Paintings, animations, zines and drawings: What more could we want from Tim Romanowsky?
The Leipzig-based artist and illustrator toes the line between abstraction and figuration. Here, he talks us through his kaleidoscopic practice.
- Jyni Ong
- 14 April 2020
Tim Romanowsky balances between two worlds: moving images and paintings, animation and illustration. In his practice, the two avenues can be seen as separate entities, as well as intertwining forces. The Leipzig-based illustrator turns his hand to fluid visual motifs in his animated shorts, such as Nodon and Bowob, while in other work, he tackles large blank pages with acrylic paint and elegant sweeping lines.
“The best moment for me,” Tim tells It’s Nice That, “is when both worlds come together or stimulate each other.” The two mediums also act as an equaliser of sorts. Where animation is a famously long process with a lot of technical rules to adhere to, Tim can exercise these limitations while fully expressing himself in the looser of the two – painting. “I use my paintwork to have more freedom and make faster decisions,” he adds. That is not to say however, that his paintings aren’t considered or don’t take up a lot of time or effort. In fact, they take up just as much patience as animation, evident in the control of Tim’s lines and oozing colour palettes.
When it comes to his paintings and drawings, the German artist works between the lines of abstraction and figuration. “You can find some where I get more lost in abstract compositions,” he says of his colourful works. But when you view them altogether as a series or in relation to each other, they present an object or landscape. “You find places or things that make sense alongside portraits of their owners,” says Tim, “the fact that they don’t have an explicit topic makes them more like a collection of details, and parts of an artificial world.”
Graduating from art school in Halle back in 2009 – where Tim studied both illustration and animation – the creative has been freelancing ever since, working across a variety of media in the visual arts. He recalls, “when I started out, I didn’t have a clear vision as to which direction I would go with my work, so I just started to do everything that I was able to.” In turn, he published his first zines, worked on small animation jobs, collaborated with a couple of friends, not to mention produced his own films too. Over time, as his extensive practice has matured into the complex archive that it is today, it was painting and animation that emerged by his side, becoming the two prominent outputs that we can revel in today.
He draws in a sketchbook every day to keep in shape artistically. Not only does this creative release provide a sense of calm, it also offers up infinite ideas for future projects. These ideas merge together spontaneously, feeding each other and getting lost and found along the way. More importantly, they come together to form a certain style, of which Tim expresses over and over again. “I started to make my paintings more sharp and flat,” he says on this developing style, “and I am trying to delete brushstrokes, but you can still find the wobbly lines.”
It’s a style that also makes its way into Tim’s printed publications. Together with his wife Stefhany Y Lozano – also an illustrator and artist – the couple publish works under the moniker of Loro, and tour with book or print fairs to sell their works. With this in mind, he’s currently working on a new zine that he hopes to release soon, another artwork based off his daily sketchbooks, as well as the second edition of The Drying Octopus, made in collaboration with Oficyny Peryferie. He’s also working on a new film, his fourth since graduating and the successor to Nodon; the colourful abstract trip exploring the borders and the power of sharing energies. And to top it all off, to add to the busy illustrator’s list of achievements and bits to keep an eye out for, there are plenty more paintings in the works too.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.