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Meet Trailblazer Vanessa Irzyk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Irzyk.

Vanessa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I painted my curtains & walls in my bedroom growing up and would color match my sheets to cover up accidental green splotches. Art has become less of something I want to do, rather it’s something I need to do. It is my place to be quiet, focus, and set everything else aside. I’m lucky enough to have been in the same tiny studio in Southie for over 10 years after finishing a degree at MassArt. I’ve had many studiomates that have come and gone but I continue to work in my small corner slowly evolving.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Time is by far the biggest challenge in art making. Creating the time and feeling like your work takes priority over other things is the hardest part. Sometimes I work two jobs and still try and make it to my studio. When I finally get there, sometimes I just sit there and glaze over and sometimes I actually can focus. But what’s most important is that I’m in that space. It’s taken me a long time to get to the stage where I can say no to things and make creating a real focus. It’s important to have a great support system (partner/friends/family) who know art making is a major commitment and support that.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about your business – what should we know?
My work is a culmination of various processes I’ve been toying with over the past four years. I’ve integrated my love for pattern making and repetition with soft washes and hard shapes. I create a geometric shape, push it into space by adding gradient shadows, and then paint on the shape with color, shapes of pattern, and movement. I work with acrylic on thick watercolor paper and have recently been working on a larger scale.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I don’t use any art based resources to inform my work but I’m constantly listening to shows while I work, such as NPR, murder shows, trashy TV, or the “My Favorite Murder” podcast.


  • A typical painting around 17″ x 20″ is $1200
  • The larger paintings I’m working on which are around 5′ x 6′ are $5,000.
  • I have many smaller paintings which I use as warm ups or sketches that are 4″ x 6″ or small circles that are $150.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @vanessairzyk
  • Twitter: @twotonednessa

Image Credit:

Brent Refsland took the action painting shot. The installation shot was from an install with the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park’s Corporate Loan Program.

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