Wywiad dla stephenking.nl

1. Can you tell us more about yourself: age, education, are you married – with children (or not), do you have a pet and If yes: what kind of pet? Did you have other jobs before becoming an illustrator?

I live with my wife and daughter In Katowice now. It is an industrial city in the South part of Poland (the Silesia region). Before I started with computer graphics I had worked as an electronics engineer-this is my profession. My adventure with computer graphics has started in the ’90, when I bought Amiga computer. Small Amiga’s successes encouraged me to change my profession. During next years I changed my job several times, and even though I have been working as graphic designer, I was able to know many forms of computer graphics such as: animation, 3D graphics, visualization, printing and typical commercial art.

2. How did you become an Illustrator?

Since I remember I have always been drawing, so in fact I am an illustrator from the beginning, and art has always been my great passion. On the other hand, the access to computer graphics was some kind of breakthrough in my work. It was computer graphics which allowed me processing many of my ideas into the digital picture.

3. Do you illustrate for a living and was that a life long dream to become one?

For the long time I have been creating my pictures for my own pleasure. I am glad of my cooperation with publishing houses because it gives me the possibility to fulfil myself in the area of computer graphics, it is difficult in the advertising companies, which clients are not interested in computer graphics connected with science-fiction or horrors. My current cooperation with publishing houses is only a supplementary job.

4. Do you have an illustrator who’s work was very important for you an who had an influence or inspired you? Who was that, and why?

As an enthusiast for fantasy, I have always been fascinated with the technique and ideas of: Boris Valleyo, Luis Royo, Tim White and Zdzisław Beksiński. The truth is that music, film and literature are my biggest inspirations. Except of cinema graphics the big pleasure for me is creating illustrations inspirited by music of, for example, Steve Roach.

5. How do you make your illustrations – are they made by computer, do you use pictures and work from there, or is it painting or what?

Now practically all my pictures are made on the computer. For some time, also quite intensely (over 100 pictures sold) I was painting in oils and acrylic. Unfortunately I don’t have time for this, my main tool is photoshop, tablet and digital camera. I take lot of pictures which are used to create my visions.

6. How long are you working on an illustration?

The time passing by from the idea to the finished picture is different. Having all necessary materials an illustration can be made in few hours (Willa), sometimes it lasts a week or two, such was in the case of “Dark Tower – Lud City”. In the case of making photo-montages gathering or making suitable photos last the longest.

7. Did you have your own style from the beginning, or did you try other styles before the illustrations we now know of you?

In the field of computer graphics I am self-thought person, for many years I have been using different 2D and 3D programs, trying different techniques. Nowadays I work mostly in photoshop. It is a perfect tool of photo-manipulation and it allows typical painting operations at the same time. Usually, I try to connect photo-montages with 2D graphics. It must not be obvious for the onlooker what is a photo and what is picture. In “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” illustration, for the first time I have combined photo-montage with drawing. The forest, on the drawback of this illustration, is my own acrylic painting. I would like to use this technique more often in the future.

8. Are you famous in Poland and for what?

No, I’m not famous. I don’t know how it is in The Netherlands but in Poland it is rather difficult to became famous computer graphic designer. Undoubtedly, the above mentioned Tomasz Beksiński was famous. Tomasz Bagiński, thanks to his animation “Katedra”, in some way become famous. I know several great computer graphics designers, but they aren’t famous for sure. I think that fame is reserved for others fields of culture.

9. Are you a Stephen King fan? When did that start for you and why?

Of course I am big fan of Stephen King. The first his text I read was the story: “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” published in 1988 in the polish magazine “Fantastyka”. I liked that story very much, but in that time I was put away from King, fantasy and any literature for two years ( I was induct into the army). In 1990 I went back to the King’s texts. ‘’Christine”, “Misery”, “Salems Lot”, “Carrie” were first novels I have met. The King’s stories style bewitched me so much, that it disqualified totally other authors this kind of literature.

10. You also work with the Polish Stephen King Fanclub. How did you get in contact with them, and what do you do together with them? And what do they for you?

The polish King’s website (www.stephenking.pl) has got ‘fan-art’ into which everyone may send one’s job connected with King. I did it several times. My works were accepted and I was proposed to make a calendar with 12 graphics connected with the King’s output. I haven’t got much time for this but I’ve made it. For that moment the full cooperation has begun. Beside the calendar I’ve prepared many computer graphics for the website, helped with the T-shirts’ designs, and made posters with illustrations inspired by the King’s output. Now we are planning to publish new calendar. We have part of pictures but I must made several.

11. As we understand it, you also made Polish book covers for the publisher of SK books. How did they contact you? And which ones did you make ? Do you have a favourite and why is that?

Pictures to the calendar started everything. Those work were noticed by publishing house, which was looking for the illustration to reissue of Stephen King’s novel. Pictures to “Desperation”, “Rose Madder” and “IT” were bought. “Desperation” is available in the bookshops since May, we are still waiting for the rest. I have got also orders for several others book covers of King. In the meantime I have started cooperation with another big publishing house, I have a chance to make a cover for the book of Tabitha King in the future.

12. What is your favourite Stephen King book, and why?

I do not have this one and only book but in the lead there are for sure: “The Dark Tower”, “The Stand”, “Christine”, “Dolores Claiborne”, “Misery”, “Bag Bones”, “From a Buick Eight”, “Gerald’s Game”. I love with no exception all his stories.

13. Do you collect Stephen King books? On what book are you most proud and why?

I have got all Stephen King’s books published in Poland. Practically every one (besides the newest like “Cell”) I read two, three times. The most precious book in this collection, for me, is now “Desperation” with my cover.

14. Are you familiar with the Dark Tower comic from Marvell? If you know them, what do you think is best and worse of the comic?

Yes I know Marvell. Great piece of work, I like it very much. Maybe I don’t like Rheia picture, I imagined this character a bit different.

15. On what illustration you made based on a Stephen King story, are you most proud?

I am very glad of “Rose Madder”, I am twice glad as it will be on the cover, I haven’t even dream about it while making this picture. I think that graphics for “the Mist” is quite good. I am also glad of few illustration to the new edition of “The Dark Tower”, I do not published them anywhere to the moment of acceptation by the publisher.

16. What is your ambition and what you would like to see happen in the quick future?

Speaking of Stephen King, I would like, above others, finish illustration to “The Dark Tower”. I dream about illustrating every novel and story of King. Maybe it will come true in the future, who knows?. I would like to start cooperation with publishing houses from abroad. Except book covers I would like to create music cover. The most for the ambient’s and electronic music’s players.

17. Anything you want to tell to the Dutch and Belgium Stephen King Fans?

In the Netherlands and Belgium there is strong group of Stephen King’s fans and that makes me happy. I was driving through the Netherlands and Belgium. Beautiful countries with fantastic architecture especially in small towns.