Wojciech Pijecki, One of the leading contributors to the Envato network has a chat to us about his Graphic Design roots
Name: Wojciech Pijecki
Company: My current online identity is Synectic. I’m also a part of Grapetree collective, which is a company ran by my two friends and me.
Job Title: Graphic Designer / Illustrator
What are your skills: My skills and work variety can be seen at zerobound
What inspired you to become a graphic designer or did you fall in to it like the rest of us?
Not what, but who. My brother was the only person who actually noticed I had some graphic skills, and he said he always liked my design ideas etc. Back then I used Paint Shop Pro, then I switched to Photoshop and started doing it more serious.
Why over other programs did you choose Photoshop?
First steps in learning Photoshop were really hard. Always when you change your basic program (which in my case was Paint Shop Pro) it’s hard to get to use to new one. I chose Photoshop as this always was the most used raster graphics program. There were tons of information and tutorials for Photoshop in the web, so I felt like this is a great opportunity to learn in effectively and for free.
have you always used digital art mediums or did you start in the physical?
I think the start was definitely digital art, but now it’s hard not to fall in mixed media ; )
If you did start with paint and brushes what was the reason for the shift to digital?
Even if I started with simple paint and brushes I’d switch for digital, as I gives a wide variety of new techniques, possibilities and great effects. Beside that, this is a way faster method than traditional stuff.
How did you get involved with the Envato Team?
Around half year after I started Photoshopping, I found the part of Envato Network, which was Psdtuts. I started to send tutorials one after another. The ideas weren’t great or even good, when I look at them now, but I tried really hard but my designs were too weak. Finally when I got better, all my ideas went through and I was asked to become a regular writer. Now I’m constantly co-operating with Envato, but due to lack of time I haven’t been able to write a tutorial for long time.
In your opinion what is the difference between a good designer and a great designer?
I think great designers pay more attention to detail and try to make their works as perfect as they can be. It’s also the matter of creative concepts, ideas and as mentioned – execution.
Your work is more often than not absolutely breath taking, Where do you get your inspiration?
Well it depends on what needs to be done. If I have clearly specified concept from client, I just follow his directions. Then you just sometimes need to sit down and run little bit of your imagination. The most important thing is not to force any ideas, especially bad ones. I’m taking all client directions and think of creative solution, when something interesting comes into my head I open Photoshop and start experimenting.
When I do a personal promo work I’m simply inspired by everything that surrounds me. All the shapes, patterns and landscapes that the environment creates is just really amazing and very inspiring.
On a piece like the “interface design” how long would you spend on that sort of project?
I had 2 weeks to finish this piece. First few days I was searching for the right concept, then I started some experiments and during this I created all those curvy shapes which took me a lot of time. I was working day by day adding more and more, making corrections etc. The start-finish work took me around 9-10 days of hard work. The rest of time, I spent on searching the right concept, pictures, and experimenting.
A lot of our trainees, when they finish their training tend to download 1000’s of Fonts and 1000’s of brushes, what is your opinion on this?
This is the first step to get you mess in Photoshop. If you want to be good at what you do, you need to get organised.
First of all, specify you own directions by asking yourself “what kind of resources do I mostly need”. Don’t download everything that you see. Catch only quality and necessary resources. Otherwise you will wind up with tons of useless stuff, and this will constantly getting bigger and bigger slowing down your work.
What advice would you give our current and prospective trainees, when they ask ‘should I learn graphic design or just Photoshop’?
The knowledge about program is something you must have. Without it you’re not able to do anything digitally. Also there are some rules like perspective or composition etc. you just need to learn from Design. But don’t treat this as a “subject to learn”, let your personal taste and feeling be the main judge of your projects. And well, always put 100% effort in your works.
Thank you very much for taking the time to chat with us, and we hope to see more of your fantastic design and tutorial work in the near future.