The Road That
Never Was

Project is a retelling of the ancient, and unfortunately quite forgotten, Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest literary texts we know today. Within the project I designed website, set of illustrations and a letterpress-printed postcard. My images are accompanied by wonderful text (written by Marcin Mleczak) paraphrasing the original story.

︎︎︎ Whole experience available online (PL + ENG)

The Model and the Metaphor

Book covers wide range of topics: from the informative function of images to history of page layout. All of them are orbiting around the central term, model, visual representation of abstract idea. 
Book contains over 150 illustrations drawn by Jakub Woynarowski. 

︎ Buy the book (PL) here.

Book was nominated to Polish Graphic Design Award in the Infographics Section.

Chronos Liberated

Visual essay on the influence of technology on our perception of time was co-created with Marcin Mleczak and Jakub Woynarowski. Topics covered? From invention of washing machine to horse manure on the streets of 19th-century New York. It was presented as an outdoor exhibition during Copernicus Festival in Kraków.

︎︎︎ Read the essay (PL + ENG).

Autoportret: Pandemic

click to enlarge or drag images

This set of illustrations was created for the pandemic issue of amazing Autoportret magazine. Weronika Idzikowska’s article portrays harsh reality of the online edcuation.

︎︎︎ Contents of the issue + shop

Wooden figurines

Series started as a pastime and experiment turned out to be great fun. Surely to be continued! All figurines are hand-painted with Jo Sonja’s non-toxic acrylic paint (so one can lick them if necessary ︎) and varnished.

︎ Contact me if you want to purchase one of those little guys!

I am a proud generalist always craving research and/or playfulness, working everywhere design, storytelling and art are intersecting. I graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, currently I’m PhD candidate in Narrative Drawing.


graphic design ︎ art direction ︎ branding  ︎ visual storytelling  ︎ infographics ︎ illustration ︎ pattern/surface design ︎ strategy ︎ research ︎ visual communication in humanities ︎ print and web ︎ teaching ︎ writing (both research papers and essays)

︎︎  My work and motivations behind it were comprehensively exposed in this interview

Worked with ︎︎︎

Pan tu nie stał ︎  Copernicus Festival  (Kraków) ︎ Conrad Festival (Kraków) ︎ Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe ︎ National Museum in Kraków ︎ Gdynia Design Days ︎ Magazyn Autoportret  ︎ Warsaw Science Festival ︎  Swarmcheck  ︎ Fundacja Optimum Pareto ︎ Hańba band ︎ Koza Nostra Studio ︎ Translation Street ︎ Korporacja Ha!art  ︎ 10Decoart  ︎ (...)

Awarded ︎︎︎

Polish Graphic Design Awards nominee, Swarovski scholarship (European Forum Alpbach), Polish Ministry of Culture scholarships, Art&Fashion illustration competition (Stary Browar, Poznań), Dean of Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków scholarships, Ars Quarendi Prize (granted by the Lesser Poland Region), (...)

︎︎︎ I am based in Kraków, Poland but I am willing to travel – I believe that face-to-face contact is the foundation of quality work.
︎︎︎ I am always happy to make friends, work and work friends. Contact me by mail.
︎︎︎ I can be reached directly via Instagram.

I work with adults, teens and children. I enjoy formats combining handful of theory with engrossing assignments. 

Favourite topics ︎︎︎

visual storytelling & visual writing ︎ infographics/information design  ︎  visual strategies in maps & history of cartography ︎ basics of graphic design for non-designers  ︎ alternative/artsy graphic novels ︎  literature adaptations (graphic novels, video games, hybrid media)  ︎ elements of narrative (for children and teens)

Lectures + Talks (selected)   ︎︎︎

Culture in Action Artist Talk series ( interview (by Rafał Sowiński)

Infoimages – discussion (with J. Woynarowski and M. Kuźmiński), Conrad Festival, Kraków

Image and Text. The Best Enemies – talk, Gdynia Design Days Festival

The Model and the Metaphor  – talk, seminar for academic teachers (mainly UJ + UW), Rabka

What does fashion say?  – fashion interpretation workshop for teenagers, Municipal Gallery in Tarnów

Fictional Maps –
talk at  Facta Ficta international conference, Katowice

Games Over and Over – talk accompanied by animated diagrams (with K. Styczeń), Etiuda&Anima Festival, Kraków

Image. How does it work? [basics of information design] – talk (with J. Woynarowski), Galeria Labirynt, Lublin

Courses + Workshops Taught   (selected) ︎︎︎

Story-driven: storytelling in teaching and learning – training for teachers, Municipal Gallery in Tarnów

Story-driven [basics of creative writing]  – 2 series of 5-days workshop for children,  Municipal Gallery in Tarnów

Perspective and Illusion of Space (ongoing)

Psychophysiology of Vision and Color Theory (ongoing)

Narrative Drawing (comics, illustration, visual storytelling)  during PhD pedagogical training in Jakub Woynarowski studio (Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków)

Events Organized (selected) ︎︎︎

NarrAkcje conference on visual narratives + workshops  – (co-organizer) one-day event in Arteteka, Kraków covering issues like comics, illustration, script-writing and Polish sign language

Bitwa Rysunkowa (Drawing Battle) – (co-organizer) open to public live drawing act performed by talented young illustrators and comic artists, Kraków

︎︎︎ I am open to talks/workshops opportunities  – let’s talk about that!

I believe image and text complement each other really well – that’s why I write on visual phenomena and illustrate literature.

Books ︎︎︎

Model i metafora. Komunikacja wizualna w humanistyce (Model and Metaphor. Visual Communication in Humanities), Ha!art, Kraków 2019

Pociąg do opowieści (Story-driven), Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych w Tarnowie, 2016

Research papers + essays + other texts ︎︎︎

Curatorial Exercises (co-authored), Text in the Museum, conference papers published by National Museum in Kraków

Obraz jako argument w humanistyce , Zagadnienia Rodzajów Literackich

Ilustracja dynamiczna jako sposób na adaptację literatury (co-authored), Zagadnienia Rodzajów Literackich

Świat zamknięty – o pięknie modelu średniowiecznego (visual essay)

Tak samo ale inacze, Linia prosta

Mapy nowych światów,  Linia prosta

Lubię zmyślać,  Linia prosta

Graficzne przedstawienia przestrzeni i funkcjonalność map,  Linia prosta

Komoda pana Zina,  Linia prosta

Kosmita w gabinecie rycin, Wiadomości ASP

︎ You can reach me by mail.
︎ Or directly via Instagram.

︎Tiny-tiny shop with some goodies is here.

Maja Starakiewicz is graphic designer and illustrator with serious inclination to research.

Works ︎︎︎

About ︎︎︎

Teaching ︎︎︎

Writing ︎︎︎

Shop ︎︎︎

Contact ︎︎︎

︎ ︎

All images © Maja Starakiewicz