Ella Kasperowicz' Ellastrated Satire
"I enjoy constructivism and the idea of rendering art from shapes rather than nature in order to build a better society."
We spoke to Falmouth Graduate illustrator Ella Kasperowicz about the artistic process behind creating comical satirical illustrations on recent politics. Inspired by Christoph Niemann and Kveta Pacovska Ella creates satirical abstracted images that offer both her comment on that subject but also a lightheartedness during a possible trying time. She's a third of the trio dubbed SPUD Collaborative - a food fuelled illustration collective of three.
Abstract: I always try to get my personality across in my work and make it playful, full of colour and puns. I love finding out things and illustrating them in a fun and quirky way, as well as tackling topics that I wish I would have known when I was younger like puberty and politics. By pushing my own imagination I hope it encourages my viewers to do the same!
PW: Tell us more about you and your artwork.
EK: I’m an illustration graduate from Falmouth University, so I kind of have a provisional license in illustration but I’m not sure when I’m gonna pass the test! I love colour, making boring things more fun and wordplay (a bit too much).
PW: What was your creative process?
EK: The ideas stage is my favourite, so I always start with researching and doodling and trying to come up with my own take on something. In terms of generating artwork, I am inspired by screen printing so trace my sketches on a light box with pen and use layer modes in photoshop to mimic the process of flooding screens and layering shapes.
PW: What work inspires or has inspired?
EK: Christoph Niemann is so clever and funny- I want to spend a day inside his mind! I especially like his Abstract Sunday series where he incorporates mundane objects into fun illustrations. I also love Kveta Pacovska’s use of colour and shape to create surreal, quirky characters and her physical manipulation of a book format-her books are like playgrounds!
PW: Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
EK: I enjoy constructivism and the idea of rendering art from shapes rather than nature in order to build a better society. More specifically, I love looking at soviet 1920s children’s books because of the print aesthetic and use of 2D shapes. They seem innocent but are so layered with political messages and I like knowing that illustration can be dangerous.
PW: Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
EK: I think the main ideals are curiosity, using your imagination and to find fun in everything you do.
PW: The humour in your work is great! It’s a real satirical treat. You touch on some really difficult topics. How do you find a balance in your satire between comical and directive? You do it so well - is there a science to it?
EK: Ahh thank you! I always try to make people laugh in my work because I think it’s the best way to remember things and make topics more accessible. There’s a lot of conversations about subjects like politics and science that, as a teenage girl, I used to think I couldn’t be involved in. I hope that by using humour and references to pop culture it gives people the opportunity to learn and a voice to take part, and to laugh!
PW: Any words for aspiring illustrators?
EK: Always stay true to your personality and say something with your work.
PW: Is there anything you’re currently working on?
EK: Currently I’m working on a very exciting illustrated book for adults, and after that I’m planning a comic to celebrate my unexpected day job as a vegetarian that works on a meat counter. I’m thinking of calling it Meat and Greet!