Fortune Favours The Bold - Interview With Judit Zengővári
When Judit Zengővári quit her design job to cycle and farm all around Italy in 2018, she didn’t know her bold decision would be the start of an exciting adventure — one exploring bold shapes and vibrant colours! The Budapest-based illustrator offers a whole new way of looking at things around us with her playful compositions, be it the 26 letters of the alphabet or numbers our life can’t live without. Judit shares her creative point of view further in this interview with AWW, where she reveals her treasure-filled desk and why style never lasts.
AWW: What do you want to explore and bring to people through your work?
Judit Zengővári: I love sharing my art with people. It’s a kind of connection, as they can have a glimpse of how I see the world. I find it very fascinating that every artist and creative can translate the world in their own unique way. It feels so good when you can resonate with others’ art or vice versa. So it’s definitely about connection and showing different perspectives.
AWW: How did you find your passion for illustration and develop your current style?
Judit: Like many illustrators, I have loved drawing since childhood. I went to art school to study Graphic Design but never took illustration seriously. After university, I started working in a graphic design studio but didn't really feel it was my path. My boyfriend had a creative block at that time so we decided to do something different. In 2018, we left our jobs and cycled from Hungary to Sicily, and volunteered in farms all over Italy. This adventure made me realise that I can have control over my life and do more than I thought. So when we got home, I decided to become an illustrator and started on another exciting adventure.
Developing a style is a great journey of self-discovery: you don’t really know what you want to choose at the beginning, you need to figure out what message you’d like to tell, and how until it sounds like coming from the bottom of your heart; It’s also a process of trial and error. The more you dive into it, the more you’ll see what works for you. Style is never everlasting as you’re also always changing over time. This makes creating fun as there’s so much more to explore!
AWW: Can you walk us through your creative process?
Judit: My creative process involves client work and personal work. For my client projects I usually do research and look for reference images first. At the sketching phase, I try to approach the topics in an interesting way and explore concepts which people find intriguing. Although I tend to use certain colours more frequently, I love to explore new colour palettes and try different combinations. Also, organising at every step helps me keep up with my deadlines and communicate with my clients smoothly.
Personal work is really important because I can give myself space to experiment and unexpected magic could happen! It helps me to grow as an artist and I can use those techniques in my client work. Most of the time I draw on my iPad but I also work with vectors. I love to create papercuts in my sketchbook regularly. It feels very natural and fun and has a big impact on my work. A blank page scares me as I am afraid of ruining my work with a small mistake. Nonetheless, with collage I can move elements around and build a composition easily. I am the type of creative who can only see the products during the process. So working with colourful flat shapes fits my style perfectly as I can see the results quickly :)
AWW: How do you stay motivated?
Judit: My motivation comes from curiosity, and what I love in life. The hardest thing is to find a balance between my work and personal life. I'm still learning to achieve this because it’s not easy to make a living with your passion. As a hardworking person, I can overthink things so easily. It’s super important to take care of yourself and know what makes you happy. For example, I enjoy exploring seasonal vegetables and fruits at the market and making a nice dinner from them. This always lifts me up! My best pieces are always made after I did something exciting or had a great time. It's impossible to create when I feel like a mess. Good rest equals good work!
AWW: Can you show us your studio or work desk? What are the 3 things that have inspired you most?
Judit: I’ve moved several times over the past years so I like to keep my belongings as few as possible. Currently I have two desks — one for digital work and one for manual work. It means a lot to separate these two spaces. I also like to keep small treasures around and put up small reminder notes. Moreover, I love going out for a change of environment, especially at the beginning of a new project. I just grab my iPad to draw in the park or go out for a coffee.
I’ve been inspired by all the things in summer recently, food and nature in particular. We moved to Budapest in March and I enjoy this city a lot. And lastly, my boyfriend's ceramics!
To find out more about Judit Zengővári, please visit the artist’s IG account | @juditzengovari
All images provided by Judit Zengővári.