Hello Maciej, thank you for joining us on Talking With The Pros. Please give us a brief background on where you’re from and how you got started in the industry.
Hi guys, I’m working and living in Katowice, south Poland. I’ve opened Photoshop for the first time about 14 years ago but I’m working as an idependent graphic designer and illustrator since 2006. I’ve graduated Behelor of IT and been working in several agencies before jumping on full-time freelance.
Were you always an artistic person? Or was it something you developed later on in your career?
I won’t say “I’ve been drawing since I remember” but I’ve been always keen on new technology and software. At the early beginning (I was an editor in video game magazines) graphics were my hobby but I found it feeds my creativity so it was natural way to follow. So in other words, I’m an artist to the bone.
You have done many amazing big projects for all types of mediums, magazine covers, posters, websites, game covers etc… Is there one medium you prefer over the other?
At this time I enjoy print or illustration work with art direction rather than web design, but can’t say I prefer some more than another. It’s all about the project – even game cover may be boring.
Can you give us a brief walk-through of your design process?
It’s clear and quite simple – I start with an idea, followed by inspirations or style references. Then I do rough mockups, setting up composition and sketching key art. Next step is high-res work in progress that ends with final image. All adjustments are made based on feedback, especially for client work. If I’m working with personal artworks then I just go more intuitive, less drafts or comps.
What are your favorite 3 projects you have done to date, and why?
Pendulum’s Immersion album artwork including collectors edition box – it’s official no.1 album in UK, Priscilla Queen of The Desert key artwork, which is still in use, after 4 years; Alpha 1 skis design for Armada – because it’s pure fun to have people ski on skis designed in my way, Lord of the Rings – War in the North Artbook because it was challenging, long time project I’ve art directed and designed at the same time and last but not least, all ESPN The Magazine illustrations including cover art – because it’s a dream job where I’ve worked with my personal style and it was widely distributed.
(I know, there are more than three – sorry!)
How often do you get approached for new projects by clients? Also how often do you turn down projects?
I’m receiving several mails about new project during the week, but there are times of silence – all depends on the period. Maybe 15% are the bad ones – I used to work really hard because I was keen on almost every project that came in.
How does a project like the “ESPN Magazine” come by? where you contacted directly by the client? Also can you please describe the challenges and and how you overcome in a project like that?
This is a dream job – I’ve been working directly with art directors, they knew what style they want and gave me free hand to achieve that. Obviously, there is some approval process behind that, exciting and challenging all the time.
First thing I got was original image taken in field or basketball hall. No studio or posing shots – that’s first challenge and the other one is to keep it well balanced. I think it’s the hardest part of the game – to keep illustration well executed with great style and having hero in focal point, not cluttered with effects or details.
Who would you say are your “design idols” artists you look up to and inspire you?
Banksy has balls!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any final words for our readers?
Thanks for talking and here is something I’ve stumbled upon but found it fit my personal motto, and I bet it can be useful for pros and creatives of all kind: No matter what you do to be great, you can’t ever think you are.
To view more of Maciej’s work visit his portfolio website at www.valpnow.com