We like the mixed-media stylings of Polish graphics student, Karol Banach aka ‘Korneliusz’. His illustration work is a mashup of energetic, intuitive mark making and simpler designed shapes in traditional and digital mediums. Considering he is still on his course in Torun, Poland, we thought it would be nice to ask him a few questions while still in the middle of his studies. We usually catch up with students during their final shows or just after, so we thought it would be a good chance to get a student’s perspective in situ.
Karol has a range of different projects on his site, from the looser illustration style he shows us here to more succinct vector-designed posters. We like that, even though this kind of work is free and expressive, you can still see little fragments of graphic design seeping through, like in the compositions and limited colour palettes.
Sketchbooks are obviously important and feed into the final pieces. Karol shows us some of these sketchbooks as well as having a little chat below.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you’re studying at the moment?
My name is Karol Banach and ‘Korneliusz’ is my nickname that I sometimes like to use. As a kid, I loved Lego and drawing cars. Currently, I’m on the second year of Graphics Design at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun. I come from a small town where no one understood my drawings, so I had to run away.
How would you describe the work you’ve been doing so far?
I usually start with drawing, so sketching and making notes is really important for me. In my work, I love to mix techniques: collage, vectors, typography, drawings, acrylic, crayons. I love them all. I would describe my work as a big never-ending experiment, never-ending story about new techniques, patterns, compositions, faces, emotions, dreams and so on. I don’t want to constrain myself staying in one ‘style’. I think I’m not ready for that. Using new mediums, I want to keep my work fresh, mix it, burn it, forget about it and then discover something new.
What are you interested in doing after you graduate?
I have never thought about what I will do after I graduate, but I want to work as a freelancer. I love illustration, although I don’t exclude typography, prints, logos, and other exciting things from the world of design.
What inspires your work at the moment?
I really love the culture of cycling, fashion, and music, but the situations and emotions of everyday life are a true inspiration to me. I also think that the constant search for something new, new solutions, watching, listening, learning is also very important. At the moment, I love to draw cute faces, but I really don’t know what makes me do it. And one more thing: Jean-Michel Basquiat is my no.1 artist of all time.
As someone who is doing it right now, what advice would you give to someone who is thinking about enrolling on an art course in the near future?
I don’t know if I’m the right person to give advice, but I would say: ‘follow your emotions and swim! And don’t be afraid to experiment with materials and techniques. Imagination + hard work = profit’.
© Karol Banach, 2012