Ieva Paliukaityte

Ieva Paliukaityte has just made the jump from creative agency graphic design to freelance illustrator! We were lucky to chat with her about how to find motivation through action, growing your entrepreneurial spirit, and having trust in yourself to find your own style.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

Plenty! One of them is about my first try to monetize my art stuff. When I was little, I got a silicone mold for making small lion sculptures from cement. I made a whole army of colorfully painted lions and got this idea to go and try selling them. I begged my mom until she permitted me, packed my lions and went to the nearest grocery store that was like 50 m from our apartment. I sat on the ground next to the entrance and displayed my sculptures on the sheet, asking people if they’d like to buy my lion. Nobody bought any and after an hour or so I went home. Years later my mom admitted to me that she was hiding behind the corner all the time watching me and feeling very embarrassed, but she didn’t want to kill my early entrepreneurial spirit.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

My master’s degree says that I’m a theatre scenographer, my job title is a graphic designer but I’d love to introduce myself as an illustrator! I quit my graphic designer job in a creative agency last year and been freelancing ever since, trying to find my path as an illustrator.

What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Motivation comes after action, not the other way around. I read it recently on Instagram fitness page and found it perfect advice for pretty much everything. There are a lot of myths surrounding the process of creative work, the most popular one is that you have to wait for the mysterious “muse” and inspiration to come, which is more of a form of procrastination rather than a creative process for me. So this advice reminded me that if I don’t have any ideas or feel uninspired to start a new project, I have to put some effort and work to get the creative process started in my head – sometimes it’s enough to take a walk alone and think without being distracted by social media or other stuff, other times it takes more reading, analyzing the task and just digging deeper into it until I get curious and excited.

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

Oh there are so many awesome artists out there and I get a new crush pretty much every day, so I’ll just try to mention ones that popped first into my head today:

Sebastian Curi – I’m totally in love with his creative use of proportion and color that makes his illustrations so vibrant and expressive.

Alana Jones-Mann – one of my long time favorites – I admire her creativity and distinctive style as a baker and artist.

Laurie Rowan – his characters and animations are out of this world – I could watch them for hours – they’re flawless and I love the choice of sound. 

Helen Li – I like her unique style – especially colors, the way she draws face expressions and how strong and fierce her women characters are.

Muxxi – A lot of fun stuff is happening in her artworks!

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

It took one broken leg to develop my style hahah – after spending tons of time alone and having a break from graphic design work this summer, I started drawing again just for fun and found my own style that gives me the joy of illustrating from sketch to finish. My advice is to forget about all the rules, don’t chase trends or go after style that brought success for other artists – it will only get you demotivated and more lost. The most important is to trust yourself and be honest about what YOU like – not your teachers, friends or people you’d like to impress. Be curious, play and try different techniques until you find one that brings you the most joy and let’s express your ideas with excitement instead of struggle. 

Where to find Ieva:

Instagram: @iev.p


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