“One is expected to show a bit of eccentricity to be interesting. Otherwise one is simply a sad old crone, and no one wants that, you know.”
"The Ice Princess", Camilla Läckberg
Today I'm celebrating 50.000 views of my blog! I thought that it might be an occasion for you- dear readers and watchers- to "get to know" me a little better. So! Somewhere in the top left corner of your screens you can see me working hard. And below you can read Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions (questions I've been asked by wonderfully inquiring people who stumbled upon my works or under interviews) along with my answers. Maybe you'll find them interesting or useful:
1. When did you start to be interested in illustrating?
Since childhood I've been surrounded by books about art (very classic, traditional art to be precise). I really loved to browse through them. However it was a "passive" interest.
My "active" interest in making illustrations began when I came into contact with fantasy games and books in a high school.
2. Where and when did you learn drawing?
I began to learn drawing at the age of 18 (some of you may think that it's quite late). I was attending drawing classes to pass entrance exams for Warsaw Faculty of Architecture. Then, during studies I had a broad spectrum of art classes (drawing, painting, sculpting, study of colors, digital graphics etc). It was a valuable base for practicing at home. Even more important were classes from architectural design and history of architecture. These enabled me to draw detailed buildings and landscapes from imagination.
3. For how long have you been working as a freelance illustrator?
I'm a freelance illustrator since graduating from Faculty of Architecture (2011).
4. Which artists inspire you most?
Old masters: L. da Vinci, A. Dürer and G. B. Piranesi. Their sketches brilliantly presented the whole process of "constructing" their works (the visible guide lines). On the other hand my favorite painter is Zdzisław Beksiński. He was able to create a mood which can be easily felt, even though it can be hardly described with words.
5. What are your other inspirations:
On the first place I'd say long walks. My thoughts flow the most freely when I'm walking. Moreover: dark and melodic music, fantasy books, historical buildings.
6. What techniques/tools do you use in creating your work?
-watercolor paper: yellowish Canson Colorline and white Daler-Rowney (300g)
- watercolors (in tubes and bars)
- watercolors (in tubes and bars)
-a waterproof Faber-Castell's "PITT artist pen", size S
- Rotring's Artpens, various sizes. They're quite handy and allow to draw fine, stylish lines
- mechanical pencil, size 0.5
- After scanning I use Photoshop, mostly to set the colors/contrasts and add a text
7. What does your creative process look like?
1. Usually the first step is "brainstorming". In a relatively short period of time I browse through plenty of photos and illustrations related somehow to my task. The purpose is being in the right creative mood, not searching particular references.
2. Then I make about dozen of thumbnail sketches just for myself. If it's a commission I often send about 3 more detailed sketches to the customer to get a better idea of his/her expectations.
3. And then the whole fun begins. A delicate pencil sketch helps me to set the right composition. Then it's time for a more precise pen drawing and finally watercolors can be used.
4. Sometimes it happens that I'm not really satisfied with the color scheme and I need to redraw the whole work.
5. If the original looks fine, it is scanned and edited digitally to prepare it for example for printing.
What can be said in few sentences may actually take me several days.
8. What are the biggest advantages of being a freelance illustrator?
1. The most important for me: continuous development of skills.
2. A very positive feedback from foreign people from various parts of the world. It's really motivating and uplifting.
3. Quite low level of stress.
4. Freedom in managing time.
9. What are the biggest disadvantages of being a freelance illustrator?
1. Uncertainty in economic matters. Very low earnings at the beginning (at least in case of the vast majority of cases).
2. Sporadic direct contact with other people. My contact with customers is usually limited to e-mails, less often to Skype talks.
Not so many after all :)
10. Did you always wanted to be an artist? What would you be doing if you weren't an illustrator?
For a short period of time I wanted to be a garbage collector (big cars + working in the open air). Then I wanted to be an archeologist or paleontologist as I'm fascinated by the past.
If I weren't an illustrator, I'd be an architect as that's my learned profession.