Meet the Maker- Katharina Nyilas

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
From painting, to drawing, to printmaking; there's no limit to Drawn in Bristol's Katharina Nyilas' artistic abilities! Here, Kati gives us an insight into how she works and what inspires her.

Firstly please can you introduce yourself…. 
Hi, I am Kati and I work in Bristol as a freelance illustrator. I also sell my own handmade products in local shops, like Made in Bristol's Lab Shop, as well as pass on creative skills in the form of workshops to people of all age groups. I mainly create detailed and intricate drawings, mainly inspired by environmental concerns. I utilise traditional techniques such as painting, drawing and printmaking. 
How would you describe your creative process?
All my work stems from an idea. This may be a message I want to convey or a piece of research I have carried out on a certain topic. I love researching and learning new things so I do spend a lot of time getting to know my subject first. After I know what I want to create I will sketch out the image so that I know that I can translate what is in my head into a meaningful composition. I will then either work up my image in pencils, paint or a black and white positive for screen-printing. I tend to spend a lot of time on the final outcome as my work in very intricate and I really love to get stuck into the detail. Although all my work is produced by hand I do scan in my image into Photoshop. I do this so that the image has a clean background and the colours stand out to their best advantage. The artwork is then ready for printing!
Where do you find inspiration?
Issues relating to the natural environment, nature and urban wildlife mainly inspire my artwork. Bristol as an urban setting has inspired artwork around urban wildlife and how animals thrive and adapt to the changing environment. This has also inspired the materials I have used including reclaimed wood and billboard paper littering the ground. 

Have you any exciting plans for 2015?
I very much want to grow my product range to sell ethical and handmade products on a larger scale. I also want to carry on developing my workshops to reach more of the community.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I rent a small studio space within co-exist in Stokes Croft, alongside other members of the Drawn in Bristol illustration collective. In my studio space is a drawing table facing the window. Behind me is a heavy duty shelf which is home to frames of all shapes and sizes and storage boxes filled with art materials, products and workshop tools. It is certainly more functional than pretty but I find it so useful to have a space away from home to store my tools and equipment. I find it inspiring working in a space along side other creative people and it helps me to manage my work life and home life balance.
What graces the walls of your workspace?
In my studio space I have a small shelf that I use to keep all my pens, pencils, paint brushes and tubes of paint organised. If I am working on a something that involves more than one piece of paper I blue tack some of my work up on the wall to see my progression in the project.
Which neighbourhood do you call home & why do you enjoy about living there?
I live in the Redland neighbourhood. As I walk everywhere it is lovely to live in such a pretty area. There are so many beautiful buildings and gardens with wildlife to spot in them. The smell of the flowers in the early evening in late spring is beautiful. I also particularly enjoy living there as I get the best of two areas, one being the area around Whiteladies Road and the other being Stokes Croft where I work everyday. 
If you could change one thing for the better in they city what would it be?
I love the city but there is one thing that could greatly be improved. Many places I go seem to have litter strewn at the sides of the streets. It highlights the careless attitude people have for their environment. Litter and pollution is a big issue in the city and does create problems. Some of the problems relate to how animals are thriving in the city, some which are thriving too well and are labelled as pests, whilst others suffer by getting trapped and hurt by it. It is one and the same issue relating how people dispose of rubbish. I think if people were educated on the negative effects it can have people would start to take more pride in their immediate environment. 
How do you try to make greener choices in your work?
I try to use only environmentally aware materials, such as FSC and recycled paper and biodegradable plastic packaging. I also use reclaimed materials and found papers within my work. Although I am using environmentally aware materials I am aware that everything needs to be reviewed, such as other companies I work with to produce my work and how far they are based. I am looking into using up all the materials I currently have and slowly replacing them with more environmentally friendly ones. Using environmentally friendly materials can be a little more expensive but I believe that by using them I am investing in our environment and setting a legacy for others to do the same.

You can find Kati's work, in our new shop, Lab Shop, part of Bristol 2015's Lab. You can find the European Green Capital Lab on Bordeaux Quay on Bristol's historic Harbourside. See you soon! 

Lab Shop
10 - 6 
Everyday in the school holidays 
Fri - Sun in term time

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