Marta Ignerska is a graphic designer and illustrator. Born in 1978, she is considered one of the most skilled graphic artists of her generation. She designs and illustrates books for children and adults and her work has garnered numerous prestigious awards. In 2012, "Press" magazine included her in their list of … Read More
Marta Ignerska is a graphic designer and illustrator. Born in 1978, she is considered one of the most skilled graphic artists of her generation. She designs and illustrates books for children and adults and her work has garnered numerous prestigious awards. In 2012, "Press" magazine included her in their list of Poland’s eleven top press illustrators.
Ignerska completed her studies at the Faculty of Graphic Art at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts in 2005. There she obtained her diploma (with rectorial distinction) in multimedia arts and book design. From 2006-2007 she worked as a graphic artist at the Zachęta National Art Gallery, and later as artistic director for an advertising agency (Koledzy Stategia & Kreacja). In 2009 she received a stipend from the Minister of Culture.
Ignerska has illustrated books for many publishers in Poland (Znak, W.A.B., Kultura Gniewu, Wytwórnia and LektorKlett), and for a number of foreign publishers: Media Vaca (Spain), Editions du Rouerque, Gallimard (France), Orecchio Acerbo (Italy) and Gylendal (Norway).
One of the most lauded books Ignerska has illustrated — "Wszystko Gra" (Playing Everything) — was published by Wytwórnia Press and the Frederic Chopin National Institute. The text was written by Anna Czerwińska-Rydel. "Wszystko Gra" was named "Book of the Year" by the Polish section of IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) and picked up a string of accolades, including the prestigious Bologna Regazzi Award for Non-Fiction, a competition which has been run for many years by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and an event of great significance for publishers. Some the of the most beautiful children’s books from all over the world are entered in this competition. An international jury assesses (above all) the graphic and editorial quality of a each publication.
By 2012 Marta Ignerska illustrations had appeared in over a thousand books for children in thirty-one countries. "Wszystko Gra" also went on to win the "Must Have" award at the Łódź Design Festival, the silver award at the European Design Awards and third prize at the Halina Skrobiszewska competition. And all of this in 2012. The book is the first in a series of educational music books for children, covering musicians, instruments and the ins and outs of the orchestra.
Almost none of the scores of books illustrated by Ignerska have gone unnoticed. For five years running (2006-2011), the artist received awards at the "Book of the Year" competition organised by the Polish section of IBBY. Winning books include: "Różowy Prosiaczek" (The Pink Piggy), "Tuwim. Wiersze dla dzieci" (Tuwim’s Poems for Children), "Wielkie Marzenia" (Great Dreams), "Babcia robi na drutach" (Grandma’s knitting), "Fryderyk Chopin i jego muzyka" (Frederic Chopin and his Music) and "Alfabet" (The Alphabet).
Marta Ignerska’s projects are not only illustrations, but also forms. The book "Wielkie Marzenia", with text by Przemysław Wechterowicz, takes the form of a newspaper. It is comprised of twenty-one boards containing the colourful dreams of Carpet, Fire, Elephant and Wishing Well, all drawn on grey wrapping paper. "Wielkie Marzenia" received special distinction at the Konkurs Książki Dziecięcej (Children’s Book Competition) and entered into the List of Treasures at the Museum of Children’s Books in Warsaw.
Marta Ignerska is also a member of the Association of Applied Graphic Designers (STGU). Her illustrations for Przemysław Wechterowicz’s book "Alfabet" won an award at the STGU’s "Design of the Year" competition in 2011. It is the only competition of its kind in Poland which focuses not only on the aesthetic layer of a work, but also puts emphasis on the social responsibility of design.
Besides children’s literature, Ignerska’s work can also be found in a number of Polish newspapers and magazines, including: Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Wyborcza, Przekrój, Zwierciadło, Charaktery, Foyer, Gaga and Exclusive.
Marta Ignerska also exhibits her work in Poland and abroad. In 2013, her work was featured at the Exhibitions of Polish Illustration in Berlin and Milan as part of the "Must have from Poland" exhibition. In 2008, Ignerska represented Polish illustration at an international exhibition in Paris entitled "A trip around Europe in 27 children’s picture books". An individual exhibition of the artist’s work entitled "Thanks. I’m just looking" took place in 2010 at Krakow’s Academy of Fine Arts. A large number of Ignerska’s works have been purchased by the Małopolska Modern Art Foundation.
Author: Katarzyna Zacharska
English translation: Garry Malloy