Print’s Portfolio Review Winners: Orysia Zabeida

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As a child, Orysia Zabeida strayed from the typical children’s toys and sought to create her own. She credits this curiosity and playfulness as the primary force behind her design work.


“If I had to reflect on what led me to choose the path I am on and what keeps me going, I would say it is the ability to constantly renew my perception—my ability to play and experiment,” Zabeida says. “So much of my evolution has come down to happy accidents, so I like to encourage them.”

One of Zabeida’s favorite pieces, “Unknown Landscapes,” was an example of a “happy accident.” Although she was influenced by Henri Rousseau, Oskar Schlemmer and Yayoi Kusama, Zabeida focused on venturing into uncharted territory.

“I firmly believe that in order to create something unique and memorable, one has to enter unexplored grounds. Those digital illustrations attempt to blur the lines between abstraction and reality,” she says. “I didn’t know what the composition would look like beforehand. I favored intuition and consciously created space for surprising accidents to occur.”


While Zabeida’s methods could lend themselves to creative chaos, judge Natasha Jen praised the designer’s decided approach. “In comparison to the other submissions, Orysia’s work has a very specific and consistent visual language,” Jen says. “It is evident there is a personal direction that guides her work, and I appreciate seeing distinct personal voices in a student’s work.”

And it is Zabeida’s most intimate works that have helped set her apart and find the right clients. “It is important to have personal work you feel deeply passionate about,” she says. “The intensity I have put into my pieces led me to equally devoted collaborators and cooperative clients.”