Keely “Poi” Majewski’s bold and otherworldly 3D illustrations are full of drama and attitude
Coming to 3D sculpting and mixed media illustration later in her artistic trajectory, the Florida-based illustrator can now imagine no other way of creating.
- Olivia Hingley
- 7 February 2022
You’re probably surprised to hear that prior to the pandemic, illustrator Keely Majewski had never even dabbled in 3D art. But, as soon as she began to experiment with the medium in the free time the lockdowns offered, everything seemed to fall into place. “Something about working in a 3D environment, even digitally, just felt like a lightbulb moment for me”. Loving to experiment with “odd perspectives” so as to “provoke very specific feelings” with her close-up, upward and down-facing shots, it is Keely’s composition that makes her work so distinctive. Alongside her plastic, shiny textures, alien-like faces and the bold personality of her subjects, over the past few year Keely has created a whole family of enigmatic, otherworldly characters.
Whilst Keely was drawn to art and visual expression from a young age, her journey hasn’t always been so smooth. In her 9th grade of high school she was accepted into a performing arts school, but by the end of the experience she attests to feeling “very uninspired and pushed away from art”. Moving away from any form of visual expression for a number of years, it wasn't until 2018 that she picked up her tablet and began creating again. “My love of art never vanished as much as I tried to explore other creative outlets, it came back with vengeance and has changed my life ever since.”
Having previously repressed her artistic tendencies, now Keely’s ability to create is unstoppable – she has pushed herself to produce a piece daily for the past three years. “Creating something new every evening for this long has definitely sped up my process and problem-solving skills. Mainly helping me figure out concepts I like, don’t like, and ideas I want to explore more of.”
One of the central features of the characters Keely portrays is their eye-catching and arresting sense of style. Describing style as one of the most important aspects of her work, the illustrator explains that her specific fashion choices – chunky, synthetic looking jewellery, knee high PVC boots and vivid hair colours – are influenced by anything from “90s street fashion to an obscure video game from the early 2000s”. Preferably wanting “anyone to be able to look at my art and be able to relate to it in some way,” Keely also strives to “showcase a wide variety of different people”. Not only being a way of helping her to persistently develop new characters, it is more importantly a means for ensuring her work is diverse. “Art is for everyone!” she explains, “there needs to be more representation.”
So as to keep gaining enough material to fuel her insatiable desire to create and keep her work varied, wherever she goes Keely is “constantly sketching”, “drawing people I see, writing down little moments like a diary, taking notes when watching movies”. Preventing any creative block this persistent drafting allows Keely to always have inspiration in her immediate grasp: “I can just turn to a page and explore a random note I made two years ago and create a concept from it!”. For Keely, 2022 looks like it’s going to be a similarly productive and positive year. Having been working on a personal project that she’s putting her “heart and soul” into – set to be released this coming summer – she tells us to “stay tuned!”.
GalleryCopyright © Keely “Poi” Majewski, 2021-2022
Copyright © Keely “Poi” Majewski, 2021-2022
About the Author
Olivia joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in illustration, photography, ceramic design and platforming creativity from the north of England.