Vilnius-based illustrator Kissi Ussuki on her love affair with the colour pink

28 June 2018

Sometimes creativity thrives best under limitations. “I usually get overwhelmed by the variety of colour choices I can make so telling myself I can only use, let’s say, five colours at a time makes my work easier and decisions quicker,” Vilnius-based illustrator Kissi Ussuki tells It’s Nice That. “I don’t really know how to explain my love for pink, it’s just a very uplifting colour and I really loved the pink shade of acrylic paint when I was choosing those first paint bottles at a local store.”

Focusing on big shapes, flat colour and off-kilter portraits, Kissi’s work often draws on humorous moments with women, either with a touch of humour or swag. “When I do my personal projects, which is the best thing in the world because I just get to sit and paint and relax, the process is quite spontaneous,” says Kissi. “I either choose the colours I want to work with and just draw whatever that comes into my head at that particular moment, or I refer to some older sketches I made before and just pick out the ideas I like.”

The self-taught illustrator started on a more “serious career” studying English philology, relegating art to a hobby. “I soon realised that this was not the right path for me and when I didn’t go to a second job interview at a translation office, I bought pink, purple and turquoise acrylic paint instead.”

Now armed with more than three paint bottles and a host of international clients, Kissi splits her time between editorial illustrations, record covers and personal work. A recent project for Sun365 Juices tasked her with illustrating the cover of the brand’s newspaper, combining sunset hues with illustrations of health food – quite different to her normal portraiture-focused work. “The colour palette ended up being one of my all time favourites so I come back to it in my other drawings too and now I’m way more into drawing meals and snacks! I like it when people can laugh, relate and find details of their daily lives in my drawings. Or just get their eyes tickled by the colour combinations I use.”


Kissi Ussuki: Double Face


Kissi Ussuki: Sun365 Times


Kissi Ussuki: Blossoms


Kissi Ussuki: I Don’t Like You


Kissi Ussuki: Valentine


Kissi Ussuki


Kissi Ussuki: Vampire


Kissi Ussuki: Women Speak


Kissi Ussuki: Yello Coat

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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