For our spring 2021 issue, illustrator Klawe Rzeczy’s creations elevated our story about a Wisconsin Kikkoman plant to new heights. Her unique style evokes a raw feeling and taps into a niche corner of the creative universe that allows her to express herself. Here, she discusses her sources for inspiration, the emotions her artwork evokes and more.
What made you want to combine photography and illustration?
It’s a funny story. A couple of years ago, I started creating illustrations for fun. I created simple illustrations more in the style of flat design and art deco. Back then, my better half was making analog collages. I’ve never been great at cutting out elements with scissors nicely or neatly, so for one of our anniversaries, I prepared a surprise digital collage. The collage ended up looking great, and that’s how it started.
How would you define your personal style?
I don’t really know how I’d define my style. I love the imagery from the Russian avant-garde period — even though it was made for purposes I don’t agree with, the aesthetic value is amazing.
Do you hope your work evokes a certain emotion?
Curiosity. I like inspiring people, and I hope that they’re smiling when they see my work. No more is needed. Every emotion is good. Indifference is the worst.
What do you hope your art communicates to the world?
I hope my art shows that everything has a lot of meaning and can be understood on many levels. I want everyone to understand my work in their own way. I do not want to impose one narrative or interpretation. I hope people can see the openness and complex symbolism in my illustrations.