mateusz kolek

who is known for his playful, psychedelic and dreamlike illustrations, heavily influenced by Soviet science fiction flicks and Japanese anime’s.

1981, a graduate of art history. Soon found, however, that will draw than to write about drawing. He collaborated with many Polish and several advertising agencies abroad as a freelancer illustrator. His works were published in the Sectional, Exklusivie, Ivy, ESPN Magazine, USA, Popular Mechanics USA. He has participated in many group exhibitions in Poland and abroad: Illustration 2010 Warsaw, The Decade Art Show in Los Angeles, Poland illustration Edinburgh.

Good Paul "Find" Video Teaser (Finest Ego | Find EP - Project: Mooncircle, 2012) from Project Mooncircle on Vimeo.

Kolek’s work is vivid, stunning, colorful and very inspiring. Sometimes the illustrations also remind of the band Gorillaz and on the other hand are very unique. One could find many posts of his illustrations, but little information about its work. We wanted to know more about him and have asked him 10 questions. 

Name: Mateusz Kolek
Place of residence: Cracow, Poland

Age: 28

Profession: Illustrator, Freelancer

Food: Everything

Transportation: I walk a lot

You originally came from Poland and  currently are living in Spain – how did it happen?
Actually I’m back in Cracow, Poland now. It was a great year in Valencia, full of adventures, new friendships and experiences. But it was only one year. I went there with my girlfriend who wanted to study architecture at the Politechnica University of Valencia. We saw almost whole Spain, part of Portugal and Morocco and a lot of great contemporary architecture. It was a difficult year for Spain and spanish people, because Crisis was striking hard and so it wasn’t easy for me to find a job. In addition, at the beginning my spanish was very bad so I continued to work for some agencies in Cracow as a freelancer. It was just enought to live there near to the beach and travel all the time. Man, I miss that!
When have you decided to work as an Illustrator and Freelancer?
I drew a lot of comics when I was at the university (history of art ). One guy found me and told that he has something to do for me. It was about drawing storyboards for commercials and it felt great – so, first money made with drawing. I still do that from time to time because here in Poland we still don’t have many clients in need for illustrators.
For whom do you work mainly? What clients do you have?
I pay my bills by working as a freelancer for five or six agencies in Cracow, but I’m continuously searching for new clients – magazines,  publishing companies, clothing companies, private clients, etc. … I do a lot of stuff, but I feel that my best work is what I draw for myself, so now my goal is to find clients who particularly want my style.
How do yourself describe your kind of work?
It’s hard for me to say, I’d prefer you to describe it : ) I guess it’s kind of a psychodelic, living ornament, turbocolored style straight from Tokyo, Poland : )
Have you been influenced by other Illustrators, or who inspires you most?

I ‘m addicted in searching for new inspirations on the Internet – almost everyday I find something new. There are so many creative people there! I think the guys that have the biggest influence on my work are Jamie Hewlett, Hayao Miyazaki and James Jean. They ROCK! Recently I saw some works of Sam Weber( one of the illustrations you chose for the wallpaper is inspired by his style – which I really love), further I like Matheew Woodson and  Vania Zouravliov. Their skills and level of attention to the details are something I’d like to reach one day. We’ll see …
How did you get to the idea with the little boy and the man with the Japanese tattoo. The picture may be a reference to the Japanese Yakuza or does it have a completely different meaning?
That’s more about a child’s imagination than Yakuza itself. Tattoo is just another way to tell my favorite story – that’s not just an ornament, that’s a living ornament! I was thinking about an illustration with Yakuza tattoo, but I didn’t want to do just another drawing with a tattoo, because there are already too many of those. Then, the idea of a fight between a godzilla toy and a tattoo dragon hit me like a bullet ! In a second I saw it all – big Yakuza boss as a tattooed mountain with his son on him. Peaceful situation with a small battlefield in it.

Did you even had exhibitions abroad and are there current shows to see?
Actually no, I haven’t. I was waiting for the moment when I will feel like showing my work to the world and now I think that the moment came. Before Christmas I started to link my website on some popular art sites and now a lot of nice things are happening. Like an interview with ‘get addicted to …’  for example : ) Maybe someone from out of Poland will send me an exhibition proposal. That would be great.
Is there any country where you still would love to do an exhibition?
I would love to show my stuff everywhere of course : ) I don’t think it’s possible, because I’m simply not that good yet. But my dream is to do an exhibition in Japan.
What tools or programs do you use for your illustrations? Or do you paint the classical way?
Usualy I draw an outline on paper, I like to feel it under my hand. Than I work it out in photoshop. I scan some old papers and use them as texture. Sometimes I put  watercolour on top of it, because it gives this unique touch.
Have you any advice for new and aspiring Illustrators?
I’m a new and aspiring illustrator myself, you know. But ok I’ll try : ) Of course you have to practice a lot, look for new inspirations and use it in a creative way.  If you decide to show your work, sometimes it’s better to pick less drawings, showing only a few but really good ones.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------