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Krzysztof Maziarz: lead artist interview

Krzysztof Maziarz

Art Director

Krzysztof Maziarz aka Krzymsky is a Polish Lead Artist and Art Director working for a game development studio, responsible for all visual aspects of the process. He shares his advice and colorful portfolio…

Krzysztof's website

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Krzysztof

Hi, I’m Krzysztof Maziarz a.k.a Krzymsky. I’m currently working as an art director/lead artist in a small mobile gamedev studio located in southern Poland. As the studio is quite small, my daily duties are related to all the visual aspects of games creation, from concept art, through illustration, animation and even user interface design. I always liked making video games. I’m a programmer by profession; I previously worked as a gameplay developer, and after a few years of doing that, I decided I would try to turn my favorite hobby into my regular job, which for me, was always drawing.

Adam

How do you get into the “creative zone?” Do you prefer a particular place or time of day?

Krzysztof

I have always considered myself more of a craftsman than an artist, probably because of my past technical job. I split my work into two parts: conceptual and executive. First, I just calmly start thinking about the project and let my imagination do the work. I don’t even think about grabbing the tools before I have a clear vision of what I want to draw. The second stage is more about the craft and actual labor. I don’t need special circumstances to do it; I just sit down and draw. I like to work early in the morning, before breakfast. I like the feeling of getting things done before the day actually starts.

mechanic girl, art, digital art, drawing
mechanic girl, art, digital art, drawing
shop, drawing, sale, cartoon, colorful
keep out, drawing, den, caravan
boys, art, drawing, brains,

Adam

Which piece of work are you most proud of? Why?

Krzysztof

I really like the voodoo/pirate treehouse I did recently. I used to be a little afraid of using colors and my palettes were rather subdued and unsaturated. On this piece the colors are much more vivid and I like the contrast between this example and my older works; it shows me the progress that I have made. I’m also happy about the short comic I did last year, it was the first comic I ever drew and I think it turned out pretty well.

Adam

What software do you use, either for work or personal projects?

Krzysztof

I mainly work with Photoshop on a 12-inch Cintiq, both at work and at home. I usually use 2-3 different brushes – the default ones – for everything. I rarely draw traditionally nowadays. A while ago I started using Procreate on iPad, but I only do it occasionally. I would like to play with it more often, but I have too much to do and at this time, I cannot imagine completely switching from Photoshop.

I try to review my older works from time to time and check if there is something that no longer represents my style and should be removed.

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Krzysztof

In my portfolio I try to keep only the work that I’ve done on my own accord, and I’d love to do more of those. This gives me a better chance if a potential client approaches me, it’s specifically because they liked something in my portfolio and would like something similar in style. I try to review my older works from time to time and check if there is something that no longer represents my style and should be removed.

Adam

Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Krzysztof

My main place to post is Artstation. I only publish my finished works there. I post more often on Instagram, mostly sketches, works in progress, generally everything behind the scenes. I also have a Facebook fanpage and Twitter, where I put my gamedev related stuff. I’m also addicted to Pinterest and save every other picture in hope that someday I will organize all of them.

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Krzysztof

Actually, I get mostly positive feedback about my work and really appreciate it. But it can be tricky. You need to be very careful not to become overly satisfied with your work, otherwise you may stop improving your craft. So I am very critical about my art. But the recognition itself is quite important. Because my works are becoming more and more consistent in style, they are getting quite distinctive and niche. Therefore, the more recognizable my works are, the better. A bigger chance to find people who like what I do.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Krzysztof

I have many things on my to-do list. I would love to make a video game totally in my style, without having to compromise. But I’m not only focusing on games. I had a chance to illustrate a board game before and it is a super cool feeling when you get a physical box, board and cards with your own drawings and you can hold it in your hands. So I definitely wish to work on some more board games, maybe a card game. Being able to build some crazy world for an animated movie would also be great. And of course publishing my own comic book, in hardcover, which can be put on a bookshelf. Also T-shirts designs, skateboard decks, murals, album covers – a lot of work is still ahead of me.

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game, video game, design, dungeon full,
fixing, art, drawing, digital art ,
gameover, girl, fighting, gun, fire
tree house, drawing, digital art, 2d, mexican

Adam

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Krzysztof

I have never had much to do with traditional arts and unfortunately I’m quite ignorant when it comes to it. But it’s getting better because of my girlfriend who likes to drag me from one art gallery to the next. However I have a few traditional artists, mainly comic creators, that I love, like Simon Bisley, Mike Mignola, and Scottie Young. From the digital world, I think Sergi Brosa is one of my favorites.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Krzysztof

I’m working on animating some of my works in the form of interactive animation, maybe even a simple game. I really like putting loads of detail into my work, details that give them some backstory, breathe life into them. So I want to make my works even more alive by animating them. But this is quite an ambitious project, so it probably will take some time.

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