During the first exchange of messages, I asked Martiszu where I could find more information about her. “There isn’t much info about me” she wrote, “I only draw here”. Here’s what we managed to find out about her and the cats she drew for Warsaw’s centre for city cats, Koteria.
There is hardly anything we like more than illustration, cats, and a good cause. Here’s all three combined: t-shirts sporting the”city cats” prints roamed facebook, as they were being sold to aid Koteria.
The project started when Martiszu Ludvikez, a.k.a Marta Ludwiszewska, adopted a kitty from the center. To allow his former carers to keep taps on little Arbuz (Polish for watermellon) and his recovery from spine problems, Marta made him a facebook page. Arbuz became a bit of a facebook celebrity and while investigating his fame, Koteria’s team came across Marta’s graphic work.
Once asked to prepare designs for fund-raising merch, Marta agreed immediatelly, because – as she says – “they do some really great work in the centre, it’s nice to be a part of that group, even if a small one”.
Marta lives in Warsaw and works at Pajka, one of these graphic studios which we dream of one day being able to afford. She learnt graphic design on her own. “I started uni several times, but the school system is not for me.
I can’t do virtual projects for made-up clients. It’s only when I work with a real client, that my creativity flurishes.”
She’s been doing graphic design for some 5 years, illustration for about a year. “Working in design gives me freedom and independence – and I value them above other things.”
Marta’s own work includes versatile illustrations which you can see in her behance portfolio.
Koteria is a Warsaw-based center, which aims to help with sterilization and care for free-living city cats. Their main thing is TNR, the Trap – Neuter – Return method, which helps keep populations of city cats under control. They also support people who care for city cats, work towards health problems prevention, and arrange adoption for young cats, such as Arbuz, who can be domesticated. Ace, right?
Like many NGO-run institutions, Koteria had their city council founding cut in half this year, which means they run into financial deficits and had to introduce payments for sterilization procedures.
Luckly, the city cats proved a hit, and Marta created a third design – bags and mugs are also on the way. At the moment, all shirts are available on allegro (the Polish version of ebay) for 45 PLN a piece. Which, if you ask us, is a steal