Spotting up-and-coming creatives is my absolute favourite part about this blog. I spend unmentionable hours of my weeks browsing through numerous media, publishing and portfolio websites in the hopes of something catching my eye. Lately I’ve been getting deeper into the world of illustration, and now I want to introduce you to my latest crush: Manca Flajs. The Slovenian freelance illustrator, who’s in her second year of her master studies peaked my interest with her space themed work, and the deeper I delved into her work, the more I wanted to see. I talked with the young creative about her work, love for illustration and what the future holds.
Newspaper illustration – Solar system
Design&Paper: Would you tell me a bit about the beginning of your career as an illustrator. How did it start?
Manca Flajs: It’s kind of hard to say when it all started. For me everything came along very organically. I was studying graphic design and always had a bit more illustrated approach to all of my projects. But the turning point happened in my second and third year of my BA graphic design study where I illustrated my first comic book and fell in love with drawing illustration.
This year I enrolled in my second year of MA illustration study and I’m looking forward to continue my career as an illustrator and see where it takes me.
Personal illustration – Pool day
D&P: What inspires you – what determines the subject of your work?
M.F: When drawing personal illustrations a lot of times I get inspiration from watching movies, anime, reading books, poetry, hiking in nature, hanging out with friends, etc. But if I’m drawing an editorial illustration for a client I try to find a balance between my way of interpreting the topic and client’s point of view on it.
D&P: Would you tell me a little about your work method. How do you start, techniques and process you go through.
M.F: A nice cup of coffee is a good way to start the process. 🙂 (editors note: we at D&P agree 100%)
I usually think about the whole project before starting to draw it on paper. I ask myself what is the message I would like to showcase through my illustration and which elements would carry that message best. Then I do some sketches in my sketchbook just to check composition and pick what color palette would fit the illustration best. For my digital illustrations I use Intuos pro M and for my analog I prefer mixed technique (watercolor and colored pencils).
Die Weltwoche – Girls and social media
D&P: What three words would you use to describe your work & style?
M.F: Feminine, neat, simple.
D&P: Is there a specific project or illustration you are particularly proud of?
M.F: I don’t know how much I can say about it, but right now I’m working on a project that I’m super excited about. I’ve been picked as one of 4 Slovenian illustrators to be a part of a commercial project. So I’m looking forward to see what the end result will look like.
Personal illustration – Bottles and girls
D&P: Oh, we’re looking forward to seeing this mystery project! But how about your dream client, is there one you wish to work with/on one day?
M.F: My dream client would be The New York Times. I read the NYT magazine on daily basis and would love to have my work in it.
Personal illustration – Cactus
D&P: What role does paper play in your work?
M.F: For me paper plays a big role when printing my digital illustrations. You can get different effects with different paper. But also I like drawing/painting on cold press water color paper because of it’s texture.
D&P: If you were to travel 100 years back in time, where would you go and what would you do?
M.F: I would love to be a biologist. I see myself traveling around and exploring hidden places just like Indiana Jones.
D&P: Oh wow, that would be cool. Thank you for your time and telling us a little more about your work. We’re looking forward to seeing the mystery project!