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My Creative Hero: KAM on Jonathan Zawada

Production Company
London, UK
Director and art director at Ntropic KAM on why this visual artist is her personal creative hero

With a background in VFX and design, Ntropic director and art director KAM (aka, Katie McQuillan) is obsessed with the process of ideating and visualising how a project looks, feels, sounds and then breathing life into it.

With a long-time fascination for entrepreneurialism - which she believes is the foundation of her determination for articulating new brand stories through film - she tells us all about her creative hero: visual artist Jonathan Zawada. 

Q> Who, would you say is your creative hero?

KAM> It’s been really difficult to choose just one but after a lot of thought I think it would be the multi-faceted artist and designer Jonathan Zawada

Q> How long has he been important to you and what are your first memories of coming across his work?

KAM> Five years ago I stumbled across a video he created for Mark Pritchard 'Sad Alron'. I remember finding this video and just watching it over and over again, so mesmerised by this digital world he had created - I’d never seen anything like it before. It’s rare to come across something quite abstract that is fully CG and yet has such an emotional pull to it. It embodies this totally immersive quality without having any sort of context or narrative. I remember being puzzled as to how connected I felt to it - maybe it's the mix of beautiful unusual design, other worldly music and seamless technical execution that just made something pretty magical?

Q> How did you go about learning more about him and his work?

KAM> After finding his work, he started what is now a long term collaboration with the future bass artist Flume. I’ve watched that relationship flourish over the years and enjoyed lots of the work they have created together including this Mixtape Visualiser. I’ve been lucky enough to see Flume live in concert twice where Zawada’s motion work was exhibited and it was awesome being a fan of both artists and experiencing that. I’ve also just been habitually checking out Zawada’s Instagram / website. 

Q> Why is he such an inspiration to you?

KAM> Zawada’s consistency in creating bold, refreshing and unexpected visuals is what keeps me inspired by his work. In an interview with desktopmag he said, “I now largely purely follow my instincts and trust my thinking without having to relate it or skew it through imagining its perception within another context, be that a gallery context, marketing meeting or reblog.” I think his work is a real product of his free mindset and this approach really inspires me to create without any limitation from what I have created before, what I think others expect me to create or even what genre of work I am producing. Zawada’s portfolio spans right across animation, graphic design, installation, furniture design, live action and painting. 

Q> How does he influence you in your approach to your creative work?

KAM> Zawada’s work makes me excited to take risks and it reinforces my ambition to create work that has that magic of something new and unseen.

Q> What pieces of Zawada’s work do you keep coming back to and why? 

KAM> The music video for Mark Pritchard, “Sad Alron” that I have mentioned, all of the album artwork for Flume’s Skin and the album cover he created for Aa by Baauer. I keep coming back to these pieces of work because they each showcase this elegance that is consistent across Zawada’s portfolio but they are equally all so unusual in their own right.