Elliot Kruszynski is a London-based illustrator whose block-coloured creations are bright, irreverent and packed with attitude. You might have spotted his work anywhere from group shows in east London and international children’s books, to as part of murals and big publications. I caught up with Elliot after our trip to a pop-up he’d worked on Shoreditch with Reeves, to chat work, challenges and doing what you love…
Describe your work and your style…
I guess it’s quite clean and simple. Most of what I draw is just inspired by the everyday but with a bit of fun and life injected into it. I use notable features of objects and shapes to build up my images. I’m not into loads and loads of detail, but just the right amount of detail to quickly let the viewer work out what they are looking at. It also looks a bit like a child drew it.
Tell us about a typical working day…
I work as a studio manager in a screen printing studio called Print Club London a couple of days a week, so this breaks my week up a bit and means I’m not constantly drawing at my desk. I like having something else to do in the week because it makes my ‘illustrating’ days a lot more efficient.
I get up early and feed my cat (he’s called Pablo and he’s a good boy) then make my way to my studio in Dalston, London. I normally do any admin stuff like emailing first and do a little bit of drawing to warm up, then just get straight into whatever job i’m working on at the time. If I’ve got a lot on it takes a bit of time management to send work off, wait on client feedback, start on next thing etc. but the studio is always chill and normally throughout the day Kanye will be playing.
Recently I’ve been working with creative brand Reeves on some events around the UK to encourage the public to get a bit creative. We did a pop-up at Boxpark in Shoreditch the other week and another one in Manchester called “Show Your Colours” which were both cool.
Where are you based and how, if at all, does this affect your work?
My studio and print studio are both in Dalston, and I live in Peckham. It’s good up in Dalston, just loads of people all doing similar things and a nice community. The bad elements of Shoreditch haven’t quite spread up there yet. I share my studio with some really good friends (also illustrators) so just constantly have people to show work to if I want an opinion on it and can see what they are up to.
What are you up to at the moment? What are you working on?
I just got back from a meeting at a massive brewery I’m going to paint a mural in, and am about to start working on a kids book with a Korean publisher, so lots of quite varied things really.
Tell us about some of your favourite projects to date…
I painted a big mural in Etsy’s London HQ earlier this year that was well fun. I also illustrated a kids book for an Australian charity last year that was a blast.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your creative career?
Probably just like actually making a career out of it I think. Its not the easiest thing to do. Staying motivated too, as its easy to get complacent on days when you don’t have a lot of work on.
And the best bits?
In stark contrast to the last answer, having time off in the week is really good. Also seeing work in print, or out and about on the street is quite rewarding. Also I get paid to draws worms and cats and stuff.
Where can we find you?
Find more here
Words: Emily Beeson | @boogiemargaret