Illustrator Enikő Eged began taking commissions for her work in her mid-20s having studied graphic design at the University of Fine Arts in Budapest. “I enjoyed working together in a small team with my friends, and I also learned and experimented with a lot of techniques,” says Eged of her time there. “During my Erasmus studies in Rome, I decided to start working on my own visual language, which is abstract and familiar at the same time.”
Eged likes to build narratives within her illustrations and she opts for a simple graphic language with smooth-edged shapes and bright colours.
“I really like patterns – how the small, rhythmic details can shape the environment. I love simple and familiar themes like still lifes, animals, and social interactions,” she says. Alongside these images, the illustrator also creates more detailed and intimate illustrations of couples intertwined in various scenarios, which she calls her “lesbian-themed comics” and they add an extra element to her practice.
Most pieces start with a small sketch but then can go either one of two ways depending on the program Eged uses. “When I start something in Adobe Illustrator, I usually make a bunch of abstract shapes, and then I merge them together in different ways, to make the character and the elements of the illustration,” she says. “When I use Procreate, the process is more like a ‘real life’ drawing.”
While digital tools are what she uses most often, Eged says she misses the tactility of using more analogue techniques. “I really miss papercut and paper clay from my creative process, but unfortunately I haven’t got time to do it now,” she says. “I do hope in the future I can experiment more with these techniques.”
This inability to experiment and have some spontaneity to what she does is what she finds most challenging about her work. “In my opinion, a visual language could work most effectively, when it comes from the inside as a cohesive force,” the illustrator explains.
“I tried different graphic languages, but I didn’t feel them as my own, I felt some kind of strangeness even if it was a great work of art. Now I have found my language in the direction of abstract illustration, which has given me enough freedom to run in different, parallel directions in my portfolio, so they can be connected to each other.”
Eged is keen not to put too much of a message in her pieces, though is keen to impart a sense of empathy, tolerance and open-mindedness. “It is so nice to recognise that different pieces come together organically, and communicate with each other after some time – I hope this connection is recognisable for the viewers as well,” she says.
“My website is where I upload lesbian-themed comics – I reckon the LGBTQ+ content is underrepresented in visual arts as well, so I have devoted a special place for that, and it is a recurring topic among my ‘basic’ illustrations.”