How have I created my own style

Matej Kvasnovsky
Feb 21 · 4 min read

A big part of my day to day work is to create or extend a graphic user interface in a way that it is visually appealing. To do so, I have spent a considerable amount of time studying principles of functional visual design and learning how to apply them. I am still excited about the journey and love all new trends coming and going, however, only recently I have discovered also an inner artist in me.

In love with stationery

Although my whole career I have been dealing with digital graphic software, I have developed a passion for physical drawing tools. I like to possess various types of papers, notebooks, pencils and markers. I also own many inks, brushes, colours and nothing stops me from buying new brands. Anytime I travel somewhere, I research local stores for artists and bring home at least a set of paper clips. Because I used to barely do something with all these tools (sometimes I don’t even know their purpose), the problem escalated quickly. When I had no more space to store another set of markers, I decided that I needed to start making some art.

Lettering era

For a couple of years, I have been mesmerized by drawing custom letters. There are plenty of inspirational artists in the industry from all around the world, to name a few of my favourites — ritchieruiz, mrseaves101, pokraslampas, joncontino, mattvergotis, bijdevleet, kulapanik or galleries type.gang, handmadefont, typographyinspired and typism. I really enjoyed studying their work and trying as close as possible to their level, but my respect for typography gained during my studies at the university blocked me in my process. While I knew that my work could never be 100% perfect, still I polished my letters over and over to ensure the slants, spacings, swashes or ligatures were correct. My last piece took me almost 5 months to be finished and I was so exhausted that I didn’t have the energy to start something new any soon. Moreover, when I looked at the recent work a few weeks later, I saw so many defects again! Remembering that I should enjoy the process, I realized that lettering was not for me.

Geometry art

Looking for new inspirations, I came across the work of many skilled illustrators. Although I still follow them and admire their beautifully crafted artworks, for a moment I felt a lack of uniqueness in the field and didn’t want to start doing the same thing as many others do. Everything changed when I discovered a smaller subset of artists focusing on geometric art. I do like abstract geometric illustrations, too, but mainly unabstract pieces spellbound me. I find the way of the shattering of homogenous form into something that reassembles the origin while still offering enough scope to the imagination of the audience highly satisfying.

The first drawing that I created in this style was a copy of an artwork from one of my favourite illustrators, Slovak artist with an amazing and always changing style Lucy Bumpkinova. It was a human head and although I have never shared the illustration with the public because that would be a steal, it is still one of the pieces that I like the most in my private collection.

Concatism

Since then I have recreated a few more half-abstract illustrations to practice and mainly started with my own production. I also learned something about Picasso’s cubism and added to my Instagram feed artists following the style. Because I have a feeling that my illustrations are a bit closer to reality than the cubists are trying to be, I also invented a new name for my style. I call it concatism and what does the name mean or who it is inspired by I will describe in another blog post.

Style is always in progress

Currently, I am enjoying drawing in concatism, but I am quite sure that it will not last forever. My ideas are constantly evolving and the direction is also sometimes coincidental. For example, I have added the thick black lines in my illustrations only because of a problem with the paper that I used at that time. It wasn’t bleed-proof and the artwork had a lot of smudges that I had to hide with bold outlines. Since then, despite I am using different paper now, the black unequal lines are characteristic to my illustrations. Conversely, I am also dropping the ideas when they appear to be less potent than expected. For example, initially, I used to write exactly one hundred word story about each of my artworks but the process turned out to be quite stressful and blocking me from what I liked the most — drawing.

The form supports the content

I tried to illustrate in concatism various objects including people, animals or plants. However, I am an expatriate and traveller so drawing the places where I have belonged makes the most sense to me. As one of my favourite songs from Bad Karma Boy says We carry with us a little bit of each place that we have lived. The concatistic creative process nudges me into paying attention to tiniest details of the place, appreciation of the moment and remembering everything even more vividly.

Matej Kvasnovsky

Written by

London based UX designer who likes to escape from the world of functional design and become an artist for a few hours a week. Originally from Trencin.

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