An architect by education, an illustrator by choice, Paweł Jońca specializes in computer-generated illustration.
He has done work for a number of periodicals, such as Przekrój, Wprost and Newsweek. He has illustrated many books, including the Polish editions of Chuck Palahniuk’s books. He also designs graphic signs, icons and graphic art for new media and advertisements.
His twenty-five-metre drawing of a Peugot car was displayed opposite Warsaw’s famous Rotunda building and many people still carry in their pockets SIM Plus cards bearing his miniature graphic design. Jońca often receives feedback stating that he manages to capture the essence of things, and for him that is the best compliment of all. When he illustrates he ensures that the means of expression he chooses aren’t a standalone value or a technical display: the objective always comes first. Speaking to culture.pl, Jońca says: "I choose the shortest path to my goal". That is why his works are take such minimalist form. He adds:
If some day the perfect illustration is ever created, it will take the form of a short and simple story about emotions. Such an image would not only describe the topic, it would also employ association to go further into the memories and personal experiences of its creator. The said illustration would be like being given an injection straight into an artery. Art comes to life in the minds of those who view it, when their sensibilities and life experiences clash with what they see; and that is when pleasant emotions come about."
The formulation of Jońca’s artistic creed was influenced in part by his technical education, which didn’t always make him feel like a true artist. All in all, Jońca owes much to his architectural studies: technical diligence, precision and developing an awareness of the consequences of decisions. When he completed his studies he realized that architecture wasn’t something he wanted to pursue, so he took up graphic design. He created websites, advertising banners, press commercials and storyboards. He received his first, serious commission from the Polish edition of Media & Marketing magazine and thus began his career as a press illustrator. During an interview for a website design job he showed his portfolio of illustrations. The images made such an impression that he was offered a contract spanning several years. That was the beginning of a series of commissions from a number of periodicals, such as: Przekrój, Wprost, Newsweek, Architecture, Maleman and Zwieciadło.
Today Paweł Jońca is one of the most recognized illustrators in Poland. His works may be found all across the world, hanging on walls from San Francisco to Sydney. Most of them take the form of printed illustrations and copies of these pieces may be bought from various websites.
The artist has also won many awards. He received Chimera press design awards in 2004, 2005 and 2009 in the 'portfolio' category. Jońca has also received distinction at the 6th AMS Poster Galley in 2006, and picked up Golden and the Silver awards at the Advertisement Creators’ Club (KTR) in the 'portfolio' and 'press illustration' categories.
These awards, however important they may be, do not motivate Jońca’s work. The artist says: 'my greatest joy is to look at a finished illustration and feel completely sure that there is nothing left to add or change. That gives me physical pleasure.' One such illustration was an image he created for the periodical Przekrój. The article accompanying Jońca’s illustration was about scientific research on the human genome. The text explored the complexity of this science and gave a perspective on the many mysteries yet to be unravelled. The artist describes his illustration as 'a 'very finished' drawing, an endless depth in which one may find scraps of information. In this depth everybody sees what they want to see.'
Author: Katarzyna Zacharska, September 2013
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