Questioning Creatives


This article was written on 22 Apr 2014, and is filled under illustrators.

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Monika Grubizna

I’m 29 and on my way to check all the things on my ‘to-do-before-30’ list. I’m Polish. Over a year ago I moved with my husband to the US, and now we’re residing in Boston MA. I graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus University in 2010, with an MFA degree in printmaking. Since then I’ve had several jobs and have been working as a freelance graphic artist, art instructor and illustrator.


When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
The decision was made when I was 5 after I had won my first drawing contest. The prize was a book with a handwritten dedication from the illustrator. I don’t think that any autograph of any famous person nowadays could make me that happy again.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
Art school could be helpful, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you want to pursue a career in illustration. More important is the inner need to observe, learn and draw everyday.


Could you describe your typical day?
Usually I get up at 8am. Then I eat something and drink coffee while responding to emails. I have this bad habit of eating in front of the computer, but I’m fighting it. If it’s Tuesday or Thursday I run for about an hour, it clears my mind and helps me to find good ideas. Afterwards is work time. Sometimes I stay at home, sometimes I go to the studio depending on the type of work I have to do. I try to stay organised, but it’s hard to be your own boss, so I often find myself having too many breaks or working late hours.

What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
How to price my work properly.

What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
Creating new contexts for the written story and having fun.


What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
Seeing all the imperfections after the work has been already published.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A vet.

Any other tips you could share?
Do your thing and don’t worry too much.


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