How did you get started doing what you do?
I guess my start was the usual: I loved to draw when I was a kid. It could be something in my genes, because my sister also paints — however our parents are not artsy at all. I also loved animals, torn between my two interests I decided to become a biologist at the age of six. Now I have a PhD in cancer biology and I am still painting. We will see what’s next.

Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz

What’s your inspiration?
Nature mostly, in all of its forms. Also travel, the places I’ve lived in (Budapest, Berlin, Barcelona, California), and nave and medieval art. I am also pretty much in love with California right now. Waking up just before sunrise in the Mojave Desert to the sound of loud hummingbirds arguing over the strangest looking ocotillo tree is pretty inspiring. Not specifically inspiring to make art, but for life in general.

What does your typical day look like?
There’s no typical day, my life is a mess.
Interview with Artist, Zsalto on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Depends on the size, usually few days, but not more than two weeks. If it’s a commission and I have to make lot of sketches and variations it can become seemingly never-ending. But that’s rare, with a good client it’s pretty fast.

How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I grew up and lived in Hungary for a long time. Hungary has a very rich folk-culture, which influences my illustrations very often, however I never researched folk art or consciously aimed to incorporate it in my works. My hometown was an important place in the early twentieth century’s Art Nouveau movement in Hungary. The city still has a lot of memories from this era, and during my childhood, in my mind it was a magical place where artists lived and worked together, and everything was fragile and delicate and crystal clear, ladies had long fingers and wore way too long dresses, and angels were sitting on the chestnut trees.

Interview with Artist, Zsalto on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz

How have others reacted to your work?
I always get very positive feedback, but we have a society built on politeness. No one walks up to you and says I think your art is awful. I guess the ones who don’t like it just don’t say anything. So the best is just to not care about that too much.

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

Interview with Artist, Zsalto on Jung Katz
Interview with Artist, Zsalto on Jung Katz

What are your thoughts on art school?
I think the value of art school depends on where you live and work. Some places, the art community is more closed and elitist, other places are more opened. I had two years of art school which I did during evenings and weekends parallel with grad school. It was pretty tough, but I learned a lot, and it really changed how I think about my own work.

What’s your dream project?
Nowadays I really would like to do murals. Probably starting with smaller, indoor ones. So if you have a pending commission, I am here!

Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz

What art supplies do you use?
I mostly use watercolors and gouache. For watercolors I really like Schmincke Horadam. With paper I am not so picky, I tried a bunch of different watercolor papers, I prefer the ones that have a smoother surface (for some projects I exclusively use hot-pressed paper).

What’s your process like?
Very often I go completely without sketches just me and the blank paper. That’s exciting. But I also fill plenty of sketchbooks, to save ideas for the times when blank paper goes from exciting to horrifying.

Interview with Illustrator, Zsalto on Jung Katz

How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
By buying more of my art.

Follow Zsalto on Facebook and Tumblr.

 

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Posted by:Casey Webb

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Jung Katz, as well as Editor for ZIIBRA.

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