A few months ago, I came across Asia Pietrzyk’s
work + portfolio and fell in LOVE. Her work is so playful, unique and creative, it’s like a visual candy land. I contacted her because I knew she would be a perfect fit for my From Rain to Shine Features
is a designer, illustrator and creative who lives in Stockholm. I picked her brain about her creative process and what she does in a dreaded creative block. Thanks Asia!
1. How long have you been designing + illustrating and what sparked your interest in this field?
Growing up I knew I wanted to become a creative but I didn’t know what to focus on. I loved to draw, read, write. I was struck with literature, film, art or even poetry. My parents were a little bit skeptical about my passions and kept telling my that living life as an artist may be interesting but pretty hard. Back then, I didn’t have enough strength to follow my heart and eventually I ended up with a Masters degree in German literature. I realized two or three years later that I didn’t want to be a teacher or interpreter. I went back to drawing and painting, invested in a few books about graphic design, lettering, illustration and I knew that it was the right path to go down. It’s been over 4 years since that happened. Today, I am very happy and I truly love what I do.
2. What is your creative process like?
It depends on the project. If I’m working on a completely new subject, I always start with a lot of notes and stickies. I write down all my thoughts and ideas, the good and the bad ones. Sometimes, I make very rough sketches, but usually I go straight to Illustrator where I work a lot with colours and shapes. I also will visit Pinterest or ffffound to get inspired. Looking through great projects and feeling a bit jealous (in the healthy way of course) always motivates me.
3. How would you describe your design style + aesthetic?
I’d say it’s simple, bold and sometimes a little bit quirky and naive. I focus on contrast, colours and simple shapes when illustrate. I admire Scandinavian design and its simplicity & minimalism especially since I live in Stockholm. Every thing mid-century catches my eye, and recently I discovered very old Japanese ink paintings to be very inspiring as well.
4. How do you handle creative blocks and where do you find inspiration?
Well, first of all, I don’t panic. If I feel stuck and can’t come up with any ideas, it is a sign that I need to take a break as soon as possible! We are not machines, everyone has good and bad days. If you don’t have a tight deadline, stop staring at your screen, chill out and take it easy. Watch a silly movie, clean your kitchen, just do something that doesn’t remind you about the block. I get inspired a lot by old Polish movies, reading biographies of people I admire, good stories and music and, of course, by nice food. Recently, food has been my number one inspiration. I do love pinterest and ffffound. Another website I visit often is Freunde von Freunden
. I think that other people and their amazing stories are the most inspiring.
5. What is your life motto or phrase?
Make mistakes and learn from them.
6. Is there any particular project or design you did that you were exceptionally proud of?
Yes! It’s the Hooray Bag from the new ban.do collection. I was SO happy last year when Jen Gotch, the creative director, contacted me and asked for help with some new products. She wanted me to play a little bit with hand lettering and word “hooray.” I hadn’t worked too much with lettering, but I do love letters and always admired Jessica Hische’s amazing work. She is so good! I wanted to do something simple, and decided to use my “clumsy font” that was created about three years ago for a personal project. I sent it to Jen and she loved it. If someone told me a few years back that my hand lettering would be printed on ban.do bag I wouldn’t have taken it seriously. Now, I feel so flattered to see how many people bought this bag and actually love it. Seriously, it’s every designer’s dream.
7. Favorite city in the world?
I guess Berlin and Stockholm. Berlin for being such a multicultural, crazy place and Stockholm simply for everything. I am very lucky to live here.
Thank you to Asia
for answering the questions and providing the images!
[Interested in being featured? Contact email@example.com]
A round up of some of my favorite and best designed April calendar downloads! Enjoy!
1. This sketched ram illustration from Free People blog.
2. Loving these fun + playful bows (available in two colors) from Nicole’s Classes.
3. The blues and greens make a lovely geometric shaped calendar from Fete Studio.
4. This blooming flowered calendar from Going Home to Roost will brighten any desktop.
5. Sarah Hearts plays up the “April showers bring May flowers” with this illustrated download.
6. Another April showers inspired download from Red Stamp.
[Images taken from the various sources listed above.]
I love seeing what people create for downloadable desktop calendars. This month, I decided to do a round up of some of my favorite designs. Check them out below, with links to their sites!
1. This fun, floral calendar from Oana Befort.
2. Loving this colorful watercolor/hand-done feel from Evelyn Henson.
3. Sarah Hearts designed this adorable St. Patty’s day inspired calendar.
4. Super into this water color calendar as well, this time in blue hues by Paper Squid.
5. I love the mix of photography with type on this mountain inspired calendar by Paper Leaf.
6. Lovely. Healthy. Whole. designed this adorable spring + St. Patty’s day infused happy calendar.
[Images taken from the various sources listed above.]
Some of you may have seen this floating around, and I just can’t get over how well done it is. It is a drawing of every dress worn by a Best Actress Academy Award winner. Interesting to see how dresses have evolved. I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVED the show last night, and Ellen may be my new favorite individual.