YKRA FACES: ENIKŐ EGED
This month we sat down to chat with Enikő Eged, illustrator, pattern designer, and art enthusiast. Enikő started out studying Hungarian literature and Philosophy, but her career path took a sharp turn when she decided to follow her passion: Graphic Design. Read the interview to get to know her better!
Hi Enikő, tell us about yourself and your work. What do you do?
At first, I was interested in studying humanities and signed up for a program in Hungarian literature and Philosophy. However, deep down, I always knew that I wanted to work in the arts. Finally, I mustered up the courage to apply to the Hungarian University of Fine Arts for a Graphic Design degree, which I graduated from last year. Right now, I work as an illustrator and pattern designer.
How would you describe your work, what are the defining characteristics of your style?
I like to say that the essence of my work can be found in abstract concepts. The feedback I get most often, is a feeling of homeliness in my work, and how a lot of people somehow relate and connect to the things I draw on a very personal level or in an intimate way. It’s this homeliness, welcoming atmosphere, or „the power to create atmosphere” that I like to use in my art, and colors are also important to me. I find there’s a strong coherence in the colors I use, and this is also a topic I’d like to deal with at a doctoral level, exploring atmospheres, aesthetics, and memories. These traits are what make my work recognisable, and obviously a lot of visually pleasing elements are also interweaved, like cats, horses, animals, and different elements of nature.
What does your average day look like?
The first thing I do each morning is to take my dogs, two Miniature Pinschers—Sonja and Sushi—for a walk, followed by breakfast at home. I used to skip breakfast when I was younger, and only drank coffee, but breakfast has now become an important part of my morning ritual.
After, I’ll usually compile my daily to-do list, based on my bigger weekly list, and then I try to figure out what I can fit into that day. Besides my full-time job, I have a lot of projects going on at once, so I need to prioritise to keep myself on top of things. I’m at a stage in my career where things are quite hectic. I usually work on my computer, or do the slightly more boring design tasks in the mornings, as I like to get through that before lunch. It’s the afternoons I spend drawing and painting at home, or I come into my studio at nyolc és fél ( 8 and a half in Hungarian) —especially now that the weather’s nice.
Of course, this is what an ideal day would look like, but there are days when I work until the evenings and I hardly get up from my computer. It’s interesting that a lot of people are surprised to hear that I still have a „normal” day job in graphic design. It would be great to make the shift to being able to create my own art full-time, or to only work on projects that fall within my interests, but I’m still in a transitional period.
I also consider myself to be an introvert, so I enjoy the simple things, like making dinner at home, walking my dogs and spending the evenings in. Oh, I also have five cats, so it’s nice to be a homebody, feed them and give them some love.
Do you have any hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?
During my childhood, I did ceramics for almost eight years, and it’s something I’d like to continue to put more emphasis on in the future—I actually have a ceramics collab coming up. I also paint, but it's just a hobby because obviously I’m not a professional artist, but I like the process. I also go horse riding, although rarely as my horse has “retired”, he’s 24 years old.
Do you have any exciting projects lined up for the future?
Yes, a lot of my projects will be focused on creating patterns. I’d also like to find the time to paint more, as well as do more freelance projects, and to work on projects I’m passionate about.
What’s in your bag?
YKRA FANNYPACK - It’s been my faithful companion for over two years and I take it everywhere with me. It fits in with both my winter and summer sets, and as I really like contrasting colors—in my art and illustrations as well—it’s the perfect addition to my wardrobe. This particular orange also happens to be one of my favorite colors!
Bedouin Pattern Purse - I bought this purse in Jordan, and it's a great size, I use it as my passport holder.
Eye Purse - I take it with me when I go to various art fairs, such as Makers’ Market Budapest, it’s what I keep my spare change in.
Inks - I have a variety of inks in my favorite colors.
Diary - My diary is a Malinovka diary, and I’ve been buying diaries from Judit, the brand’s founder for a long time. My diary is my lifesaver, it’s where I keep track of everything, but I’m guilty of also using my phone. There’s a postcard from my thesis on it, which was about permaculture, and I used it as merch. I would take it with me to places, handing it out with flower seed bombs which could be „thrown away” in the city. It symbolizes diversity and how all kinds of plants play an important role in the ecosystem.
Oil Pastels - If I had to choose my favorite medium, I would probably choose working with oil pastels. They have a strong color, it's very abstract and bold. The way you can create different surfaces is important for me, as it’s good for both sketching and painting, and I also use pastels on canvas.
Tiny Fish - I’m a big fan of sushi, and this is the typical shape of the fish the soy sauce comes in. There's a special topology in Japan, which focuses on how many different kinds of plastic fish tubes there are, and there’s even a book on the topic. It’s also a recurring figure in my work, and one of my favorite illustrations is one where I’m playing with it in my hand. I like to use this form in still lifes and I find its shape inspiring.
Doll - I bought this doll in San Francisco when we went to visit my dad who was working there. It’s from a street vendor and it’s cool that there’s also a baby on its back, and the African pattern is unique too.
Scarf - This is a piece from my collab last summer with Bebi loungewear.
Photos by Botond Wertán