The ArtStation Pro Insta theme pays homage to Instagram with its simple and minimalist design. For concept artist Magdalena Radziej, it’s the perfect way to put all the focus on her striking artwork. Currently based in Warsaw, Poland, she has spent the last couple of years working at Flying Wild Hog game studio where she worked on Shadow Warrior 2.
In this interview, she shares about her favorite projects and how she brings a little bit of magic to her work.
What makes artwork stand out to you?
Mood and feelings. For me, that’s the magical piece I’m looking for. I’m always asking myself what I’m feeling in the moment and how can I convey this in my personal work. You can have a proper painting but it still can feel ‘stiff’ without this extra magical dust. Every artist has their own unique way to express what they feel and how they perceive the world and that’s the best part in us. By adding something precious to you to your art, it will make your work always stand out.
It’s something that draws a viewer’s gaze. It can be either achieved by colors, composition, story telling or even technique. You can kind of easily say if the artwork was made with love or if it was made just to practice skills.
What kind of training/experience have you had to get you to where you are now?
I always liked to draw. I was lucky that my parents quickly noticed it and allowed me to study art and I went into studying traditional printmaking. The art schools in Poland were really old fashioned and dull and they didn’t allow us to touch photoshop or the computers. When I went to a private school for computer graphics, everyone was disappointed but by that time, I already knew there were people in the world working as character concept artists for games.
At some point, I realized that I really want to do concept art, probably because I was playing games too much. I got a Wacom tablet and started to teach myself how to paint in photoshop. Youtube, Gumroad, and LearnSquared are some of the platforms I was using for studying. I also often sent in my portfolio to every game development company in Poland. I lucked out and landed my first job as junior 2d artist at Artifex Mundi, which is known for their hidden object puzzle adventure games. After feeling I learnt enough to make another big move, I tried my luck with Flying Wild Hog where I had to prove myself in environment concept art during the Shadow Warrior 2 production.
Having a company where I can learn new things is a priority for me. Then, without stress, I can spend additional hours after work on my personal paintings and experiments.
Tell us about one one of your favourite projects.
Each of my personal paintings has some backstory and somehow all of them are my favourites. I always write some thoughts on separate layers while painting so I can remember the precious moments.
Lately, I have dug out my little sister’s novel she wrote many years ago. I thought it would be a good starting point for learning and trying new things. A fantasy world with unique characters, great contrasting worlds, massive weapons and huge monstrous creatures sounds really fun and challenging for me.
Stay curious and be kind to others.. I think that’s my number one lifetime rule for everyone. I would also add stay healthy, sleep enough and don’t stay in front of your PC too long.
Present your art correctly. It doesn’t need to be fine finished art but make sure it has a clean, sleek layout.
There’s no perfect and only way to achieve your dreams. At the end, all the decisions you make in your lifetime will be made only by yourself, so think twice about offers you are receiving. Never force yourself to follow a technique or painting style If you don’t feel so. I mean that yes, you should learn about them, but don’t give yourself the pressure that it’s a must.
I also noticed it’s easier for me to experiment and find out new results by staying in my comfort zone and inside my tiny box so maybe it’s not always the best way to rush after the current trends.