Children's notebooks, hand-drawn patterns, and clumsy art class cut-outs: Agata Królak’s works take you on a nostalgic voyage to the world of childhood. Her light lines and palette of pure colours, seasoned with a sense of humour, create a dynamic and slightly perverse microcosm.
Graphic artist and illustrator.
Agata Królak is a graphic artist from Gdańsk, where she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies under Dr. Adam Kamiński at the Basics of Visual Communication workshop of the same institution. She published her thesis work, the book Cakes, Cookies and Such / Ciasta, ciastka i takie tam, with the publishing house Dwie Siostry, and collaborated with them to publish her next two books.
Both Cakes, Cookies and Such and From the Parcel, From the Forest and Such / Z działki, z lasu, i takie tam consist of recipes collected from family members and friends. These books are, however, much different from typical cookbooks. Instead of clichéd photos of a cutlet, Królak creates humorous compositions from newspaper clippings, ink stains and nonchalant scribbles. In order to create these fascinating remixes, Królak uses, amongst others, photos taken at New York flea markets which she skilfully combines with texts that look as if they were written by first-graders.
design for children
Many of Królak’s works are addressed to children. The book Workbears / Robimisie was published by Dwie Siostry and presents various professions. The publication contains illustrations of bears which have appropriate attributes that enable identification of their jobs. Producer / Wytwórnik, a book/notebook for children, is another of the author's projects meant for a young audience. Here, Królak gives the reader a lot of freedom to make his or her own choices and decisions, inviting them to furnish the rooms of a house and its surroundings. The synthetic illustrations suggest only spaces and shapes, building the silhouette of a world based on unrestrained imagination, fantastically outlined and appealing to the eyes with its blaze of colours.
Królak also works on illustrations for texts by other authors. Her illustrations have embellished the pages of popular magazines including Zwierciadło, Chimera, Charaktery, Menażeria and Zwykłe Życie. For Mateusz Wysocki’s unpublished text Gbury Tucholskie, she created a comprehensive visual setting without using her regular colours. In black and white, she created a humorous background for the remarkable story of an aristocratic hypochondriac.
The graphic works of the author are complemented by her activity in the field of music visualization. Under the pseudonym VJ Hertschmerz, Królak prepares visualizations for various genres of music, exploring the links between rhythm, melody and image. She used a musical metaphor when she spoke about another aspect of her portfolio – creating posters:
I guess I like to think that my posters are sort of like music from an Ableton – the artist said – I have a few tracks that I cut, interweave, duplicate and modulate – kind of like a visual remix. This visual deejaying results in memorable compositions that feature Królak’s characteristic typography, which brings to mind handwritten notes. These notes, often juxtaposed with old photographs and almost naive childish drawings, create a fantastic, surreal visual language which is appealing both to children and grown-ups.
Author: Agata Morka, August 2014, translated by: Marek Kępa
Selected exhibitions and awards:
- 24th Biennial of Illustration, Bratislava
- Chimeras / Chimery, Gdańsk
- COW International Design Festival
- 23rd Poster Biennale, Wilanów