How did you get started doing what you do?
I was into arts since I can remember, but got into illustration seriously in 2014, after leaving my full-time job as a print designer for a fashion company.
It wasn’t an easy decision and It took lots of determination, time, focus and a certain amount of stubbornness, but I haven’t looked back since.
I am extremely grateful to be working full-time at my dream and finally being able to use my creativity potential to its full extent.
How would you describe your creative style?
That’s a hard one. Obsessive perfectionism?
Art is so hard to describe in two or three words, isn’t it?
At this very moment, I’m definitely drawn to portraiture, black and white, compact, lifeless, cold and detailed characters without eyes, tearing hearts out, starring at each other, being ironic or being in some kind of despair. I will occasionally splash some colour on them but only to underline the black and white silhouette underneath. As for medium, I’m quite attached to my biro pens.
What’s your inspiration?
Human nature. I’m interested in how it’s influenced by biology, society, current political, economic, cultural and religious conditions.
Observing people’s relationships with each other and with their environment, inspires me a lot.
Why is it that we are gradually alienating ourselves from nature. How rules of behaviour that we’ve implemented ourselves, affect our daily lives? How can we be capable of great noble causes and at the same time be authors of worst atrocities?
Can we achieve happiness and balanced life as species or are we designed to self-destruct?
What is art to you?
As pretentious as it sounds it’s everything.
It’s that kind of universal language that does not require from you wearing a mask, adjusting yourself when it’s required, taming your opinions when needed, quite opposite. The truer to yourself you are the more valuable qualities your art carries.
Art is a powerful tool it has that unique ability to engage individuals in a very deep and personal way. It’s like the door to other people’s minds and hearts, When people open them to you, you receive a rare chance to show them the world, through your own eyes.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It depends on its size and medium. Biro pens are much more time consuming and it can take ages to finish one tiny detail.
I often mix them with markers and gouache paint. Usually, I would spend from 2 days up to 2 weeks to finish a piece.
How do you keep motivated?
I don’t. I try, but it doesn’t always work. But recently I’m trying to put more effort into following some rules, that I’ve set for myself.
Take breaks, drink not only coffee but also water, remember there is an outside world out there, write my blog regularly, exercise and breathe.
It’s a working progress!
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
Massively. Living in London, one of the most crowded cities in the world must have had an enormous impact on my work.
As a result, I’ve grown an interest in studying people’s behaviour, interactions with each other and their environment.
There are so many different cultures here, ethnicities and points of view which when mixed create an interesting combination.
That hybrid creates the perfect baseline for human nature to show it’s true colours.
How have others reacted to your work?
Usually, they wonder. Firstly they get quiet and start to explore up-close, all the tiny details in my work. And then they ask questions about my inspirations, motivations, and reasons for that specific subject. People usually try to be nice not to offend anybody so it’s really hard to say if they really like it or not. But as long as they will remember my work that’s good. That’s all that matters.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
An emotion. I want to share a feeling I had while creating a piece. Happiness, worry, euphoria, heartache, grief, rage, love.
I try not to tip toe around the subject, instead, I want to examine and explore these sensations with a scalpel.
Happiness can often be forged and rotten, pleasure can be venomous and deceitful, love can be destructive and unforgiving, rage can be liberating and beautiful. It’s all fluid, nothing in life is ever black and white.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Have a bit more distance to yourself and your life.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Be more compassionate to yourself, perfection doesn’t exist
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Dream big but at the same time stay focused. Don’t try to kill two birds with one stone.
It always better to be the best in one thing that to be just good enough in everything else.
What’s your dream project?
It’s actually funny and not related to illustration at all. I’d like to design and construct a room where you could walk in and feel like a kid again.
Everything would be much bigger than in reality, Giant fluffy chairs, big windows, enormous dog sleeping on a huge carpet, gigantic childhood toys lying around. I would invite people to come in, hang around, explore and enjoy it.
It’s good to remember those warm, cosy, intimate feelings we had when we were surrounded by stuff “bigger” than us.
These days, especially now, with all the violence and horror around us it might seem minor but It’s really important to bring this soft, heart-warming emotions back into our hearts. If we lose that sensibility and forget how to feel safe, full-filled and safe, we’re lost.