From Business Reports to Mind-blowing Illustrations

Bartosz Sokołów - Illustrator for Snowball Digital

The adventure with drawing started when I was 10 years old. Sometimes when school lessons weren’t too exciting I was finding myself doodling at the back pages of my notebooks. At first, I was redrawing characters from my favourite comics and cartoons: typically they were taken from the Japanese manga Dragon Ball or Cartoon Network series like Dexter’s Laboratory or Samurai Jack. Soon after that I noticed that I can experiment with it a bit more and mix my favourite characters with personal ideas: with that I started developing my own style.

Creating illustrations made me realize that drawing is the best way to truly express myself. You can say that it became a natural reaction to boredom, stress and a catalyst for creating new and exciting stories.

From Business Reports to Cartoons

When choosing a career path, it feels like it’s important to find a job that is demanded on labor market. At that time illustrating wasn’t necessarily that so I got my Bachelor’s in international business and Master’s in economics. It seemed like that after studies I will deal with economics for at least a couple next years. Well, it never happened - let’s say that fate picked a different life for me.

During my studies, I had the opportunity to go for a couple exchange programs and international internships. I was always very interested in experiencing new cultures and wanted to live in a different country/countries, so I grasped this opportunity with both hands. It led me from Poland to Turkey. Then to Tunisia, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and finally to Norway. During these years I gradually developed my skills in digital illustration and stepped up my game as an illustrator. It turned out that I don’t have to stick to economics-related jobs anymore.

The real breakthrough occured in Osaka, Japan. I got hired there as an illustrator intern in a design and product company. This was one of the first truly professional experiences in this field I had. Ironically, I found myself in the same country that my initial inspiration for drawing came from. From that point I started thinking that I could actually make a living out of this, as people found value in it and it was such a big part of my life. 

When Passions Come Together

Travelling lifestyle crystallized another source of inspiration that I didn’t expect to discover: it was hitchhiking. One of the things I love about it is that you can meet different people you would normally never meet. Local people, that can teach you about their culture, history and share their unique stories. For example once I met a guy who worked as minehunter - his job was to clear landmines left after Balkan War, in order to create a safe environment. I also met a family who could not speak English or even read at all. Even if we were hardly communicating, they welcomed us to their home were we got a dinner with them. It was amazing how we just met and they treat us as family members.

If you believe in the good in people, you open yourself up to create great memories.

The love for travelling brought me to Norway and to Snowball Digital. My role here is to create illustrations for products and services for our customers. I enjoy it how varied my tasks are, and that with use of differrent illustrative universes I can depict different stories, moods and meanings. I am continuously excited and humbled by all the areas where people find a use for illustrations.