Egle Kazdailyte is a visual designer, illustrator & painter. She is creating graphics, illustrations and visual concepts for multiple companies in different parts of the world.
Egle studied and worked as an architect in The Netherlands, working on a wide range of projects ranging from interior design for a synagogue to project design of Saudi Arabian consulate. For the last seven years she has been focusing on applying her illustration and drawing skills in new media: be it a user interface for an advanced simulation software or design of web-based publications, illustrations, or purely paintings and watercolours.
Egle is very curious about all things visual.
Interview with Pirelli "World" magazine:
Copyright © Egle Kazdailyte
INTERVIEW WITH THE COVER ARTIST
Why did you decide to become an illustrator?
I didn’t! I originally wanted to be an architect and that is what I studied in Vilnius [Lithuania] and Amsterdam for almost seven years. I also worked as an architect for more than five years. The funny thing is that every time I got a job as an architect my colleagues would ask me to draw concepts for the buildings, make collages, illustrate presentations. Each and every job I got as an architect was mainly because of my drawing skills. At some point this genius idea came to me that I could draw not only for architects, but for all industries. At that time mobile applications and startups were becoming popular. I became interested in new technologies and the digital world and got a job in London as a graphic designer in a startup.
Do you have an artistic background?
I come from a family of graphic designers and graphic design always seemed to me something that I knew quite well. I was curious and wanted to learn something new, which is why I chose architecture. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While studying architecture I learnt how to actually make a project from first sketch and concept through to final implementation. That helps a lot when I have to work with programmers and engineers while creating mobile apps, websites or animated digital illustrations. As an architect I also learnt to look at each project as unique and different. That is why I sometimes change or adapt my graphic style if I feel that a certain project needs it.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
I’m lucky that I love my work so much. Pictures are always on my mind. Whatever I do I’m always thinking about a picture that I’m working on at that moment. It comes into my mind naturally, so I don’t have to worry about finding inspiration. However, I love painting and paintings and I often browse through books of famous painters and that does inspire me a lot. At the moment I am obsessed with Alex Katz.
What do you try to put into your work?
First I always try to think about a good concept. I sometimes don’t even start drawing if I don’t have a good verbal concept in my mind for the picture. With my work I always try to explain things to myself and others. What kind of picture would be perfect to show what it is like to be an adult? What is the best visual representation for a teacher? Or culture? How to represent technology without being banal and oldfashioned and drawing a rocket? How to draw imagination? I guess clarity is what I try to achieve with my work.
What are your influences?
Books and reading in general are a big part of my life and a huge influence. That is the main reason I consciously decided to do editorial work as much as possible. At the moment I am reading Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: Life in the Back of Beyond by my favourite picture maker Tomi Ungerer. I love how fluid, free and sincere his writing and his pictures are. It all comes together perfectly. I also love reading Sally Rooney. She is one of my favourite contemporary writers.
At the moment I am working on an ongoing personal project with friends in which I’m creating visuals (website and illustrations) for an audio book. It’s called Truth As a Whole, anyone can listen to it online, and it is a fantastic modern spy novel based on a true story.
At what time of day do you prefer to create?
I am definitely a morning person and everything I do after 6pm is usually useless. However, since I have a family (a child, a husband and a dog) having a routine can be hard. I have learnt to work in almost any kind of conditions. I have pictures that were created on a plane or in the kitchen, bedroom etc.
You were recently in Spain. Do you travel a lot for work or to find inspiration?
We are indeed a travelling family. Over the past 10 years we have lived in the Netherlands, London, Singapore, New York, China, India, Denmark and Spain. I consider myself a citizen of the world and trying to understand how people live in different parts of it is crucial to me. We also wanted to show the world to our daughter who is now eight years old.
At the moment I live between Spain and London. I travel for work to London and stay there for a week every month, but my home is in this tiny village called Sanlúcar de Guadiana. It is a magical place and I have all the time in the world to be creative there. Pictures and paintings that I made in Singapore or Cuba look and feel very different from those that I made in London, for example. Different cultures and colours inspire me a lot.
How hard is it to combine your own ideas with clients' requests and needs?
It is very hard. I am still trying to figure out how to do it. I have noticed that if I am working with an art director the process is usually smooth, creative and easy. But if the client is someone who has little experience in the visual world then it can become difficult. Some clients unfortunately want to see very detailed, overloaded pictures in an effort to make sure their ideas will be understood. But I always like to think that viewers are intelligent enough to understand good abstraction and concept. I don’t think people have time to look at complicated visuals these days.
The theme of this edition of World magazine is “The paradox of boundaries”. How do you feel about this? How have you experienced boundaries in your life and work?
Liquid Modernity by Zygmunt Bauman is one of my favourite books and that is how I feel about the times we live in. There are really very few boundaries left these days. You can be what you want, with who you want, where you want. At least in the western world. I love the freedom, but I sometimes have mixed feelings about it since it can increase feelings of uncertainty. Bauman has a beautiful description of his concept of “liquid modernity”: Nomadism becomes a general trait of the ‘liquid modern’ man as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes more.
Choose three words to describe your style.
Bold. Conceptual. Observational. (Like Jerry Seinfeld's comedy.)