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Today, we are joined by Studio Ładne Halo . You can view their portfolio here.

  • Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the interview. We’d like to understand how your interest for illustration started shaping up. Tell us a bit more about what made you go this route?

I studied photography for the first two years of my higher education. During those studies I signed up for art book and illustration classes and very quickly i got really into it. We were admiring a lot of beautifully designed picture books, old and new, polish and from abroad. I started to collect vintage polish illustrated books. During soviet times in Poland we used to have a great illustrators. Their perfect workshop and avant-garde style was a reason they were admired all over the Europe and their art was named “polish school of illustrators”. There were some bad times for polish illustration after 1989 but quite quickly, after one decade it appeared that there is some new wave on young polish illustrators entering the “scene” and they inspired me too at that moment during my studies. Soon I changed my field of study into graphic design and started working at my first commissions for illustrations. That is how the word of illustration and picture books absorbed me for good. A few years back from now me and my wife founded a small children books publishing house to design my own books and also to publish other young polish illustrators. It is called Ładne Halo and it is a graphic studio at the same time.

  • Tell us a bit more about how you learned it all. What changed in the last few years in terms of ease of expanding your skills and knowledge?

Since I decided to study graphic design I immediately started to work a lot to improve my technical skills and most of all to create my own style. I follow the work of lots of illustrators, and watch huge amount of illustrations each day. I always pay a lot of attention on particular choices illustrators make in each work. I exercise a lot. My medium is computer so I also have to stay up to date and constantly improve my skills with new tools.

  • What does your creative process look like?

Most often I first make some research and look for an inspiration. Generally my illustrating process is very similar to graphic design. I do everything with computer mouse. Directly in digital. I barely sketch on paper but it happens from time to time.

  • Do you have any recommendations in terms of good books, programs you use, or media choices you’re willing to share with us?

I work mostly on adobe illustrator. I believe every designer need to elaborate his own personal terms of work. Recommendations doesn’t work when it comes to the creative process. However lately I’ve read Dieter Rams “Less but better” and it came to me with a great pleasure to systemize some general principles he formulated and to get to know something about his designing process. It’s quite inspiring book.

  • Do you have a special place or object that boosts your inspiration and helps your creative drive? What is it like and why does it have this effect on you?

I have my workplace in a separate room of my flat and it is such a place that helps me concentrate and at the same time inspire me a lot. I have a great collection of picture books and favorite objects here that stimulates me and makes me feel positively motivated. Important part of this workplace is a huge park outside the window. Walks with my dog around that park helps me to organize my thoughts and to be more effective.

  • Could you describe how a productive day would look like from your point of view? Which are the most important hours for you?

I base on “to do” lists. I am addicted to creating them and check them. I start my work in the morning, but the most important hours are in the evening for me I guess. Since I run my own studio I can almost say i work constantly in fact. Even while lunch brake or preparing to sleep we often discuss some projects details with my wife. But we also remember to have some breaks during the work day.

  • What is your stance on today’s ever growing opportunities enabling artists to take on remote design work?

I think that becomes obvious in our craft. It’s the sign of our times and i guess it is also the future. From the other hand i still appreciate some bigger projects from time to time, where you have to work as a group and meet for a brain storm.

  • What would you prefer: a steady, well paying job in a local agency, or the freedom and often stressful life of a freelancer? Why?

For some time I tried to combine those two. While working in a local agency i started up my own micro-business which is a publishing house and a graphic studio Ładne Halo. I am a designer here and my wife helps me with organizational issues. Now I work mostly as a freelancer on commissions i get for my studio and I would say i prefer that. Especially considering that we live in times when there is hardly such thing as steady job in one place for more than few years.

  • How would you describe “the ideal project”? Did you have any recent opportunities to come close to this?

Since i run my own publishing house for children my ideal job is a personal project of a book. I don’t have as much time for that as i wish but every time it’s a great pleasure to create a book, from the very first idea, through designing and illustrating process, to the producing choices and all the details that finally leads to publishing book. That gives me the most satisfaction. This year we started very interesting cooperation with polish branch of NOKIA/Microsoft. Working together we created an app of interactive books for smartphones. Thanks that I was able to see my books got second live with great animations, games and sound effects. It was one of the best working experiences for me so far.

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