Interview - August 4th, 2015
Are you one of those who like humorous illustrations? Then you will definitely also like Balazs Solti, a self-taught freelance illustrator from Budapest, Hungary who has been developing his creative talent since 2010. What Balazs draws is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, however the artwork is without a doubt a powerful statement, sometimes even impossible to forget. In his works the illustrator combines modern design influences and a strong affection for pop culture,in order to create detailed graphics with a little humor including a wide collection of seemingly effortless animal and skull portraits.
A well-considered attention to details is yet another tool Balazs uses to make his illustrations more than just simple drawings. If a panda convict or a hipstery scull doesn’t impress you enough then a lion in a Soviet tracksuit or The Queen dressed as a ballerina probably will. The choice is wide in deed. Looking at the artist’s professional career, you can see how he has found and developed his signature style starting from real life drawings and human pieces to different kinds of animal and skull portraits that have currently become his favorite form of creative expression. As of today Balazs’ work can be purchased at more than 40 online shopping platforms across the world to satisfy every true illustration lover out there.
How did you first decide that you want to be an illustrator? Has drawing always been a passion of yours or was it something you discovered unintentionally?
When I was a child I drew a lot, but I have never studied it professionally. Later I drew less and less other stuffs became more important like music, meeting friends etc. So when I had to decide what university to go to the art schools weren’t on my list, I studied Russian language and literature. A few years later after the university something was missing and I started drawing again it was about in 2009-2010, and now I can make living as an illustrator.
Where do you see yourself within the global illustration scene and what do you do to constantly improve your skills?
It’s not an easy question, I think others are more suitable to answer it. I hope this is just the beginning for me.
To improve my skills I’m practicing a lot, I’m trying new techniques, and I’m always trying to find how I can make my new designs better than the previous works. I started making acrylic paintings in my free time, in this way I make different artworks than I create usually, it’s fun for me.
Does every panda bear, tiger, lion, dog and skull drawing of yours has a symbolic meaning behind it? What is the main message you try to get across through your characters?
Not every drawings but some of them has a symbolic meaning, but I think only that matters what does the drawing mean for the viewer. My main message is simple I’m just trying to make people simple.
Who or what influences you as an artist and how do you incorporate it into your work?
I find inspiration all around me, from pop culture, film, music, literature, from the other artists I admire. It appears in my works if I find something inspirational.
What tools do you use for your illustrations? Have your techniques changed over the years?
It has changed a lot. Now I make details drawing with grunge elements, the subject has also changed. Recently I draw digitally in Corel Painter with my Wacom drawing tablet, in this way I can draw like with a real pencil or pen, I don't have to do the scanning of the images, I can easily modify them, it saves time for me.
What is your main future goal as an artist and illustrator? Do you have any visions about what the industry is going to be like after another five years?
It would be cool if I could get into galleries. I’m also interested in fashion industry as an illustrator.
Now the industry reminds me what the music industry was in the 50’s. I mean everywhere then opened record shops, it wasn’t so complicated to get into radio plays, than later. Now everywhere POD sites, art shops, the internet has opened up a lot of opportunities to illustrators, so I have no idea how it is going to be like after another five years.