Paulina Matusiak in 10 words
“Whether it’s a poster, card, letter or stickers, I treat everything as a piece of art.”
“The computer is just a tool; it has no soul, no character. The work that I create must have soul, has to be multi-sensory.
That’s why I need to touch the material, feel it. That’s what gives things emotion, depth, insight.”
“Sorry, I can’t offer you anything to drink. Oh wait, I can! Would you like some vodka?”
“Theatre is emotion. To make that translation from stage to poster, I like being involved early on, from the first readings of the script.
What do the actors want? How do they translate their lines to performance on stage? How are they transported by the piece?”
“So much communication today is done by mail, but the most beautiful results come from seeing your clients in person. Listening, observing their reactions; even silence can say so much. Although I may not know at that instant, intuitively I’m shifting gears.
And that’s what you will see again in the final work.
“Yes, do you like them? Do you know what else I love? Lining.
Beautiful lining in coats.”
“I work for cultural institutions and commercial clients who are willing to push boundaries.
You gain so much more by going just that bit further, by pushing the envelope. No one notices a mediocre poster.”
“I don’t have a particular style. The style adapts itself to the project. People do say that my work is recognisable.”
“Behaving is dreadful. You do have to look for a balance, but it must be slightly uncomfortable. When something is not quite right, it asks your attention.
This makes it more exciting, more interesting. Just another beautiful woman is really nothing more than a washing powder ad.
Although she may be attractive, she really has no soul.
She does not speak.”
“Have a look, this is my son.”
Paulina Matusiak (1971) hails from Zgierz, Poland. After completing the secondary School of Arts in Lodz, she relocates to The Netherlands where she is accepted into the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague, graduating in Graphic and Typographic Design. Upon invitation she then works at Matzwart, the former in-house studio of the academy. Several graphic studios follow, during which time she works as Head Designer. A four-year stint as senior designer at the prestigious, Amsterdam based studio of Anthon Beeke prepares her for a new chapter in her career.
In 2002 she strikes out on her own to pursue her creative independence and establishes Studio Matusiak in Amsterdam. Together with co-workers and partners, she provides art direction, graphic and interactive design, photography, styling, and illustration. Her designs range from book and CD covers to websites, from logos to complete corporate identities. Studio Matusiak specialises in theatre posters. Designing the KILIM tile collection for Polish cement tile manufacturer Purpura marks a new and exciting chapter in her career.
Paulina regularly organises exhibitions of her own work, both in the Netherlands and abroad; shows include the Wroclove Design Expo 2013 and the Helsinki Design Week 2015. Curatorial projects include the exhibition Textura, A Polish Touch for the Adam Mickiewicz Institut during London Design Week in 2017. At the 20th Festival international de l’affiche et du graphisme in Chaumont, she sat on the international judging panel and designed one of the twenty anniversary posters.
Paulina teaches at various academies in the Netherlands, Spain, and Poland, where she currently teaches at the School of Form in Poznan. She has lectured abroad at academies that include the School of Art and College of Design in Logroño, Spain; the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem (2015); and the Miada-academie in Chongqing, China (2016).
The work produced by Studio Matusiak is sometimes raw and confrontational; sometimes exuberant and overwhelming, and sometimes cut back to the bare necessities. But it is never unambiguous or simple. Whether it is meant for an artistic society or a commercial party, a design must touch you, challenge you and make you think. A toned-down design that has lost its soul reaches no one in the end.
Studio Matusiak often works for cultural institutions and organizations; theatre companies; dance groups, individual stage artists, theatres, publishers, and festivals. Other clients include advertising agencies, the media and the business sector. Studio Matusiak has no hesitation working for commercial clients – provided they dare to be different.
Paulina has received several awards. She is a three-time recipient of The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam award for Best Book Design. More than ten times, one of her theatre posters was nominated for the Theater Affiche Prijs Amsterdam. Three times her work received an honorable nomination at the Festival d’Affiche de Chaumont. Her poster design for the 20th edition of the festival is now part of the French Cultural Heritage Collection. Also, Paulina is herself a member of the jury at the Festival d’Affiche de Chaumont.
School van Beeldende Kunsten, Lodz (Polen) diploma 1991
Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag diploma 1995
2002 Start of Studio Matusiak
1999 Designer for Studio Anthon Beeke, Amsterdam
1997 Head Designer at in-house studio OIBIBIO, Amsterdam
1996 Design Studio Proforma, Rotterdam
1996 Design Studio Matzwart, in-house studio KABK
AB/C | AFFF | Ailantus | Aleksandra Gaca | Annette speelt | Anoukvandijk DC | Arbeiderspers | Bijlmer Parktheater | Chaumont Poster festival | Cinedans | Clari de Waal | Company Karina Holla | Concertgebouw | Cyrus Frisch | Daniëlle van de Ven | DansClick | Dansen op de Leidseplein | Danstheater AYA | de Theatermakerij | Design God | DNA | Douwe Egberts – L’OR | Duda Paiva Company | Eddo Hartman | Eddy Wenting Photography | EFN | El HEMA | Ethnic Chic Home Couture | Heineken | Huis aan de Amstel | Instytut Adama Mickiewicza | Jakop Alhbom | Jantine Kroeze | Juwelenwerk Anouschka Verhagen | Karina Holla | Koopmans’ Drukkerij | Kosmopolis | Landmat | Leeneidee | Lego Lima | Lidewij Edelkoort | Multi development | Muzeum Sztuki Lodz | Nationaal Toneel | NOT-La Vie Parisienne | Opera aan het IJ | Peter Korver | Plan –D | Prometheus | Purpura | PZU | Reuring | Rob Marinissen | Roger Cremers | Ronald Goedemondt | ROOFF | Rozentheater | School of Form- Poznan | Soil ensemble | Space | Stars TV | Stella | Studio BeRT | Symphony Arabica | Teatro | The Brand Hotel | The Entertainment Group | The Lau | The Scene | Theater Frascati | Toneelgroep Alaska | Toneelgroep Amsterdam junior | Toneelgroep Suburbia | TRAM 7 | Transito | Ulrike Quade Company | Venetia Studium | Volkskrant | Yilan Yuen
Best Books award for:
FORTUYN / O´BRIEN (2001)
Theater Poster Price Amsterdam:
Teatro – Phaedra’s Love (2002)
Maria Stuart (2002)
Het Rozentheater (2003)
Anoukvandijk dc – Amour fou (2003)
Anoukvandijk dc – Sunna no onna (2003)
Alaska – Orestes & Elektra (2004)
Anoukvandijk dc – Drink me(2004)
Productiehuis[Frascati] – Oogverblindend (2005)
Annette Speelt – Lucifer (2007)
Annette Speelt – Trojaanse Vrouwen (2008)
Dans Theater AYA (2014)
Festival d’Affiche de Chaumont (nominaties 2005, 2006)
Toyama Internationaal poster Festival (2012)
Poster 20ste editie Festival d’Affiche de Chaumont (2009)
Festival d’Affiche de Chaumont, 18e editie (2008)
Affiche Museum Hoorn 2011
Lodz Design Week, Lodz Polen 2012
Wroclove Design Expo 2013 – Wroclaw PolenK
ILIM – Cementtegels Collectie @ Dutch Design Week 2014
Moderna at Helsinki Design Week 2015
“La Collection”- le Sigle, centre national du graphisme a Chaumont- 2016-2017
TEACHING AND LECTURES
Lecture and workshop: Escuela de Arte y Superior de Diseno de Logrono (School of Art and College of Design), Logroño, La Rioja
Workshop: ArtEZ Art & Design, Enschede
Lecture: the making of @ Studio Matusiak, Polish Design Talks, Dutch design Week, Eindhoven 2014
Lecture and workshop: Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem 2015
Lecture and workshop: Modern International Arts & Design Academy (MIADA), Chongquing, China, 2016