30 Comics Reflecting On Important Things That Are Happening In The World By Janek Koza Interview With Artist
Let us make this Friday even more special by introducing you to Janek Koza, an illustrator and cartoonist from Poland. The artist stands out with his style which can be described as an "ugly drawing" - a trend that is becoming more and more popular on social media.
Janek, through the prism of irony and humor, reflects on the main events in politics and society, including the refugee crisis, climate change and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In one of his interviews, the artist shared that he gets inspired by ordinary people, situations on the street, in stores, or on the bus. "I try to read and watch as much as I can to stay updated on what’s going on in the world. 95% of my time I spend sitting mindlessly at my desk, scrolling through the news feed, and poking around in my head. I think that it takes a lot of empathy and knowledge to make a good comment on reality."
Janek is an illustrator (working for political magazines), animator (shorts and music videos) and cartoonist (author of graphic novels). He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts as a painter, but, according to the artist, he has always been more interested in animation, and then drawings.
We asked Janek about the source of inspiration for his comics. The artist shared that he tries to look at politics from a human perspective. "I try to see politicians as ordinary people, understand their behavior. What is behind their bad, selfish, or simply stupid decisions? I also draw ordinary people with their everyday problems, failed relationships, little dreams and envy. I watch everyone around and of course myself because I'm not better than the others."
Janek uses the simplest materials - a regular black pen, old markers and used paper, printed on the other side. "For this job, you need good ideas, not expensive equipment."
To the question of what Janek would want other people to take away from his work, the artist answered simply with only one word: empathy.
"I am often tired and weary of drawing and politics. I have enough of this, and I'd like to quit. But of course, I don't stop and keep coming up with new ideas. I'm like an old uncle at a party who keeps joking. Even if no one is listening anymore and it just irritates everyone."
Janek revealed to Bored Panda that he is working on a new graphic novel book. "These will be short stories about time. In a way, it will be a sequel to my previous book Bad Dreams (available also in English), about our dreams and expectations. I also draw a comic book for kids about bad emotions. Of course, new drawings about politics and everyday life appear every week."