When art meets whisky with Leif Podhajsky

21 Nov 2015
2 min read
With the recent launch of the Ballantine’s Artist Series gift packs, FOUR caught up with talented artist Leif Podhajsky, who has created album artwork for the likes of Kelis, Bonobo, Of Monsters and Men and Foals. For Ballantine’s, he has created three unique artworks taking inspiration from the Scottish Highlands and showing the art behind the whisky making process…

How did you get into your line of work, or has it come to you naturally?

My background is in Graphic Design and Art Direction, I’ve always leaned more toward experimenting and the artistic side of these practices, which led to forging my own style and identity.It’s been a natural progression, one thats developed alongside my experiences in life – for me it’s an outlet that helps me make sense of whats around me, the things I’ve seen…and a thirst to see how far i can take it.

How would you describe your style?

Cosmic Universality. I’m much more interested in what other people see and feel from my work than giving it a label.

What was the vision behind your designs for Ballantine’s whisky?

I’ve always loved whisky and been fascinated by the aging process used in its creation so I wanted to explore this complex drink and create three different designs that bring it to life.

The Ballantine’s 12 Year captures the natural elements of the Scottish Highlands, looking at the mountains, wild oceans, rivers, rocks and grasslands and combining these with the heritage of Ballantine’s. I think the design really captures the soul of the whisky making process and its home – Scotland.

Ballantine’s Finest keeps this similar theme of nature but focus more on the liquid and the blending of the whisky from different regions. I wanted to give life and movement to this amazing technique.For the Ballantine’s Sleeve I used the main elements from the whisky making process, fire and water, to give the design life and movement.

How long did it take to bring this project from concept to completion?

We started out over a year ago to realise this project so its great to finally see it in come to fruition!

You have also created the album artwork forKelis, Bonobo, Of Monsters and Men and Foals, how does this differ from your usual work? and where did you getinspiration forthose projects?

For me the process is very similar, I love coming up with solutions for many different projects. It’s all about communication and creating something that can inspire imagination in others. I love creating abstract work for this reason, as everyone sees their own story. A lot of my work is based on nature, connectedness, mystery, dreams, magic, love and fear.

Why do you think it is important tochampioncontemporaryart and its artists?

Art and artists are a reflection of the times we live in, trying to bring about change and progress for a better world. Without art there would be nothing. Creativity is something that inspires and unites people, it’s a part of us all.

What do you hope the drinkers of Ballantine’s will make of your creations?

I hope that it takes them on a journey into the whisky making traditions and process at the heart of the Ballantine’s blends.

Do you have a favourite tipple?

Ballantine’s 12 year is a really great blend. I also love the Ballantine’s 17 year.

What’s next for you?

The future.

Find out more about Leif and Ballentine’s Artist Series here…