I admit it. I’m drawn to the 21st century constructivist posters of Karol Banach. The dense, colorful patterns are like a bouillabaisse of Modernism, with hints of Cubism, a dash of Surrealism, and peppered with architectural elements. His impressive portfolio includes illustrations for editorial, books, and, of course, these posters. So when I found out that Banach is still a student at the University Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland, I was surprised, to say the least. Talk about talented young blood. And I wanted to know more.
What led you to illustration?
I’ve been drawing since childhood, thanks to my parents. My father liked to paint in his free time, so he often gave me some crayons so he could have some peace of mind.
Though my journey with illustration started at an early age, I was never confident enough to show any of my work. This changed during my second year at university. Luckily I had people around me who made me believe in myself, and I finally felt that becoming an illustrator was the right thing for me to do.
Your posters are striking. Where do the ideas come from?
I have a lot of different interests, I always try to stay open-minded. Posters are very good for experimenting with form, shapes, and typography. This kind of freedom allows me to design without boundaries.
Let’s talk about style and process.
Honestly, I don’t have a clear style; rather, it’s a creative process. When I’m working I like to try new things. At the same time, I must admit that I like to use certain patterns, shapes, and other precise ways for drawing—say, for example, human heads. In my opinion, you need to constantly try new ways of expression to be creative.
Where do you find inspiration?
When I was younger, I was into painters like Picasso, Basquiat, and many others. I still like to read biographies of artists and architects, but more often these days I read blogs that feature artists from around the world.
Do you have a creative routine?
I try to wake up early because I’m most productive at the beginning of the day. I don’t like to work in the night, but sometimes it’s necessary to make deadlines. And I’m working on becoming more organized.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a mural for Samsung Poland. Now I’m working on a project for a clothing brand, a book cover, and a poster for a cultural event in Poland. I love to draw and it’s a pleasure for me. I consider myself a happy person, because I can do what I love and still make a living.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be doing?
I would like to be an art collector or, even better, a classic car collector.