London-based illustrator and book cover designer, Jan Bielecki talks us through his journey into professional illustration, gives advice on maintaining good relationships and how to keep your art fresh.
Bielecki studied at Malmö Comics Art School in Sweden and Central Saint Martins (CSM) in London. After graduating from CSM in 2011, he commissioned and art directed numerous illustrators, most recently for Penguin Random House with a focus on children’s books.
His first graphic novel ‘Drift’ was nominated for the best Swedish Graphic Novel award by the Swedish Comics Association.
Bielecki who favours a retro aesthetic in his work is represented by Central Illustration Agency.
The work I was getting was coming from friends more than anything, more than online portfolios, and just building relationships and just being, hopefully, a nice person to be around. I learned early on from sharing a studio with nice people that they seem to like me and work started trickling down from more established artists.
I have gone forward trying to do the same for others and maintaining good relationships that seems to be paying off more than any social media feed could.— Jan Bielecki