When futuristic mechs meet 1920s Poland | interview with Jakub Rozalski

A mixing-eras artist

November 12th, 2014, 8:54 am

1920 - on the road by Jakub Rozalski

1920 – on the road by Jakub Rozalski

„I just paint the way I feel and I like.“

When it comes to mixing classic and traditional paintings with robots and mechs imagery, Jakub Rozalski is the specialist. This talented Polish artist, with a love for his country and its history, wanted us to have a taste of it! And we’re definitely having it! Who could be indifferent to these peaceful landscapes and people while a few gigantic robots are passing by? Who couldn’t be amazed by this desolated yet enchanting depiction of a harsh winter emphasized by a few mechs in the background?

Today, we decided to ask Jakub a few questions about his artworks, his life as an artist, his love for Poland and so much more! Join us in this new mixing era adventures:

print24:
Where is your passion for painting coming from? Did you study or are you self-taught?

Jakub:
I paint and draw since I can remember. Choosing artistic studies was the natural order of things. I have a fine art background and education. However, I learned most of it as a self-taught by studying my favorite artists and paintings. My first steps as an artist was on canvas and paper, long time before discovering computer graphic designs. Through my work, I try to combine classical painting style, modern design and interesting concepts. For me the most important thing in my work is to always create a unique atmosphere via telling some kind of story, showing everyday situations in an unusual environment.

print24:
What type of medias do you prefer to use? Are you more comfortable with a graphic tablet and photoshop or are you more into traditional paintings?

Jakub:
I feel comfortable with both techniques. Currently I prefer to work on a computer and a tablet, as it allows me to save a lot of time and money. I can then have more time for my family and my daily life.

print24:
We can see your paintings are quite cold-toned which is giving a great atmosphere to your artworks! Why such a choice?

Jakub:
Yes it’s true, I like the more subdued, discreet colors, as well as the more static not so dynamic compositions. I do not know why, I have never thought about it. I just paint the way I feel and I like. It is probably a reflection of my own nature, what I like and what interests me. I like wild environments, open spaces, discreet and natural colors, winter, animals… I think you can see all of these in my pictures.


1920 warlord by Jakub Rozalski

1920 warlord by Jakub Rozalski

print24:
Your paintings are inspired by early 20th century Polish paintings and yet you’re introducing mechs and robots. What inspired you for such an interesting project?

Jakub:
The whole „1920+ project“ is based on historical events: the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 and the Polish–Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921). This battle is considered by many historians as one of the most important in the world’s history, since it changed the fate of Europe and stopped the Red Revolution. After the first world war, the atmosphere in Europe was filled with revolutionary thoughts. Bolsheviks decided to take advantage of this situation and started to move forward to the west with a huge army.

Poland was the first country to really be able to show them resistance. Our independence had only been restored for two years. Anyone hardly knows about this and it is a very interesting historical period. This is also the last time cavalry was so significantly used. I love giant robots and mechs from my childhood. I think this started when I saw Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back for the first time. Those are very interesting and inspiring painting themes for me. They also give a good idea of well built scales and offer an interesting contrast of the classical landscapes and situations. My desire is to show the history and culture of my motherland in the most original and interesting way for a modern audience; so mechs work perfectly.


1920 before the storm by Jakub Rozalski

1920 before the storm by Jakub Rozalski

print24:
“1920 – before the storm” is one of the best examples of this paradox between peaceful pastoral early 20th century paintings and a futuristic, quite threatening robotic world. What’s the message behind it?

Jakub:
I think this is showing a certain longing for the world of wildlife which has been aggressively taken by technology and civilization. I also want to show war from the perspective of regular, normal people, maybe in a not so epic and brutal way. I grew up in a small polish village. I live and work in big cities for so many years now but I really miss this peaceful countryside life and atmosphere. Looks like I’m some kind of „Hobbit“ (laughing).


1920 into the wild by Jakub Rozalski

1920 into the wild by Jakub Rozalski

print24:
Wojtek, the bear seems to be an important part in many of your paintings. Can you tell us more about it? What does Wojtek represent to you?

Jakub:
I’m a big fan of Wojtek. I think it’s a great story and these paintings are my tribute to him. A lot of people through these artworks became interested in Wojtek’s story, and thus in our soldiers and the battle of Monte Cassino. This is making me very happy and proud.

Print24:
In your opinion, how is art represented in your country?

Jakub:
Very strongly, especially painting and graphic design. Many polish graphic designers are amongst the world’s top-class and work with the biggest productions. The game industry has grown rapidly in my country for a few years. In Poland, there is a lot of talented and hard-working young people.

print24:
Do you have any other projects at this time? What are you working on?

Jakub:
I have many ideas, but at the moment I would like to focus on the „1920+ project“. I currently have a lot of interesting offers, exhibitions, games, books, maybe a movie. We’ll see what comes up. I would like to also continue the story of two brothers in arms, a viking and a samurai, in some dark medieval-fantasy world. You can find several works of this series in my gallery.


brothers in arms by Jakub Rozalski

brothers in arms by Jakub Rozalski

print24:
What would you like to say to young graphic designers from Poland and all around the world who want to start an artistic career?

Jakub:
They should listen to their heart and do what they love. Do not pay attention to what other people are saying. If what you are doing is honest and true, success will arrive sooner or later.

I would like to say hello to all your readers and thank you for the interview. I am very glad that you liked my work.



Your thirst for Jakub’s cool art hasn’t been quenched? Find out more about Poland, his „1920+ project“ and, of course, Wojtek by clicking on those two links:


Jakub’s website


Jakub’s Facebook page


2 Responses to “When futuristic mechs meet 1920s Poland | interview with Jakub Rozalski”

  1. Atiqur R Sumon says Februar 16th, 2016 um 4:55 am

    His hand is his mind.. How does he do it…!! amazing creation.

  2. print24 [pa] says Februar 17th, 2016 um 3:16 pm

    Hi Atiqur,

    We’re glad to see you liked this interview and the artist so much! thanks a lot for your comment :)

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