The first lockdown in March made Viktoria Cichon extremely anxious and depressed. Jobs for the illustrator and hand-lettering artist were cancelled or rescheduled until further notice. Living by herself and not being able to meet others at the studio made her feel quite lonely, too.
"So I wanted to know what my friend and creative Kristina Wedel was up to, and we decided to ask each other random questions and have the other one reply with an illustration. Soon I was looking forward to her answers and a new question during lockdown."
The pair asked each other 'quarantine questions' such as what do you like spending money on, and what's the kindest thing they've ever said to someone; here are some examples of their collaboration.
"The series gave me some routine and a way to experiment with my style without trying too hard. Drawing regularly is always good for my mental health and having feedback on social media is also a nice way to connect with others."
If 2021 allows, Viktoria would like to do murals again, counting her past efforts as highlights of her career. She's also proud of various lettering pieces she's done for Snapchat.
"I loved the consistency and knowing what the next week's work would look like gave me some security and comfort, which is rare in freelance. However, what makes me truly happy is creating personal pieces."
Viktoria's style is inspired by contemporary illustration, with many 'poppy colours' and clean shapes. She tells Creative Boom that she's most comfortable with clear rules and some restriction, so often uses the grid in Procreate on the iPad to align her shapes.
"I also restrict my colour palette, which I recommend to anyone looking for their signature style. A lack of options can be so good for finding some freedom, even though it's a bit of an oxymoron."
Viktoria is also a tattoo artist, which requires a totally different set of skills.
"Drawing black outlines and shadings is the main difference. When tattooing skin, you always have to start with the darkest colour, which is usually black. Otherwise, the black ink might smudge the other colours uncontrollably. It's not a coincidence that traditional tattoo art looks the way it does."
"As I usually talk to illustration clients online, I'm never so close to clients as I am when tattooing them. You touch and hurt them, which creates a very intimate and personal atmosphere."