- born 1977
- born in Warsaw
- he lives and creates his works in Warsaw
- he specializes in comics, illustrations and animation
“I appreciate group work very much. I am aware of my own limitations, and the cooperation with others enables me to overcome them. It is great that I can use other people’s skills and talents and weave them with those of my own. The effects are very satisfying”.
He graduated from graphic design at the Faculty of European Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, supervised by prof. Julian Pałka and prof. Mieczysław Wasilewski. His works were published in “Świerszczyk”, “Ślizg”, “Przekrój”, “Newsweek”, “Machina”, “Filipinka” or “Duży Format”. Together with Rafał Skarżycki, story writer, he created comic books for children titled “Tymek i Mistrz” and a series for adults titled “Jeż Jerzy”, based on which a full-length animation was created in 2011 (directed by T. Leśniak, W Wawszczyk, J. Tarkowski).
The most important publications: “Jeż Jerzy” series (art), story by R. Skarżycki, “Ślizg”, Egmont Polska, Kultura Gniewu, 1999‒2018; “Tymek i Mistrz” series (art), story by R. Skarżycki, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Egmont Polska, Kultura Gniewu, 2003‒2018; a series of press cartoon strips titled “Polska mistrzem Polski” published in “Gazeta Wyborcza” (art), story by R. Skarżycki, Timof Comics, 2018; “Hej, Jędrek”, Vol. 1‒6 (art), story by R. Skarżycki, Nasza Księgarnia, 2015‒2018.
The most important awards and distinctions: Grand Prix of the Comics Festival, Łódź, 1999; KTR Bronze Medal in the Press Illustration category, Warsaw, 2009; Grand Prix. SICAF, Seoul, 2012; Spirit Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival, New Jork, 2012.
At present, Tomasz Leśniak draws mainly on a tablet, although he sometimes used felt tip pens or watercolours before. He uses specific and recognizable strokes, which he has perfected for over two decades. Although they have lost their cheek, sketchy character and punk nonchalance over time and have been transformed into a precise and ostensibly casual style, the works have kept their dynamics and expression.
The manner of putting in colour has also evolved; at first, it was flat and producing quite schematic images but over time it has become increasingly dimensional, in cartoon strips even close to animation.
His comics are dynamic owing to speech balloons going beyond panel borders, changes of perspectives, planes, panel sizes and other experiments with the form, e.g. a disintegration of a panel into other panels, presented from various points of view, smaller and smaller until they become illegible.
Leśniak’s absurd and satirical comics involve verbal and visual jokes, e.g. the characters read speech balloons or are aware of the existence of the authors.
His colours are intensive and vivid, but two slightly different styles may be distinguished depending on whether comics are addressed to adults or children.
In comics for adults, strokes are dirty, underground, overdrawn and grotesque, close to cartoons.
In comics for children, the artist comes closer to Tadeusz Baranowski by using round strokes, the manner of putting in colour and presenting strange creatures; however, the characteristic Leśniak’s style is still recognizable.
Tomasz Leśniak Gallery
More information about the artist: behance.net/tomasz_lesniak