Inspo on the go

What's in His Bag: Ringling College Instructor George Cwirko-Godycki

A peek at the artist essentials that illustrator and Instagram sensation Cwirko-Godycki carries with him every day.

By Sarafina Murphy-Gibson September 13, 2019

George Cwirko-Godycki in his home studio.

When George Cwirko-Godycki isn't teaching visual development in the computer animation program at Ringling College of Art and Design, he's probably still making art. “I just like to draw every day,” he says. You're apt to find him sketching the alligators (some of his favorite muses) at Sarasota Jungle Gardens or learning how to screen print so he can put his illustrations on T-shirts and totes.

Cwirko-Godycki's Instagram feed took off a few years ago and he currently has nearly 300,000 followers. He was inspired to start posting regular images and videos there because he wanted to demonstrate the hard work that artists must put in every day to hone their craft. Being a talented illustrator requires constant observation and a bottomless desire to learn and practice, practice, practice. Followers of his feed can watch videos of his drawing process, learn tricks of the trade or just enjoy his eye-catching creations.

So what does a dedicated artist like Cwirko-Godycki carry about in his Etchr art satchel?

There are of course the essentials: wallet, keys, laptop, phone charger (marked with a distinguishing bunny sticker) and some toiletries to stay fresh in the Florida heat. Besides those objects, everything revolves around his sketchbook. Inspiration might strike anywhere, so it's best to be prepared. He carries a case stocked with pencils and pens in a variety of sizes and tips. (There are backups for his favorite pen, still in their packaging, just in case.) Paper towels, brushes and a spray bottle filled with water accompany his travel watercolor set. There's also a clip for holding down pages on windy days, artist's tape that won't damage paper, a high-quality sharpener and white-out for adding highlights.

Cwirko-Godycki also brings a revolving door of inspiration that he carries with him. Currently, he's rereading a novel from his favorite author, Haruki Murakami, and has a film rented from the school's library (another of his favorite haunts). In case you've ever wondered if there is a book about reclining dinosaurs, there is, and Cwirko-Godycki is currently studying from it. He says he likes to take books around with him so he can glean new information when reading in different contexts. No matter how far you've come, you can still take yourself someplace new.

The contents of Cwirko-Godycki's satchel