Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in Warsaw, Poland. There wasn't any clear point when I've decided to be an artist. I always liked to draw and paint, but never connected it with my professional career, I did it only for fun. In high school I’ve decided to be an architect. Drawing was mandatory subject on architecture, and I quickly realized that it is much more interesting for me than designing buildings. Things went pretty fast then, I’ve discovered concept art and Wacom tablet, that was the beginning.
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
The only school I’ve finished which was connected to art was Architecture Department on Warsaw University of Technology. It gave me a lot of knowledge about perspective, architecture and environment design, art history, etc. But it wasn't strictly about drawing or painting, I had to learn almost everything on my own ;)
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
I always had a strong support from my parents and family. My mother is also an artist so she gave me a lot of encouragement and confidence. I had a lot of luck ;)
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
When I was a kid it was mostly comics, things like Thorgal, Hellboy, Valerian and Laureline, Spirou et Fantasio, Asterix and many more. Little bit later I discovered classical painting, impressionism and art noveau, guys like Mucha, Toulouse - Latrec, Monet. Then architecture, Gaudi, Mies van der Roche, Le Corbusier. I also found a lot of inspiration in fields like literature, and cinema.
Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
In my childhood it was definitely medieval theme. Knights, battles and armors - that was the most interesting subject for me back then. Later I was drawing a lot of fantasy stuff, but quickly got a bit tired of that. It's one of the most clichéd subjects in the internet. Now I try to be a little bit more original with my ideas ;)
From the initial client idea to the final work: what goes through your mind when you are designing and what is the method you use when starting a project? Could you describe it?
Communication is crucial for me while working with clients. Good understanding of what people want from you could save a lot of time. In the beginning of the project I usually try to spend as much time as possible doing good research and carefully studying brief, asking questions and creating a lot of sketches. Then it depends on clients - sometimes workflow is fast and intuitive, sometimes there are a lot of changes and revisions. It’s different every time.
What is your process in colouring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
I don’t have any special method or tools. I usually have some color scheme in mind when I’m starting, sometimes I make quick “color script” sketch in the beginning to try out some solutions, but that’s all.
What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
The first initial part is the best. Searching for the idea, creating quick sketches. Usually I start with pencil and paper because it’s more intuitive for me, it’s easier to create quick and dynamic draft that way. The most difficult thing is not to loose that feeling later in the process of refining ;)
What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work/collaborate with?
I am definitely a night person, so I don’t wake up to early, usually around 8-9 am. Then good breakfast and necessarily first cup of yerba mate (I love coffe but I drank to much of it, so I switched recently - yerba works perfectly for me) Then I work until 5-6 pm. At this moment it’s time for some cycling. After that I eat supper, spend some time with my family. Around 22-23 I start my personal projects and draw until I won’t be sleepy. Of course not every day looks like this. Freelancing gives you an opportunity to change something all the time. People I work with are changing constantly, I like that a lot and I think it’s one of the big advantages of freelance.
What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
It’s really hard to say, because there was a lot of stuff I have learned from others. One thing is sure - it’s very good way of learning to share your experiences with people you are working with. So if you have a chance - don’t waste it ;)
Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
I think I am still waiting for that :) But I must say that quality of projects I am working on is still growing and that is something I am very happy about.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
My longterm goal is to draw cool stuff better and better :) I never wanted to be an art director in big company and spend time on telling people what to do instead of painting. I would like to have my own little studio and just paint great things for awesome projects.
Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
For me - freelancing is much better. But it’s tough, especially at the beginning. And it won’t suit everybody. I have worked in few studios before, it was great to have people around and learn from them. But it was not for me, I am an introverted person and I can’t focus on work when there is a lot of people everywhere. So I prefer to work alone and meet with people in my free time. Of course you need to develop strong self discipline and be very careful about your work/life balance, but if you’ll manage the first year it’s much easier later ;)
What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
I would say that it’s good to have some break from your computer from time to time. There is so many amazing things out there which could inspire you. New experiences - traveling, meeting people, putting yourself in new situations. Also great creations made by others - movies, animations, comics, paintings, books, exhibitions. For me personally the most important thing which keeps me full of new ideas is habit of observation. Even when I am walking or cycling the same path day after day I always could find something new and interesting there. I also think that sport is really helpful with clearing your mind. For me it’s cycling, but sometimes even short walk could help.
Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there are lots of choices. When you’re young, sometimes you know only one thing: you love to draw. What should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
I think it’s not a bad idea to try every of those subjects, especially in first years of your career or even better when you are learning. Without trying it’s hard to decide what suits you best. And there is something interesting in every of those fields.
If you had to recommend only one art book (a comic book, graphic novel, children book, ''how to'' book) to a fellow artist, what would it be and why?
Very hard choice, I don’t think it’s possible to choose one which will be perfect for everyone. I think for me it was Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre.
Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favourite designs out there?
Again, it’s very difficult to say. Internet gave us all possibility to see how many great artists are out there. It’s awesome, and every day there are some new names showing up. If I would try to list a few artists working for entertainment industry which are the most inspiring to me I would say: Luc Desmarchelier, Paul Felix, Robh Ruppel, Carter Goodrich, Scott Wills. From a little bit younger generation - Sparth, Alberto Mielgo or Sergey Kolesov.
Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
First of all, you can find my paintings on my website ( krzysztofroslan.com ), but I am also present on social media. I'm on Facebook ( facebook.com/krzysztofroslan.art ), Artstation ( artstation.com/artist/roslan ) and Instagram ( instagram.com/krzysztof_roslan ). You can also find more of my commercial work on my Behance profile ( behance.net/ros1 ) Thank you very much!
Thank you Krzysztof :)