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From The New York Times to a comic on sex, illustrator Kati Szilágyi discusses her recent work

Since we last wrote about Kati Szilágyi over two years ago, the Berlin-based illustrator has been commissioned by the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Zeit, Bloomberg Businessweek and Google, not to mention us over here at It’s Nice That for a feature on the importance of boredom. On this progression, Kati tells It’s Nice That: “I feel much more confident with my work and occupation.” Fully embracing her signature squiggly style, her relationship with art directors has evolved with time and experience, pushing the illustrator to her creative limits with the help of a constructive art director.

“This happened for example with my first magazine cover for the German travel magazine The Weekender,” explains Kati. Developing her commission from the magazine’s inside spreads exploring traffic in Kenya, Kati eventually combined various elements of the illustration to form the final cover. Working in this chop-and-change method for the first time in her career, this process has now become the norm for Kati. “Now, I often combine elements of different sizes,” she says on the matter, “working with interesting characters and pulling together exciting compositions with overlapping objects.”

Pulling together her two favourite styles of drawing – a cutout effect combined with a more illustrative style which is abstract and architectural – Kati has also learnt to gather all of her influences into singular, cohesive compositions. “My ongoing styles now influence each other a lot,” she adds, citing “the geometric versus the free form, or a shape versus its outline” as an example.

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