Dawid Ryski, a.k.a. Talkseek or Risky, is an illustrator, graphic designer, and musician. Born in 1982, he lives and works in Puławy, near Warsaw.
Ryski designs posters for concerts and album covers, as well as illustrations for the press. He is the drummer of the punk band The Black Tapes and is one half of the Pinata Unique drawing collective, which he forms together with his wife Anula.
His illustrations may be found mainly in Polish magazines, such as Duży Format, Przekrój, Wprost, and Charaktery. He has worked for the Łódź Design Festival, Watch Docs Festival (Warsaw), and Goethe Institut. Designing posters is his favourite thing. He has created some for such bands as Franz Ferdinand, Zola Jesus, Gossip, and the Afghan Whigs. Ryski’s first professional commissions were also music-related:
It was a breakthrough moment for me. I was asked to create album artwork for my friends’ band. Meanwhile, I also started playing drums in a Warsaw-based band. I was immediately appointed the band’s official graphic designer.
Dawid Ryski’s background is in landscape architecture. He made his very first attempts at drawing and illustration while still in kindergarten – he wouldn’t stop drawing fire engines. Later on, his interests changed, but he never let go of the pencil again.
At primary school, I used to copy bands’ logos into my notebook, while at high school, I was a devoted fan of skateboarding. I was closely observing the skateboard art design scene – the artist recalls.
Ryski never lost this passion – nowadays, he creates a lot of his own designs for skateboards.
I remember my first press illustration very well – it was for the Bluszcz monthly. By that time, I came to terms with working on a computer, and was beginning to acquaint myself with Photoshop. Before that, I would use pencil and fine liner only. It was a period when I had a full time corporate job. After hours, I would work on illustrations for several magazines. It came to a point when I was receiving more and more commissions, and I was running out of time to complete them. Fortunately, my employer began to make some staffing cuts, which made my decision about abandoning the banker’s job all the easier. I was finally able to devote all my time to something I felt most passionate about.
In 2010, he and his wife Anula Ryska, who is also an illustrator, founded the Pinata Unique label, under which they make tote bags, and t-shirts for adults and children. They draw inspiration for their designs from childhood doodles, the music of the 1970s and 80s, and contemporary Swedish design.
We love to draw and design. We are obsessed with details – they say – We also care about the quality. All our products are released in short runs, as we want to make sure that our works are unique. The odds that you will meet another person with the same t-shirt as yours are truly scarce.
Author: Katarzyna Zacharska, October 2013, translated by Ania Micińska, June 2014
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