Marius Liugaila is the only Lithuanian artist to have been included in the register of the hundred best engravers in the world, and won many international graphics and ex-libris awards. The graphic designer grew up in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, graduating in graphic arts from Vilniaus Dailės Akademija (Vilnius Academy of Arts) in 1977. Art was in his family from the beginning, his mother, Sofijas Veiverytė, being a well-known painter and academic, and his sister the watercolourist Živile Liugailaitė.

Liugaila met the woman he was to marry, Ona Liugailienė, at the academy, where they both studied in the same course. For Marius, Ona was not only the woman of his life, but also a muse – almost every figure depicted in his engravings has her features. Shortly after their daughter Barbora was born, Marius was drafted into the Soviet army and sent to Arkhangelsk in the far north of Russia. He was fortunate – instead of military training exercises, he drew huge socialist posters, and the wives of the commanders wanted portraits of themselves and their children.

When he returned from the army, he found work at the Miesto Dizaino Institutas (Urban Design Institute), where he had to write congratulatory letters in calligraphy and slogans on posters. This drove him to such despair that he decided to quit everything and become a taxi driver, but fortunately he soon found regular magazine illustration work.

Marius Liugaila became a member of Lithuanian Artist’s Union in 1988, and from then was able to support himself entirely as a book illustrator and ex-libris engraver.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for suggesting the inclusion of this artist, and for supplying most of the images.


Example illustration