Artist Spotlight: Barbara DziadoszMay 27, 2016
Did you happen to notice that our site is brand new and improved?! What a roller coaster ride! We are proud to announce our brand, new and improved website. A celebration seems in order–and with that, a brand new Artist Spotlight interview. This time, with new Red Cap family member and illustrator extraordinaire, Barbara Dziadosz.
Barbara is a freelance illustrator from Hamburg, who specializes in screen printing, character design and editorial design. Originally from a little town in northern Poland, she was raised in Hamburg and started her studies at the HAW Hamburg. During this time she had the opportunity to experiment with a lot of printing techniques and fell in love with the simplicity of screen printing. Right now, Barbara is working for various national and international magazines and clients, and creating a cook book with healthy recipes.
We were lucky enough to chat with her about her creative process, what inspires her and much more:
Tell us about your childhood—did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
I don’t know if I ever made a conscious decision to become an artist. As a kid I just loved drawing and creating new worlds, just like most of the children. In my case I just didn’t stop doing this since then. I also was very interested in writing little stories and making up things, so this comes in handy regarding my creative process.
What is your creative process like?
Depending on if it’s client work or personal, it differs a bit. For client work I start with reading the article/brief and write down some notes. Then it’s pretty much the same as for personal work, I just start sketching freely/loosely whatever comes to my mind. If sketches are approved I take them to digital and trace/color them. After that I add texture and hand drawn elements to avoid a too clean digital look.
You have done it all: printmaking, editorial, character design, etc. Which do you prefer and why?
That’s difficult to say. The best is a mix of everything, to keep it interesting. I love the speed of editorial work, the creative freedom of creating characters and the physical work of screen printing.
Is there any art form that you haven’t yet been able to do that you would like to?
During my studies I had the opportunity to get to know a lot of printing techniques, so I consider myself pretty lucky about that. Animation seems tempting to me, but I think I’m too impatient for something like this.
What inspires you?
I’m very influenced by vintage illustration from all over the world. I admire Russian avant-garde illustrators like Boris Ermelenko, the bold works of Fernand Nathan, Olle Eksell, Leonard Weisgard, Alice and Martin Provensen; Miroslav Sasek, Art Seiden, Arnold Edwin Bare and many many more. I also love old advertisements like the one from bally or old food illustrations. There is jelly everywhere and woman serve big meals to their husbands in their pink kitchens. I also love old Czechoslovakian, Polish and Russian matchbox labels and vintage travel posters, mainly from England.
I could not limit my self to one artist or one direction. Each one of them has something that fascinates me. What I mainly love about those kind of illustrations is the limited color palette, the bold shapes and the beautiful printing techniques they are made with.
What is your most successful piece?
I just recently had the opportunity to do a cover artwork for Anorak (a very popular kids magazine here in Europe). This was a huge honor for me. Doing a cover is always special and being able to do it for one of your favorite magazines is just super fun.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
Don’t be lazy 😉
When I started studying I didn’t know much about illustration and the work of an illustrator. So I was a bit overwhelmed by all the possibilities and great people I studied with. The result of this was kind of a shock. I wasn’t able to draw and think freely as I was inhibited. I was too shy to show my work in class, so I stopped doing stuff at all, as I thought it was bad anyways. But fortunately I have learned to be confident with my own work and to always keep on working to improve.
Favorite medium to work in?
Just simple pen and sketchbook.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have created?
One of my favorites is my dinosaurs piece.
We love your signature muted/pastel color palette. What does your home look like? Do you utilize these colors in your every day life?
My home is more minimal with lots of wood and here and there a dash of color. My boyfriend is a furniture designer (he built my beautiful desk for example) so we have a lot of one of kind furniture in our home.
Who are your role models, in terms of art or otherwise?
Please see above “what inspires you.”
If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you hope to be doing?
I would love to be an archaeologist. It’s such an fascinating field which includes art, history and nature all in once.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to tell us about?
Right now I’m finishing up a cook book with healthy recipes which will be available hopefully very soon. Besides this I’m having a baby in May, so this is my biggest long-time project so far 🙂
[Editors note: Congratulations, Barbara!!]
Where would you like to see your work in ten years?
I hope to make more bigger projects like books, both for adults and kids. I could even imagine myself working as an art director for a newspaper/magazine or teaching in school. Either way, I just hope I can work in a creative field surrounded by artists.
Any advice to burgeoning illustrators?
Never stop working. Even if you don’t have an assignment, just keep doing stuff. Keep yourself busy and you will improve for sure and this will bring you more real jobs in the end.
Who are you currently loving on Instagram?
Thefatjewish 😉 This is totally my kind of humor.
And one we must ask all of our artists: favorite drink.
Maté tea. It keeps me awake and I just love the flavor.
Thanks, Barbara! To view Barbara’s designs for Red Cap Cards, click here.