selling products and create different artwork to be able to survive when all the shops, that were buying from her, were closed.
She started to offer more customised works to the Irish market, as shipping abroad was harder to organise.
One of her biggest projects was to paint President Higgins’ beloved dog – Sioda, in a unique technique; alcohol inks and synthetic paper.
Karolina is a member of Design & Craft Council Ireland , Visual Artists Ireland, The Irish Art Council, and Create – National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts.
Karolina explained: “After the first lockdown we came up with an idea that we can teach art together.
“Because of Joanna’s experience with teaching, her skills and comprehensive understanding of art and my many years of artistic education and creative creations and our common passion for art, we have joined forces and organised something full of colours and positivism in these difficult and uncertain times.
“We were planning to develop one of Joanna’s rooms into and artistic workshops, but another lockdown and eventually her losing the premises, postponed our original multidimensional project.
“Meanwhile together we took part in art competitions, in Luxemburg and Canada and it was an amazing development, not only for our skills but also the cooperation and better understanding of each other.
“Recently we have received an email from Canadian’s Art Award where one of our 3D artworks was recognised and another placed in an online gallery.”
Karolina added: “We started to organise art workshops for children since September 2021 in Applewood Community Centre. The classes quickly became very popular, and we had to create another class as the first one was fully booked.
“Meanwhile we applied and received free mentoring sessions with Fingal LEO. Thanks to this we gained even more confidence with our project.
“More classes will be run in Balbriggan Community Centre and also Argillan Castle from February. We are super excited that we can share this fun, colour, and happiness among so many in such a short period of time, especially in this difficult time.
“We are 100% sure that art is important not only as a hobby, but also as a mental well-being for anybody in any age group. We want to be open for everybody at any level of their skills or reasons for trying any type of art technique
“As we continue to provide the workshops, we are also in pursue of suitable premises where we could run more advance visual art classes.
“Our dream us to support creativity at any age with fully equipped art studio within Fingal area.”
If so you can get in touch here