First published April 25, 2023
Justyna is an award-winning Illustrator. Through her work she frequently explores (and normalises) women’s physical and mental health, including endometriosis, something that she personally suffered with, and that was the catalyst for her current creative practice. Justyna is also host of the popular On Design podcast; insightful conversations with design’s most inspiring figures. We *love* the pod, especially Justyna’s warm and ever curious approach to interviewing, and can’t wait to have another listen soon.
We caught up with Justyna to discover her journey – ‘there’s been a lot of change and personal growth throughout the pandemic years’ – as well as what she’s learned through adversity and how, with her next project, she hopes to ‘capture the imagination of women everywhere, and allow them to feel seen’. Read on for more…
Photo Credit: Sam Rose
Justyna, what’s your creative occupation?
I’m an illustrator and host of the On Design podcast.
Where have you been?
I’ve been in a place where everything starts from scratch, around the time I turned 30. I started the On Design podcast about 4 years ago and I have been interviewing creatives ever since. We now have over 120 episodes under our belt.
Then, in 2020, I decided to take up illustration – my first love – professionally, and since completing my MA that year, I’ve been building my creative practice.
So, there’s been a lot of change and personal growth throughout the pandemic years. Also, after living in London for 15 years, I moved house and have been living in Dorset since 2022.
I had to learn the hard way how to take care of myself and set boundaries. JUSTYNA ON FINDING HER CREATIVE VOICE
Where are you now?
I’m writing from my home studio in Bridport. From this studio I record all of the podcast episodes, and that’s also where I work on my illustration projects.
I’m lucky to be in this incredible place right now, as I’ve recently received funding from the Arts Council to further develop my long-term project RRRAW. RRRAW started as an illustrated digital comic commission for WePresent in 2021, which I then developed into a zine in 2022. This year, I’m working on turning RRRAW into an animation.
I still can’t quite believe that one of the most harrowing experiences of my life – suffering from endometriosis – became my voice and mission in my creative practice. It’s been a bumpy journey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had to learn the hard way how to take care of myself and set boundaries.
Where are you going?
I’m currently programming season 10 of the podcast which will run between September and December this year. I’m also getting started on RRRAW and animation – the next step in the journey is to create short animations which will capture the imagination of women everywhere and allow them to feel seen and able to relate to what the characters are going through.
Finally, what’s occupying your thoughts today?
How to draw crocodiles well.