Hi Patrycja could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm an illustrator, a graphic designer and a academic lecturer from Poland. Born in Gdynia, currently living in Gdańsk. I'm a typical homebody, I prefer not to leave my four walls, except for a walk by the seaside, which is my way to unwind.
Please tell us a bit about your style of illustration?
It's still changing… Even if I keep using the same tools, I try to do it differently each time. But my main goal is to make as much illustrations as I can in a traditional way (pencils, ink etc.). Of course, the way an illustration looks depends on how much time I have to do it. If a deadline is short, it's more simplistic. When I have more time, it'll have more details. Every time I'm making a personal illustration, something just for me, I'm trying to get a little bit out of my comfort zone.
I love toned colours, shades of grey, sepia, blue. This is my thing. But from time to time, I like to add more vibrant shades like red, yellow or turquoise. A characteristic element of my illustrations is also the “multi-layered” way of creating them. I like to start drawing with a pencil, then paint over it with a colour, then again draw on top of it and again put paint on it, and so on and so on.
When did you first start off as an illustrator?
I can't even remember when I did my first drawing, I was so young. When I was about 13, I knew that this is what I want to do with my life, so I started education in an art school, where I could improve my skills. After that I went to the Academy of Fine Arts and after 5 years received my MA degree.
Right now, I'm in the course of getting a PhD. I received my first press commission in 2010, on my second year of studying. Since then, I've been working as a freelance illustrator fulltime and haven't stopped for a day.
You work fellow illustrator Patryk Hardziej, how did you first start working together?
We were a couple since (art) high school, so it was very natural for us to work together. But after 8 years each of us went its separate way and we don't work together anymore. From time to time I'll help him with a project, but other than that we have our own, individual work.
What tools do you use for your illustrations and lettering?
For illustration pencil, gauge, watercolour, acrylic paint and similar stuff. Sometimes I like to have fun with ink and a ruling pen, which also from time to time I'll use for letterings. For letters, I like to use typical tools, nothing fancy.
How do you normally start on a new project?
The first thing I do is clean my desk. I have big problem with concentration, and after years of fighting with myself, I found that it helps a little bit with that issue. When my workspace is clean, it's time for research and creating a board on Pinterest. It gives me a lot of control. Then I choose tools and the way I'll illustrate, depending on how much time I have for this task. And after that I just start working.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
I don't think I have one yet. Overall, since I was young I wanted to be a press illustrator and I've achieved that, so you might count that.
What do you like to listen to when you work?
To be honest, while working I don't listen to music at all, because of my issues with concentration. When I create something complicated which needs my full attention, I prefer silence. I think it's also because I like to sing when I hear music, so I'm focusing on lyrics and not work.
Sometimes I listen to music that is in some way combined with the illustration I'm making, but it's not common situation. But I love listening to stand ups of Louis CK and Ricky Gervais, or 'watching' vlogs of other illustrators.
Can you share any good advice with us?
If you want to achieve something, you need to practice a lot. Talent is one thing, but the important thing is what you'll do with it. Also, you need to have some time just for yourself, and the ones you love.
Can you recommend any good websites or publications?
I love finding cool stuff on Pinterest. Another good site is Behance. But for now, I'm trying to limit my time on the internet. I love traditional, paper books from Counter-Print, United Editions, Victionary, Gestalten and sometimes Taschen.
As for books strictly about illustration, I haven't found one that would partially stand out. You'll find good works in many, but I can't think of one that would be my “go-to” source of inspiration or learning.
A big thanks to Patrycja Podkościelny for taking the time to do the interview!
For more information and amazing works from Patrycja Podkościelny, please visit: http://www.podkoscielny.com/All artwork featured in this interview is copyrighted and owned by Patrycja Podkościelny. Please do not use any of the images without written permission from the artist.