Art Director sounds nearly like an oxymoron: a director might find it difficult to be an artist, just like an artist doesn't sound like a good director. Marcin Rutkowski, art director at Aude, is definitely more about that artist side of his personality.

Convincing him to talk about himself wasn’t easy. He would rather tell us about how his job should be done. But those who know him understand that beneath the face of a tough, powerfully built man there hides a sensitive soul.
I’m just doing my job – he says modestly. – I design and paint.

foty na blog ang5He starts “doing his job” every morning after a session at a gym and his 'ritual’ coffee consumed from a steel mug the size of a mini-bucket. Then we hear the Mac startup sound and… it’s time to work!
I need to finish something – he explains shortly. – A custom magazine cover. Just two or three more corrections.

foty na blog ang4foty na blog angThose small corrections turn out to be pretty time consuming. But Marcin is a perfectionist. He will compare and add many finishing touches before he finally chooses the best solution.
Designing is an art of choosing – he starts in an instructive tone. – There are various solutions, but you need to make sure you are choosing the best one. It’s like mathematics: doesn’t matter which method you use, you need to get the right result.

Referring to science may seem strange when said by an artist. But even Leonardo used mathematic proportions, the golden mean, etc.
In Aude I am responsible for the final graphic design of the projects – he adds. – They always meet the expectations of the customers, but each of them need to have that unique style. It is important because impersonal projects are meant for everyone, which means they don’t interest anyone.

Marcin transfers this belief onto his work. He is an educated graphic designer, graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. His educational background shows whenever he gets to work. He unfolds those huge paper sheets, opens an ink bottle, sets out brushes. With purposive strokes he designs icons for every column of the text.
I value everything that is hand made – he adds. – Computer and graphic programs are good editing tools, but the starting point there is always something ready-made and unoriginal. I prefer to use painting or drawing tools and create something myself. Those who know me are familiar with my expressive style. I also like large formats because, ironically, they let me focus on details.foty na blog ang3

Hunched over his desk, focused, he looks absent. But he immediately catches the joke told by his colleagues and says a rejoinder.
Originality is so important today – he then continues his thought. – The world has gone crazy about hand made. I first create what I need, photograph it and after downloading it onto my computer I come up with my own original work. This may be more time and work-consuming, but I know the customer does not get a cliché. They get something that others can’t have.foty na blog ang7He looks as if he was born with a brush in his hand, but his skills go well beyond creating images. This fact becomes obvious as soon as he finishes painting. He sits down in front of his computer to choose a font for the next design competition. Magda Kozińska joins him, together they are the creative team at Aude.
Magda makes sure I don’t overwhelm the editorial staff with my vision – he laughs. – Sometimes we fight, because neither of us will compromise. But we’ve adjusted to each other working together for a few years now, and it’s easier with every next project.

foty na blog ang6Marcin’s passion is lettering. He can talk about fonts for hours, discussing their details and uses.
There is the letter of the law, and there is the letter of art – he smiles. – Sometimes it is the font that defines the character of the entire column.
Three hours into working on the competition project there comes a short break. He puts on a jumper and jumps onto his scooter. A „Szpalty Roku” competition bag hanging over the handlebar – but not to carry awards, because even if he wanted he wouldn’t be able to fit in all the 54 awards inside – but for regular shopping.
After he comes back he has light lunch and drinks another cup of coffee in the kitchen.foty na blog ang9foty na blog ang8

This job never makes me bored – he adds, sitting in the graphic designers’ room to discuss the projects carried out. – Each magazine is different, each person ordering has different expectations. You need to follow their idea, or even propose something of your own. – Which is why the 'art’ element in the name of my function is more important. Because in fact, I’m managing my own and my team’s creative process.foty na blog ang2

After years spent in custom publishing he knows everything about it. Tens of foreign magazines lying around his desk are a proof that he is constantly following the latest trends and wants to be ahead of them.
The art of editing is evolving, and so are we – he adds. – Everything is changing: from information carriers to the form of interaction with consumers. This is a really interesting time for my profession. So much is happening!0Z5Y6829Author: Krzysztof Rajczyk, journalist and photographer