Maciej Hajnrich, better known as Valp in the online design community, is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Katowice, Poland who specializes in abstract and colorful digital artwork. Preferring to work without commercial restraints, many of Valp’s works are collaborations with independent companies who understand his vision, and what he lacks in a client list, he makes up for with an impressive list of awards from online design portals. Valp takes the opportunity to preview some work on Format and answers a few questions while he’s at it.

“I see the best results when I can focus on design, not thinking about ‘will he like it?'”

Format: Please explain your name and domain name, Valp and Nietylko. Where did these develop?
Maciej: I have been using Valp as a nick name since I remember, but Nietylko raised when I was searching for a good domain name about five years ago. In Polish “Nie tylko” means “not only.” I wanted my domain to be a popular word that also fit my personal desire to be unpredictable designer. I realized it’s hard to spell it, so I’m using both.

Format: You also write “it’s not matter if [I] work for the commercial client, collab, or personal work – the final art is always impressive and unique.” Which type of work do you most enjoy, and why?
Maciej: I should say well paid! Some projects bring more fun than money and you can’t convert it. Everybody loves clients who give 100% freedom and it’s, of course, important for me too. I see the best results when I can focus on design, not thinking about “will he like it?” So, the best situation is when you can earn by doing your best. It’s perfect!


Format: How, if at all, does living in Poland, affect your style of design?
Maciej: It affects a lot! I think everyone is being affected by their country and local people. Now I see some kind of unique style I have, but I always wanted to experiment with unknown and universal techniques. I want to design in the way I don’t see in my neighbourhood. Digital art is still rare in Poland.

Format: You’ve been impacted by Polish Poster School. Please explain the style and its influence on your work.
Maciej: I used to play with Polish Poster School more than year ago. For me it was about simplicity, hand written typography and, last but not least, metaphor. I like abstract images but with recognizable shapes. Everybody will see something similar at first time, but next time it’s something more – always different for everybody. Some artists still have their “PPS style.” I think a lot of them graduated in art schools where this design variety is glorified.


Format: You write in your bio “this is all my life, that’s why I can’t stop exploring and expanding myself, day by day.” How does exploring design help you expand yourself?
Maciej: It’s because I can’t stop thinking about it. Especially when there is so much to do, deadlines are thin or I’m just not satisfied of my job. I’m angry that I can’t switch off for a longer while but also I think it stimulates my brain, keeping me excited and curious. The result is I want to design more and more. It’s all about design process, resolving problems, creating new things, new art, etc. – it keeps me alive.

Format: With unlimited time, and an unlimited budget, what is a project you would like to undertake?
Maciej: I would like to start experimenting with all mediums, techniques and tools of every kind, every colour, paint and surface. Then I could create singular pieces of desire.


Format: You’ve mentioned that you might consider leaving Poland to develop personally and career-wise. If you ever do leave, where will you go and why?
Maciej: It would be USA or England because they are multi-cultural and selfish at the same time. But seriously, I want to visit every country in the world and take a bit to my home. I have to travel more to be sure where I would move.

Format: You’ve also mentioned that your goal is to “stay independent without a known style.” Why is that?
Maciej: I should correct that. My goal is to stay unique and have an independent style. This is what I had on my mind then. And why? Because I want my new designs to be different than past ones. I’m working with my favourite software and techniques but want to mix them with new ones. It doesn’t have to be recognizable at first.

Format: What are some styles of design, or schools of thought that you are specifically interested in learning, or developing yourself in relation to?
Maciej: I want to combine pure design with colourful digital images, commerce and art, simplicity with complexity. There is no one style I want to dig in now. I would like not to follow some particular schools, but to catch the details from every thought!

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Shane Ward

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  1. thats some amazing art! let me know if u make shirts like “baby tee’s” and stuff because i would definently buy from you! keep it comming :)

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