Visit to the Royal Society of Arts in London

In April 2022 I visited the Royal Society of Arts in London, where I am a Life Fellow. My book ‘Don’t take my dreams from me’ is part of the Fellow’s library and I found it on display prominently by the librarian desk! I am so grateful and happy. I also had a couple of meetings with an artist, a gallerist and a film industry professional and I attended the President’s lecture that was introduced by HRH Princess Royal.

I have had my work published in the famous Vanity Fair magazine, which has been displayed and on sale in every magazine store (not only) in London!

V apríli 2022 som navštívila Kráľovskú spoločnosť umení v Londýne, kde som doživotnou členkou. Moja kniha Neberte mi sny je súčasťou členskej knižnice a našla som ju vystavenú na významnom mieste pri knihovníčkinom pulte. Som vďačná a šťastná. Tiež som tu mala niekoľko stretnutí s umelcom, galeristkou a filmovou profesionálkou a zúčastnila som sa Prezidentskej prednášky, ktorú otvorila Princezná Anna.

Moja práca je tiež publikovaná v slávnom časopise Vanity Fair, ktorý je vystavený a predajný v každom obchode s časopismi (nielen) v Londýne.


Petra Štefanková is Vanity Fair UK A-list Artist 2022!

The Hollywood issue of the famous magazine of popular culture Vanity Fair by Condé Nast publishing in the UK has been published on the 25th of February 2022. A-list artists is a prestigious section presenting prominent visual artists and I am honoured to be part of it. My original artwork „Rays of Light“, acrylics on canvas, 70x60cm in size, is published in this issue. The artwork is available for sale. 

Definition of the A-List terminology: a list or group of individuals of the highest level of society, excellence, or eminence. Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Vanity Fair magazine opens the doors to Hollywood, high finance, media, politics and culture, tracking the latest scandals, the greatest achievements and the newest stars. 

25. februára 2022 vyšlo Hollywoodske číslo slávneho časopisu populárnej kultúry Vanity Fair od vydavateľstva Condé Nast vo Veľkej Británii. „A-zoznam“ výtvarných umelcov je prestížna rubrika, ktorá predstavuje popredných výtvarníkov a je mi cťou, že som jej súčasťou. V tomto čísle je publikované moje originálne dielo, akryl na plátne „Lúče svetla“ formátu 70x60cm. Originál diela je k dispozícii na predaj. 

Definícia pojmu A-list: zoznam alebo skupina jednotlivcov najvyššej úrovne spoločnosti, výnimočnosti alebo eminencie. Zdroj: Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Časopis Vanity Fair otvára dvere do Hollywoodu, vysokých financií, médií, politiky a kultúry mapujúc aktuálne škandály, veľké úspechy a najnovšie hviezdy.


Animated paintings video

This week I created a short hand-drawn animation using Procreate app on my iPad Pro, where I animated a number of my acrylic paintings. You can watch the video on my Youtube channel. I used music by www.bensound.com. Otherwise, it is all my own work including video editing! 

Tento týždeň som vytvorila krátku kreslenú animácia použitím aplikácie Procreate na mojom tablete iPad Pro, kde som rozanimovala niekoľko mojich akrylových malieb. Môžete si pozrieť video na mojom Youtube kanáli. Použila som hudbu, ktorú vytvoril www.bensound.com. Inak je to všetko moja vlastná práca vrátane strihu videa.


My name in prestigious libraries

Library of the RSA in London

University of the Arts London library

ACM library

Artium Museum library

I have discovered my name in articles and books at some of the famous libraries in the United Kingdom, the USA and Spain. Our book titled Don’t take my dreams from me is available from the library of the Royal Society of Arts in London. Some of my articles published in the US and the UK are available to students and teachers of the prestigious art school, the University of the Arts London. My conference paper, which was written for Graphite 2007, the computer graphics conference in Australia, was published by the famous Association of Computer Machinery in the USA. And I already mentioned earlier on this blog, that my profile and artworks have been published in a book by Jack Harris and Steven Withrow in the UK. This book has been translated into the Spanish language and it is available from the library of the famous Artium museum.

Objavila som svoje meno v článkoch a knihách v niektorých zo slávnych knižníc v Anglicku, v USA a v Španielsku. Naša kniha Neberte mi sny je k dispozícii v knižnici Kráľovskej spoločnosti umení v Londýne. Niektoré moje články publikované v USA a v Anglicku sú k dispozícii študentom a učiteľom prestížnej umeleckej školy University of the Arts London. Môj konferenčný príspevok, ktorý som napísala pre Graphite 2007, konferenciu počítačovej grafiky v Austrálii, bol publikovaný slávnou Asociáciou pre počítačové stroje v USA. A už som spomenula skôr na tomto blogu, že môj profil a diela boli publikované v knihe Jacka Harrisa a Stevena Withrowa v Anglicku. Táto kniha bola preložená do španielčiny a je umiestnená v knižnici slávneho múzea Artium.


Word cultures reflected in my paintings

My solo show at the Bratislava Castle gallery in August 2021 had the title Traveller. I chose this name because I have visited many countries with my work – the USA, the UK, Germany, Portugal, France, Australia, Austria, Czech Republic or Italy. I also visited more countries for leisure and vacation – Greece, Tunisia, Spain, Croatia. Different cultures left their marks on my visual thinking. For example, my decorative drawn structures are close to the drawings and paintings by the native Australian inhabitants, Aboriginals. Bold, but simplified faces with eyes and characters remind Aztecan symbols. Flat aesthetics of graphic design in painting is known from the works of the American fine artists of the Pop Art movement. The draw-painting technique refers to Street Art, Graffiti, or the Lowbrow movement, but also comics culture, which has a strong hub in the USA. Human profiles and silhouettes of people drawn using a black outline may suggest a context with the historic roots of Egyptian art. Surrealism and cubism – movements, that I base my work on as well, have their origin in Europe – in France and Spain. I was also strongly influenced by the Slovakian fine art and illustration culture because that is where I was born. 

Moja samostatná výstava na Bratislavskom hrade v auguste 2021 mala názov Cestovateľka. Zvolila som si toto pomenovanie, pretože som navštívila so svojou prácou mnohé krajiny – USA, Veľkú Britániu, Nemecko, Portugalsko, Francúzsko, Austráliu, Rakúsko, Česko či Taliansko. Samozrejme, v rámci mojich mimopracovných dovoleniek tých navštívených krajín bolo ešte o niečo viac – Grécko, Tunisko, Španielsko, alebo Chorvátsko. Rozličné kultúry zanechali stopy v mojom vizuálnom myslení. Napríklad dekoratívna drobnokresba a štruktúra má blízko ku kresbám a maľbám pôvodných Austrálskych obyvateľov Aborigenov. Výrazné, ale zjednodušené tváričky s očami a postavičky zase pripomínajú Aztécke symboly. Plošná estetika grafického dizajnu v maľbe je známa z tvorby amerických výtvarníkov smerov ako Pop art. Kresbo-maliarska technika odkazuje na Street art, Graffiti, či hnutie Lowbrow, ale aj komiksovú kultúru, ktoré majú v USA silné centrum. Ľudské profily a obrysy postáv čiernou linkou môžu naznačovať súvislost s historickými koreňmi Egyptského umenia. Surrealizmus a kubizmus - smery, o ktoré sa v princípe tiež opieram, majú svoj pôvod v Európe – vo Francúzsku a Španielsku. Tiež ma ovplyvnila slovenská výtvarná kultúra, keďže som sa tu narodila. 


Exhibiting with Picasso and Salvador Dali

I have some great news. I will be exhibiting two of my acrylic paintings together with some works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali in a single group show in Austria! The exhibition is titled Art as self-realization and self-expression and will be held at the Modern Art Museum located in Castle Hubertendorf between the 15th of September and the 20th of December 2021.

Mám skvelé správy. Budem vystavovať dve akrylové maľby spolu s dielami od Pabla Picassa a Salvadora Daliho na jedinečnej skupinovej výstave v Rakúsku. Výstava je nazvaná Umenie ako sebarealizácia a sebavyjadrenie a bude sa konať v Múzeu moderného umenia na zámku Hubertendorf medzi 15. septembrom a 20. decembrom 2021.


My paintings at art3f Paris in September

Two of my acrylic paintings and one additional painting in the storage will be presented at the international contemporary art fair, art3f Paris at the Paris Expo, Pavillon 5, Porte de Versailles, between the 10th and 12th of September 2021. I will be represented by a Madrid based gallery Van Gogh Art Gallery.  

Dve moje akrylové maľby a jedna maľba v zálohe budú prezentované na medzinárodnom veľtrhu súčasného umenia v Paríži, art3f Paris, v priestoroch Paris Expo, Pavilón 5, Porte de Versailles, medzi 10. a 12. septembrom 2021. Bude ma tam zastupovať madridská galéria Van Gogh Art Gallery.


Solo show at Bratislava Castle

My solo show Cestovateľka - Traveler will be held at Bratislava Castle (Western Terrace Gallery) between the 3rd and the 30th of August 2021. I will present about 40 drawings and paintings on canvas produced in the last three years.

Moja samostatná výstava Cestovateľka - Traveler sa bude konať v galérii na západnej terase Bratislavského hradu v termíne od 3. do 30. augusta 2021. Budem prezentovať okolo 40 kresbo-malieb na plátne, ktoré som vytvorila v posledných troch rokoch.

Kunsthistorička Barbara Brathová k výstave píše:

“Petra Štefanková je univerzálna umelkyňa, ktorá sa okrem grafiky, ilustrácie a maľby venuje aj dizajnu, je autorkou textov, filmov, kníh a rada sa vizuálne vyjadruje prostredníctvom rôznych materiálov a  objektov. Vyštudovala grafický dizajn, čo je aj dôvod, prečo inklinuje k plošnej estetike a  jej obrazové výjavy charakterizuje zjednodušená forma, ktorá funguje ako znak, symbol, výtvarná skratka. Kombinácia čiernej čiary a farby v grafike aj v akrylovej maľbe, ktorej sa intezívne venuje najmä v ostatných troch rokoch, odkazuje na popkultúru komixu a  časopiseckej ilustrácie. Evidentná je v jej tvorbe aj prítomnosť fragmentov historizujúcich prvkov starovekých kultúr posunutá do modernosti aktuálnych trendov západnej vizuality. Drobnokresba prevažne čiernou linkou typická ornamentálnou štruktúrou je rukopisom, akousi značkou, autorky. Hoci diela navodzujú dojem abstrakcie, ktorej sa tiež čiastkovo venuje, v  princípe sa v  ploche spravidla objavuje figúra ako ikona i mediátor myšlienok v  živej pastelovej farebnosti odrážajúcej krehkosť ženskej optiky. Autorka počas svoje tvorby vyskúšala všetky tradičné techniky, ale v  kresbe a  maľbe sa orientuje na akryl na papieri, plátne a  dreve, veľa však kreslí na tablete, kde kombinuje tradičnú kresbu s  digitálnym kolorovaním. Venuje sa vektorovej grafike a  preslávila sa počítačovými 3D grafikami v zahraničí aj na domácej pôde. Profesijný životopis výtvarníčky odkazuje na mnohé zahraničné úspechy a  ocenenia. Aj preto má výstava, ktorá bude prezentovaná v galérii na Západnej terase Bratislavského hradu od 3. do 30 augusta 2021 názov Cestovateľka. Zásadným prelomom, ktorý sa Petre Štefankovej v  rámci vnímania výtvarnosti v  komerčnom svete podaril je imaginárny „most“ medzi vizualitou vysokej vývarnosti a  jej presahu do komerčnej grafiky, ktorá nesie v sebe zakódovanú pragmatickú informáciu a  zároveň funguje ako obraz.”


New international publications in 2021

My work has been published in various international publications in 2020-2021. Namely, Coronart by Ludvig Rage publishing from Berlin in Germany, Human Body is Art and Limitless Nature by Bruxelles Art Vue from Brussels in Belgium and Current Masters 5 by World Wide Art Books in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

Moje diela boli publikované vo viacerých medzinárodných publikáciách v roku 2020-2021. Konkrétne, v knihe Coronart od vydavateľa Ludvig Rage v Berlíne v Nemecku, Human Body is Art a Limitless Nature od bruselského vydavateľstva Bruxelles Art Vue v Belgicku a Current Masters 5 od World Wide Art Books zo Santa Barbary, Kalifornia v USA.


Romantica show in Milan

My painting titled ‘Fashion Icon’ was presented by M.A.D.S. Milano, the art gallery in Italy on large digital touch screens during their group exhibition Romantica - Shape of my art. You can visit my profile on their website here. The exhibition was held between 23 April and 2 May 2021.

This review was written by the M.A.D.S. Milano art gallery curator, Martina Viesti: 

Petra Štefanková is an award-winning artist, published all over the world. The inspiration for her artistic production lies in Egyptian art and in Greek architecture. Think about the vivacity and the richness of the artistic representation in the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, or think about the Temple of Athena Nike. At the international contemporary art exhibition “ROMANTICA - Shape of my Art” she presents “Fashion Icon”, a work of which the colours and shapes have a profound visual impact. If we link the representation to the religious iconographic we may assume that the Icon represents a divinity. The fashion identity leads to a contemporary vision of the work. The colours evoke Paul Klee artistic production, mainly “Main Road and Side Roads”. The background is built with shapes and colours which create the dynamism of the work. In great contrast with the static figure in the foreground is the emblem of the Egyptian divinities, the very interesting element is the union between Egypt and Ancient Grece. The dress is like an Ionic Capital, with the traditional volute. The reminiscence of Greek architecture aimed at the construction of temples dedicated to the gods takes up the concept of divinity. Petra Štefanková’s artistic experimentation lead you to find ancient in something totally contemporary, new, current. The viewer feels immersed in a new world in which both antiquity and modernity come together to create a completely new dimension.

Moja maľba nazvaná “Módna ikona” bola prezentovaná v galérii M.A.D.S. Miláno v Taliansku na veľkých dotykových obrazovkách počas skupinovej výstavy Romantica - Shape of my art. Tu si môžete si pozrieť môj profil na stránkach galérie. Výstava sa konala medzi 23. aprílom a 2. májom 2021.

Túto recenziu napísala kurátorka galérie M.A.D.S. Milano, Martina Viesti: 

 Petra Štefanková je oceňovaná umelkyňa, ktorej diela boli publikované po celom svete. Inšpirácia jej umeleckej produkcie leží v egypskom umení a gréckej architektúre. Len si spomeňte na iskru a bohatosť umeleckej reprezentácie v hrobke Kráľovnej Nefertari alebo v chráme Atény Niké. Na medzinárodnej výstave súčasného umenia “Romantica – Shape of my Art“ predstavuje dielo “Módna ikona“ – prácu, ktorej farby a tvary majú skutočný vizuálny dosah. Ak spojíme reprezentáciu k náboženskej ikonografii, môžeme predpokladať, že ikona reprezentuje božstvo, čo vedie k súčasnej vízii práce v módnej identite. Farby diela pripomínajú práce Paula Klee, najmä jeho dielo “Hlavná cesta a bočné cesty“. Pozadie je vystavané s tvarmi a farbami, ktoré tvoria dynamiku diela vo veľkom kontraste k statickej figúre v popredí ako emblém egypského božstva. Veľmi zaujímavým elementom je spojenie Egypta a starovekého Grécka – šaty vyzerajú ako iónsky stĺp s tradičnou volútou. Reminiscencia gréckej architektúry je zameraná na konštrukciu chrámov venovaných bohom, čo zdôrazňuje koncept božskosti. Umelecký experiment Petry Štefankovej vás vedie k nachádzaniu starovekého v niečom celkom súčasnom, novom a aktuálnom. Divák sa cíti byť vtiahnutý do nového sveta, v ktorom sa stretávajú starodávne i moderné, aby vytvorili kompletne novú dimenziu. 


My personal experience in drawing

When I was a child, I was drawing often and everywhere – on the walls of my room, on paper in the dark with my eyes closed, or into my exercise book at school during history lessons. Most frequently, my drawings were animal figures and other fairy-tale creatures – a mole with a wheelbarrow, an ant queen, a witch on a broomstick or a black-and-white turtle. I was also a member of a visual art club at Elementary Art School where I was being prepared and perfected for practice in arts. Roughly since I was five years of age, I had been sure I wanted to devote myself to visual arts even though I had had no idea of what that actually meant. Of course, my drawings had been developing from a childish perception to a professional execution for a long time. However, I grasped principles of the perspective of buildings quite soon thanks to my mum – a visual artist – who was subtly giving me directions. During entrance exams for art high school, teachers’ criticism was harsh. That egg must roll! – they pointed out when looking at my pencil drawing. Unsurprisingly, the words were followed by my heart-breaking crying behind an art room door. It took about three more months of everyday work for my drawing to change from the shy one to courageous and from dull to attractive. The teachers could not believe their eyes. The way I experienced things internally and the outward expression thereof were also changing – deep emotions and timidity were alternating with daring steps. I think that by developing my own drawing production, I was acquiring not only skills but also self-confidence. My personality was thus picking up the pieces thanks to an ordinary pencil and a piece of paper. I was gradually learning to think individually, after all at the beginning of our training in drawing, we were putting only things we saw around us on paper, or we just copied masters’ pieces of art. Nevertheless, the process aimed at finding a way for us to express ourselves independently with a unique approach. At university, I specialized in graphic design. Therefore, a computer was the main tool of my art-making at that time, but we also dealt with traditional figurative drawing. Thus, we were putting figures – human models sitting or standing in front of students in an atelier – on paper using a pencil or a carbon schematically as well as realistically. Later on, I kept drawing almost always and everywhere as well – but that time, for instance, I drew train tickets, calendar or newspaper pages. I was drawing while having phone calls or surfing the Internet. These records had a nature of an automatic drawing, and they were hardly driven consciously. This way, a countless number of records was created. Doing so, I grasped my personal emotions and fragile moments of every-day life, inner dramas and peace as well as a constant change. Automatic drawing originated in the period of Surrealism in the 20th century, and its roots can be found in psychoanalytic Sigmund Freud or visual artist Max Ernst’s pieces of work. My drawings displayed quality in their content, but they also needed an aesthetic form to attract a viewer’s attention. Hence, in 2006, I came up with an idea to transfer my automatic drawings into a computer by means of a vector drawing and make simple computer 3D models with textures out of them. When my first pieces of art were introduced to the public in the Yet Another Face series, a minor miracle happened. I won the talent competition of young artists in England, and the pieces of art were exhibited in galleries and published worldwide in books, magazines and catalogues. The free graphics overstepped the boundaries of free arts, approaching commercial illustration and vice versa. I applied my style to the front page of 4Talent as well as to individual illustrations accompanying articles for example for Retail Traffic in the USA. These final computer illustrations were also published by the magazine Aesthetica or Computer Arts in England. At that moment, it already seemed that the adult drawing and visually artistic expression would indeed find its use. However, hard economic times came, and I again found myself struggling with myself and sometimes with my nearest. Nevertheless, every time I knew that I cannot quit drawing as a typical expression of my identity. At that time, I again had to pick up the pieces and drawing helped me to preserve my integrity. I tried almost every visual art technique and tool, in small and large format. Out of a number of individual sheets of paper containing my “miniature drawings”, I had several books bound. I scanned some of the drawings and combined them into separate computer prints originally authorized with an acrylic felt-tip pen. I named them A Tribute to Basquiat as naive pictures made in a childish style were typical for this author. Subsequently, individual exhibitions of my free drawing and graphic art-making were held in Bratislava, Prague and Berlin. During my independent exhibition, an entrance door of the Slovak House in Prague was “decorated” with a large-format black-and-white linear drawing interconnecting simplified funny figures forming a single lively unit. In A1 format, I also provided children with copies of my drawings during an exhibition on the premises of Bibiana, the International House of Art for Children in Bratislava. The incoming visitors had thus an opportunity to spend their time colouring in these compositions in the gallery. Finally, I drew on my experience in drawing during creative workshops for children which were accompanied by a presentation of my illustrated books. They were held over the course of 2017 and 2018 in several Slovak cities in libraries, kindergartens as well as on commercial premises of a fast-food establishment. One of the workshops organized in a library in Komarno was focused on the cooperation of school children in drawing. It was attended by more than twenty children with the presence of some parents. The group of children was given a large-format piece of paper, black felt-tip pens and colour pencils. Their task was to draw an image using a single simple full-line and colour in a final picture together. My intention was to point out a need for mutual interpersonal communication and collaboration already in early childhood. Another workshop covered the introduction of the children’s book Čmáranica a Machuľa (free translation: Squiggle and Blotch), which was published by publishing house Slovart. It was a spontaneous event aimed at showing that interesting and meaningful pictures such as figures, faces or complex situations can also be created from ordinary colourful squiggles and blotches. This project was a fast rehearsal of creativity and imagination. For me, drawing is an important and integral part of my expression. By drawing, I supplement my verbal expression when communicating with my closest as well as with the unknown. Moreover, I assert that in my case, drawing is a more expressive form of social interaction than speech or written word. Drawing is intellectual equipment that can be used in practice in numerous professional specializations to a higher or lower degree. Therefore, in my opinion, society’s interest in the drawing as a final artefact as well as a form of the record and visualisation of thoughts should not fade away.

References: 

Yet Another Face (2016), Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, 2 August – 16 August. Filmové paralely, Film Parallels (2017), Slovak House in Prague, Prague, 25 September – 15 October. Kino spod vankúša, Cinema from beneath the pillow (2018), Bibiana, Bratislava, 11 January – 18 February.


My approaches to artistic visualisation

Automatic drawing 

At the beginning of my artistic path, there was automatic drawing arising from the unconsciousness. Although it was a structurally abstract drawing, it always depicted also concrete elements – highly stylized human faces and emotional expressions. These artworks represent emotional living inside of the personality with a reflection of external events and their impact on the unconsciousness. When we talk about automatic drawing the emotional state of the author does not matter, because the artwork represents any psychic status. 

 Constructional and planned visual thinking 

On the other hand, I need to reason out my figurative pictures in a state of calm creative concentration. These creations are based on meaningful and conscious planning of the actual visual elements into the complex patterns. This time, it takes longer to put my hand on paper and depict initial ideas in sketches. The artworks arise in my head and I have to see them in front of me as if they were already finished before the idea is initially traced. 

Combination of the approaches 

In the end, I have a tendency to combine these two approaches. Automatic drawing inside of my figurative painting has a decorative character, but it is also an expressive authorial print and signature. 

 Moje prístupy k výtvarnej vizualizácii 

 Automatická kresba 

Na začiatku mojej výtvarnej dráhy stála automatická kresba vychádzajúca z podvedomia. Hoci išlo o štrukturálne abstraktnú kresbu, vždy sa v nej objavovali konkrétne elementy – štylizované ľudské tváre a výrazy emócií. Tieto diela predstavujú emocionálne prežívanie vo vnútri osobnosti s reflexiou vonkajších javov a ich vplyvu na podvedomie. Pri automatickej kresbe nezáleží na emocionálnom rozpoložení autora, pretože toto dielo reflektuje akýkoľvek psychický stav. 

 Konštrukčné a plánované myslenie v obrazoch 

Naopak moje figurálne obrazy však je potrebné premyslieť v pokojnom tvorivom sústredení.
Táto tvorba je založená na zmysluplnom a uvedomelom plánovaní konkrétnych obrazových prvkov do komplexných celkov. Tentokrát trvá dlhšiu dobu, kým položím ruku na papier a zachytím prvé nápady do skíc. Obrazy vznikajú najprv v mojej hlave a musím ich vidieť pred sebou akoby už boli dokončené ešte skôr než vznikne prvotný záznam o nápade. 

 Kombinácia prístupov 

 V konečnom dôsledku, mám tendenciu tieto dva prístupy kombinovať. Automatická kresba v mojej figurálnej maľbe naberá dekoratívny charakter, ale je aj výraznou autorskou stopou a rukopisom. 


Artist of the Future Award

I am the winner of the Artist of the Future Award by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine in the UK! The publisher of the online magazine has their books about visual arts in well-known bookstores such as Waterstones, Foyles or WHSmith. They write about the award the following: Artist of the Future Award honours most talented artists that will most likely shape the future of the art world and showcase the distinct voices of a new generation of artists. Artist of the Future Award is awarded to the talented artist who has shown extraordinary originality and the innovative and original style. You can see my profile on the magazine web site.

Som víťazkou ocenenia Umelec budúcnosti časopisu Contemporary Art Curator v Anglicku! Vydavateľ tohto online magazínu má svoje knihy o výtvarnom umení v známych kníhkupectvách ako Waterstones, Foyles alebo WHSmith. O ocenení píšu nasledovné: Cena Umelec budúcnosti oceňuje najtalentovanejších umelcov, ktorí pravdepodobne budú formovať budúcnosť umeleckého sveta a ukazuje rozličné hlasy novej generácie umelcov. Umelec budúcnosti je cenou talentovaných umelcov, ktorí ukázali výnimočnú originalitu, inovatívny a originálny štýl. Môj profil nájdete na stránke magazínu.


Ghost Town.NYC exhibition in New York

Arthouse.NYC and the curator Susannah Perlman organised a digital exhibition of the selected fine artworks, that were exhibited on digital displays in the centre of New York throughout the year. The exhibition Ghost Town.NYC was held on 30 and 31 October 2020 at Ideal Glass Studios, 9 West 8th Street near the Empire State Building and the famous 5th Avenue. At the Ideal Glass Studios experimented the pioneers of electronic music Louis and Bebe Barron, composer John Cage, playwright Tennessee Williams, writer Henry Miller or filmmaker Bryant Haliday. The exhibition Ghost Town.NYC presented the strange, eery, macabre and supernatural in a collection of artworks. Besides myself, there was work by the American illustrator of the New Yorker magazine Richard A. Chance, the Japanese drawer Mayuko Gray, the Columbian media artist and teacher Santiago Echeverry, Italian photographer Yasmina Barbet and others. 

Arthouse.NYC pod vedením kurátorky Susannah Perlman zorganizovala digitálnu výstavu výtvarného umenia z výberu tých najlepších diel, ktoré sa za posledné roky prezentovali na digitálnych obrazovkách v centre New Yorku. Výstava Ghost Town.NYC sa konala 30.-31. októbra 2020 v priestoroch Ideal Glass Studios na ulici 9 West 8th Street neďaleko Empire State Building a slávnej ulice 5th Avenue. V priestoroch dnešných Ideal Glass Studios pôsobili pionieri elektronickej hudby Louis a Bebe Barron a tiež tu experimentovali napríklad skladateľ John Cage, dramatik Tennessee Williams či spisovateľ Henry Miller alebo filmár Bryant Haliday. Výstava Ghost Town.NYC ukázala tajomné, strašidelné či nadprirodzené javy v kolekcii výtvarných diel. Okrem mňa sa tu prezentoval aj americký ilustrátor časopisu The New Yorker Richard A. Chance, japonská kresliarka Mayuko Gray, kolumbijský mediálny umelec a pedagóg Santiago Echeverry, talianska fotografka Yasmina Barbet a ďalší. 


Social illustrated design

I created several social illustrated designs for posters about illiteracy, inequality and intolerance as well as issues of the disabled. I would like to bring these topics to your attention using aesthetics, emotion and hierarchy of typographic and visual elements. 

The initiative is based on personal experience with disability in my family. My father was blind for about 20 years because of glaucoma. Despite that, he was very accomplished at work. He felt ashamed of ending up sight-impaired, did not want people to notice his disability and he tried to hide this disadvantage. I had a strong emotional connection with him. He struggled through life a lot for his inability to see. He slowly developed other senses a bit stronger such as his hearing and touching. 

This collection of posters represent important themes we should not be ignorant of.

Vytvorila som niekoľko sociálnych ilustrovaných dizajnov pre plagáty o negramotnosti,  nerovnosti a netolerancii ako aj o problémoch zdravotne znevýhodnených ľudí. Chcem priniesť tieto témy do vašej pozornosti s použitím estetiky, emócií a hierarchie typografických a vizuálnych elementov.

Táto iniciatíva je založená na osobnej skúsenosti so zdravotným znevýhodnením v mojej rodine. Môj otec bol nevidiaci približne 20 rokov kvôli glaukomu. Napriek tomu, bol veľmi pracovne úspešný. Cítil sa zahanbený, že stratil zrak, nechcel, aby si to ľudia všimli a pokúšal sa svoje znevýhodnenie skrývať. Mala som s ním veľmi silné emocionálne spojenie. Počas života sa pre svoju neschopnosť vidieť veľmi trápil. Postupne si vyvinul silnejšie iné zmysly ako sluch a hmat.

Táto kolekcia plagátov reprezentuje dôležité témy, ktoré by sme nemali ignorovať.


A few words about my contemporary paintings

I would like to express a few words about my contemporary paintings I create these days. I usually paint the world of women through my own optics of life and travel experiences. This woman is not only a separate personality in the cycle of life, but she is seen together with her male partner. The woman has a sensitive relationship to the world of animals and she appears in a symphony with nature. In society, she can wear a mask when she hides and does not share her pains. She moves in her world with the easiness of the butterfly wings. This woman is able to talk tales and stories, that are original, although the usual and traditional symbols exist there, her way of expression is unusual and new. I reflect the past, the present and the future. 


Rada by som vyjadrila zopár slov o mojich súčasných maľbách, ktoré v týchto dňoch vytváram. Najčastejšie maľujem svet žien cez vlastnú optiku životných a cestovateľských skúseností. Ženu vnímam nielen ako samostatnú osobnosť v kolobehu života, ale aj ako súčasť dvojice, keď tvorí pár s mužským partnerom. Žena má citlivý vzťah k svetu zvierat a objavuje sa v symfónii s
prírodou. V spoločnosti si občas môže nasadiť masku, keď ukrýva a nezdiela svoje bolesti. Svetom sa pohybuje s ľahkosťou motýlích krídel. Táto žena dokáže rozprávať rozprávky a príbehy, ktoré sú jedinečné, hoci sa v nich vyskytujú zaužívané a tradičné symboly, jej spôsob vyjadrenia je neobvyklý a nový. Reflektujem minulosť, súčasnosť aj budúcnosť. 


Book ‘Don’t take my dreams from me’

I self-published a new book of poetry and paintings, that is written by my mother Aurelia Stefankova and it is illustrated by me. We united to express moments and adventures of life as well as images of love in two independent ways - in visuals and in writing. The book is published in two languages, in the Slovak and English language.  You can buy it from my store.

Publikovala som novú knihu poézie a malieb, ktorú napísala moja mama Aurélia Štefanková a ja som ju ilustrovala. Spojili sme sa, aby sme vyjadrili momenty a dobrodružstvá života ako aj obrazy lásky dvomi nezávislými spôsobmi - vo vizuáloch a v básni. Kniha je publikovaná v dvoch jazykoch, v slovenčine a v angličtine. Knihu si môžete zakúpiť z môjho e-shopu.


Draw me something for Anorak magazine

Through a private online communication channel of Anorak, the kids’ magazine from the UK, a number of illustrators from around the world were asked to produce specific illustrations. They had to draw ideas that came from the magazine children’s contributors. I was one of the illustrators, who took part in this challenge. My illustration was based on the idea of the 11-year old boy Alfie who wanted me to draw an axolotl with a fez and a bow tie.

Cez privátny online komunikačný kanál Anoraku, detského časopisu v Anglicku, boli oslovení viacerí ilustrátori zo sveta, aby vytvorili špecifické ilustrácie. Mali nakresliť nápady, ktoré vymysleli detskí prispievatelia do časopisu. Ja som bola tiež jedna z ilustrátorov, ktorí sa zúčastnili tejto výzvy. Moja ilustrácia je založená na nápade 11 ročného chlapca Alfieho, ktorý chcel, aby som nakreslila axolotla s tureckou čiapkou a motýlikom.


Why do I do art?

Today, I have stumbled upon a Skillshare class by Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist at Canva. It has inspired me to think about my role as an artist and the art business I do. He suggested to ask me a few questions: What is the meaning behind my (art) business? What do I want to achieve in society by doing this business? Why do I do this? He advised us to answer these questions ideally in a short statement of 4 words. So here is what I came up with:

My artwork arose from the need for self-expression because I am rather a quiet person, it is my communication channel. I have a vision of the world translated into a simplified aesthetics and mostly flat shapes. I am a woman so that my focus is probably a female subject in my work. I love creating new stories too, so I inject my ideas into book concepts and animated short films.

The visual elements and interesting stories together play an important role in everyday life. They are a source of inspiration, knowledge and emotion.

1. I provide inspiration to others to become creative and create their own worlds, pictures and stories.

2. I am a source of knowledge I collected over the years and I published it in my own books.

3. My short animated films are emotionally engaging and moving.

That’s how I would sum it up.


Parkylife won Bronze and Silver Award

The UK based agency Havas Lynx won two awards for Parkylife project at the Drum Roses Awards 2020 last week! They were awarded Silver and Bronze in Sports/Health and Illustration/Animation categories. I provided an illustration for the project thanks to Eallin Animation production company. More information on the awards web site.

Anglická agentúra Havas Lynx vyhrala dve ceny za projekt Parkylife v Drum Roses Awards 2020 minulý týždeň. Získali striebornú a bronzovú cenu v kategóriách Šport/Zdravie a Ilustrácia/Animácia. Poskytla som ilustráciu do projektu vďaka produkčnej firme Eallin. Viac informácií je na stránke súťaže.


Little pixies and colours - animated poetry (Farebníčkovia a farby - animovaná báseň)

Together with a poet Aurelia Štefanková, I created a short kids animation about little pixies in the world of colours in the Slovak language (Farebníčkovia a farby). 

Credits: Director / Writer: Petra Štefanková, Writer / Narrator: Aurélia Štefanková, Designer / Animator: Petra Štefanková.

Spolu s poetkou Auréliou Štefankovou som vytvorila tento krátky detský animovaný filmík k básni o Farebníčkoch vo svete farieb v slovenskom jazyku.

Credits: Režisér / Námet: Petra Štefanková, Text / Rozprávač: Aurélia Štefanková, Dizajnér / Animácia: Petra Štefanková.


Values of my artistic practice

Illustrator and designer Brooke Glaser inspired me today with her lecture on Skillshare focused on the topic ‘Make a Living as an Artist: Strategies for Crafting Your Creative Business’.

So I was thinking and came up with 3 most important values, that can be found in my works (as Brooke Glaser recommended us to define some of those). It is a fact, that my art is varied, it is applied to different customer needs from commercial illustration in books and magazines to art objects, drawings and paintings. These are three elements, that could be identified in my work in my opinion:

Authenticity

My work is originally based on the automatic drawing method and so-called unconscious doodling. I use also handmade materials such as handmade papers, marbled papers, handmade sketchbooks and art books. I transfer my signature style on different materials – canvases, textiles, wood, leather by drawing, painting or printing and laser burning.

Originality

A strong element of my work is a linear drawing and miniature drawing with an emphasis on the bold outline. Some of the artworks tend to be more abstract and use irregular shapes of patterns.

Playfulness

Colour palette is adjusted to a current mood from earthy and natural tones to fresh pastel colours, also with some use of black and white. My works often depict characters and people in different stylizations, who see the world by their many eyes.

Ilustrátorka a dizajnérka Brooke Glaser ma dnes na Skillshare inšpirovala svoju prednáškou na tému ‘Zarábaj ako umelec: Stratégie pre váš kreatívny biznis’.

A tak som sa zamyslela nad tým, aké sú 3 najdôležitejšie hodnoty, ktoré možno nájsť v mojich prácach (na základe odporúčania Brooke Glaser). Faktom je, že moja tvorba je rôznorodá, nachádza veľmi odlišné aplikácie od komerčnej ilustrácie v knihách a časopisoch po voľné objekty a kresby či maľby. Toto sú 3 elementy, ktoré v nich podla mňa možno identifikovať:

Autenticita

Vychádzam pôvodne z automatickej kresby a tzv. bezmyšlienkovitého „čmárania“. Využívam aj ručne vyrábané materiály ako su ručné papiere, mramorované papiere, viazané skicáre a „art“ knihy. Prenášam svoj rukopis na rôzne podklady – plátna, látky, drevo, kožu (napr. kresbou, maľbou, tlačou či laserovým výpalom).

Originalita

Silným elementom mojej tvorby je lineárna kresba a drobnokresba prejavujúca sa výrazným rukopisom obrysu. V niektorých dielach prechádzam do abstrakcie a kresby nepravidelných vzorov (patternov).

Hravosť

Farebnosť je prispôsobená aktuálnej nálade od tlmených zemitých a prírodných tónov k sviežim pastelovým farbám, ale aj s využitím čiernej a bielej. Moje diela najčastejšie zobrazujú postavy a postavičky rozličných štylizácií, ktoré pozerajú na svet mnohými očami.


New experimental illustrations

I decided to use my marker drawings as the basis for digital colouring on iPad Pro using Artstudio Pro app. As for the markers, I used Molotow black liners and the Aqua Color brushes. It surprised me, the results are really nice. For now, I created only drawings of unreal people’s faces (fictional portraits). In the future, I will be thinking about more complex ideas using this style too. So it could eventually match some of your briefs, I hope.

Rozhodla som sa použiť moje kresby fixkami ako základ pre digitálne kolorovanie na iPade Pro a aplikácie Artstudio Pro. Použila som black linery a Aqua Color brushe od firmy Molotow. Výsledok ma prekvapil, vyzerá to fajn. Zatiaľ som vytvorila len kresby nereálnych ľudských tvárí (fiktívne portréty). V budúcnosti budem uvažovať o komplexnejších nápadoch v tomto štýle. Snáď sa vám to bude hodiť k nejakým zadaniam.


The artist outside of the hub

I have a past of a world traveller – I have been to places such as Western Australia, Rhode Island, California, New York and many cities in Europe. I lived in Prague, Dover and London many years ago. I studied or worked as a freelancer there too. And I spent my whole childhood in Bratislava, where I was born. During my childhood, it was quite popular to travel for holidays abroad – for example, Tunisia, Greece, Spain, Croatia or so.

At the moment I shuttle between the capital, Bratislava, and a small village in Zahorie area of Western Slovakia. It is surely a huge difference in my lifestyle because I am not inside the hub of creative events and the professional community. I am surrounded by a small number of neighbour’s houses – we have a filmmaker, a customs officer, a lawyer and people from some other backgrounds here. They usually work in their gardens and around their houses when they are at home, which is actually not the work I tend to do too often.

Zahorie does not provide much visibility to the artists, there are just a few public galleries and museums. Therefore I am more focused on my creative work and (mostly online) marketing side of the job. This opportunity to slow down provided me with the space to explore my creative outputs more actively. I try to draw every day. I sketch many ideas and compositions until I am happy with at least one of them. Then, the process depends on whether it is appropriate to draw it digitally or use traditional acrylics.

The art market, either for commercial illustration or fine art, is very small in Slovakia. So I feel quite dependent on the interest and trust of foreign commissioners. They allow my creativity to flourish and stay alive. So if you are just reading this and have something in mind, do get in touch. I really love to hear from you.


Appreciation of painting

For 20 years I have been a digital artist. I started as a vector graphic designer and illustrator designing posters, logos and brochures. Later on, I worked on magazine editorial and advertising illustration commissions for clients in Italy, the UK and the USA. My characters have been funky and simple, very technical and based on computer-like geometry.

In the meantime, I was exploring automatic drawing as a technique for relaxation. They were just doodles to me, nothing much. So for the higher aesthetics purpose, I created 3D computer models of these drawings and suddenly became quite well-known for this type of work. It was more than 10 years ago.

I was pushing my drawing skills further every day. Of course, I had graduated from an art academy before, where I undertook the basic figure drawing training. I usually sketched on small sheets of paper, then larger and larger ones. My work was very abstract with some characters, heads, eyes and other figurative elements in it.

Another stage was a pure line work with black markers. These were just strange and funny characters connected by a single line all over the artwork. I used the style in a children’s book too and led a few workshops with kids thanks to the simplicity.

Then I did many more drawings on paper again. Now I realised that the stylisation of my figures was becoming more mature. I also translated some of it into vector illustrations, where every part of the human body was exaggerated. I used new drawings on paper as a starting point for my iPad creations as well.

After many years of doing creative artwork, I started to explore acrylic painting. It was not an easy process, I tested out gouache, oils, watercolours too. Finally, I arrived at a stage, when my art feels ready for people to appreciate it more and more. And it actually works!

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