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 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 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.


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.

Umenie a technológie v praxi = digitálne umenie

CEO Oxford University Press, Nigel Portwood, vo svojom článku z 24. februára 2021 zdôrazňuje potrebu humanitného či umeleckého vzdelania pre zamestnanosť. V podstate hovorí, že tak ako sú vedecké predmety (STEM = science, technology, engineering, mathematics) dôležité pre vývoj spoločnosti, kreativita zohráva výraznú úlohu v riešení globálnych problémov. V Českej republike sa tejto téme venoval riaditeľ Slovenského domu v Prahe a predseda Svetového združenia Slovákov v zahraničí, Vladimír Skalský. Jeho pohľad na túto problematiku je viac sociologický a upozorňuje na potrebu, ale aj prekážky v komunikácii medzi absolventami humanitných či umeleckých odborov a vedou. 

Pre moju výtvarnú prax je veľmi dôležité východisko a formovanie prostredníctvom stretnutí s významným slovenským matematikom Karolom Nemogom. V tínedžerskom veku ma priviedol k počítačom a tak moja umelecká kariéra začínala celkom logicky v oblasti grafického dizajnu. Toto zameranie mi však celkom nestačilo a tak som hľadala ďalšie možnosti realizácie svojich kreatívnych nápadov. Na Vysokej škole výtvarných umení v Bratislave som sa venovala tvorbe interaktívnych a animovaných hier v programe Flash. Vyústením ďalšieho tvorivého hľadania bola voľná počítačová grafika, najprv dvojrozmerná vektorová a bitmapová grafika, neskôr premodelovaná do počítačového 3D priestoru. Tento výtvarný štýl a technologický prístup bol veľa krát ocenený napríklad ako príspevok pre organizáciu ACM SIGGRAPH počas vedeckej konferencie GRAPHITE 2007 v Austrálii. Získal si aj odborníkov v Japonsku, keď mi známy japonský digitálny umelec Yoichiro Kawaguchi udelil cenu Excellence Award v súťaži Toray DCA. Na mnohých ďalších fórach som sa prezentovala ako 3D ilustrátorka a moje 3D ilustrácie boli publikované po celom svete. Prístup využitia voľnej automatickej kresby v komerčnej a úžitkovej ilustrácii je individualistický. Tým je zároveň výrazne prelomový, lebo hovorí o originalite názoru, ktorý aplikujem prevažne v editoriálovej práci pre časopisy ako britský 4Talent magazine televízie Channel4. 

Hodnota počítačovej grafiky sa vo svete galérií, aukčných domov a múzeí častokrát nepovažuje za tak významnú ako pri umeleckých dielach realizovaných tradičnými technikami – akrylovými či olejovými farbami, hĺbkotlačové grafiky lept, akvatinta, mezzotinta, tiež litografia alebo serigrafia. Využitie vedy a novej technológie je však progresívnym prístupom k umeleckému mysleniu. Vo väčšej miere sú pozývaní umelci, technológovia a vedci na vzájomnú diskusiu, aby spoločne reagovali na nastolené témy vo svete. V počítačovej grafike sa spája vedecké myslenie so spontánnou kreativitou. “Psychologickú stopu” si môže zachovať konceptuálnym spracovaním prostredníctvom pretvorenia automatickej kresby do počítačového priestoru, tak ako to bolo v prípade môjho 3D štýlu nazvaného Yet Another Face. Principiálne som tu nadviazala na psychoanalytický výskum Sigmunda Freuda a pretransformovala výsledky skúmania svojho podvedomia autorským, umeleckým, ale aj technologickým materiálom. 

Počítačovému umeniu sa významne venuje Los Angeles Center for Digital Art v USA, kde som mala možnosť prezentovať svoje diela počas spoločných salónových výstav. Počas trvania pandémie Covid-19 som predstavila svoje grafiky na digitálnych obrazovkách v spolupráci s galériou Arthouse.NYC v centre New Yorku. Samostatne som svoje digitálne diela uviedla na autorskej výstave v nemeckej galériii Lite-Haus v Berlíne.

Počítačový umelec je zároveň programátorom, ktorý na základe svojej imaginácie modeluje objekty v počítačovej grafike a ponúka ich interakciu. Dokonalé softwarové myslenie nachádza uplatnenie nielen v komerčnej oblasti od filmu, herného priemyselu či v reklame. V podobe autorských konceptov má svoju jedinečnú kvalitu a je priestorom pre angažovanú tvorivosť alebo aj aktivizmus. Spolupráca medzi týmito disciplínami ako veda, technológia a umenie pomáha pochopeniu a porozumeniu sveta, ale aj umožňuje prenik smerom k futurologickým aspektom ľudskej aktivity.

V súčasnosti veda a technológie teda prenikajú do umeleckých diel a ich vzájomná prepojenosť je mimoriadne prínosná. Základom je pritom umelecký experiment, kladenie si otázok a hľadanie výnimočných riešení na problémy, ktoré hýbu dnešným svetom. Môj pohľad je zároveň určitou výzvou galériám a múzeám súčasného umenia, aby rešpektovali túto veľmi nevyhnutnú komunikáciu a spoluprácu vedy a umenia.

Komerčná ilustrácia versus voľné výtvarné umenie

Na Slovensku existujú predsudky odborného publika k úžitkovej výtvarnej tvorbe v postavení voči voľnému výtvarnému umeniu ako je napríklad konceptuálne umenie či maľba. Dalo by sa tvrdiť, že ju podceňujú a často zostáva nepovšimnutá zo strany súčasných kurátorov. Pritom, komerčná ilustrácia v časopisoch a novinách je nositeľom myšlienky viac ako neestetické dielo konceptuálneho autora. Dokonca, editoriálová ilustrácia môže byť mienkotvorná v spojení s výpovednou silou masmédií. Takým príkladom je využitie politickej ilustrácie na obálke nemeckého časopisu Der Spiegel ilustrátora Edela Rodrigueza. Americký ilustrátor Brad Holland, známy svojimi autorskými ilustráciami pre The New Yorker a The New York Times, je zástancom individualizmu a originálneho myšlienkového vkladu výtvarníka do komerčnej ilustrácie. Tiež je vo svojej podstate vynikajúcim maliarom, teda využíva tradičné techniky vizualizácie v konceptuálnej ilustrácii. Komerčná ilustrácia teda nie je zápornou postavou v príbehu umenia, ale naopak je právoplatnou a autonómnou súčasťou umeleckej komunikácie. Ilustrácia v západných krajinách (USA, UK, Nemecko) sa teší veľkej popularite a pozornosti širokej verejnosti. Nevyhraňuje sa a nesústreďuje sa výhradne na detského čitateľa ako je to zaužívané u nás. Zároveň, mnohí ilustrátori sú aktívni aj v oblasti maľby ako napríklad Tim Biskup, rodák z kalifornského mesta Santa Monica. Ilustratívna estetika je pritom veľmi výrazná v dielach výtvarných umelcov v Los Angeles – maľbu ovplyvňuje komiks, reklama, dizajn. Výsledkom je plošná estetika, práca s linkou a rozmanitá svieža farebnosť. Angličan Mr Doodle pracuje so zjednodušeným tvarom a linkou, tváre a postavičky v jeho rukopise ožívajú do komplexného ornamentu. Špecifickým sa stáva v priestorových realizáciách pokreslených objektov či interiérových alebo exteriérových celkov. Hranice medzi “public art” (umením vo verejnom priestore) a komerčnou ilustráciou sa tu prelínajú. 

Nazdávam sa, že kurátori by mali byť natoľko rozhľadení, aby posilnili a podporili prepojenie komerčnej ilustrácie a voľnej výtvarnej tvorby a nie naopak. Tak ako to častokrát vyznieva z mediálnych hodnotení niektorých výtvarných teoretikov. Aby nevnucovali verejnosti myšlienku, že iba nekomerčné diela sú tie dobré a tie komerčné nestoja za nič. Pretože ilustrácia vo voľnej maľbe a maľba v komerčnej ilustrácii sú hybnou silou pre umelecký biznis.

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. 

My Londoner blog posts

I came across the old blog posts that I wrote in 2010 when I lived in London. If you would like to recall my past and how it influenced my current state of mind, you can read it below.

March thoughts on society
MAY 25TH, 2010

What I totally love about British society is the networking mechanism, supportive entrepreneurs community, talent spotters, proactive people developing tools and online and offline environments for social engagement and general progress. And they are willing to get even better than they do today. Charities, organizations and small businesses create buzzing spaces for discussion, ideas, exchange and collaboration. It’s much easier to get social and meet people who get to turn the wheels of the economy than it was ever before. Politicians and top management representatives don’t play a role of the unapproachable impersonal entities acting independently from the rest of the population. They get engaged and talk to you face to face open to your ideas and keen to apply collective knowledge to their work for the good of all. I am excited. I am in a learning mode every day absorbing as much as possible, then trying to give something back. When I was invited to join the RSA it was a shock I couldn’t believe. Now it kicked off many great opportunities to meet people and open my insight into things, all aspects of life and work. It makes me want more of it. And give more in return. Thank you. It’s a great value you created.

Selfbelief evolution
JULY 2ND, 2010
My latest press involvement in Prague raised a topic around young ladies and their dealing with stress, building confidence, self-picture and belief. I am glad that I had the opportunity to share my experience through a mass media channel. I really went through all kinds of these things. In the past when I had to experience life-changing situations it took me something like two years to get used to the new position and challenges and feel good enough and easy in it. I had to test my skills and my potential to fully believe that I am capable of doing things. Even though teachers used to tell me that I would never be an artist and despite some people sending me e-mail messages advising me to fuck off from the creative industry and do something else. My first public speech made me frozen and shaky. Although I was perfectly prepared as if doing an exam for life.
With time, everything got much easier. From introverting artistic position I got slowly to loving public speeches and socializing, meeting new people and talking a lot. I have done a lot of presentations for companies, universities or conferences. Although I still have the stuff to learn, I don’t feel like talking on every topic of this planet when I don’t feel the need to and there are situations when I am still stressed, the more I do these things, the less tension I have, more relaxed and confident I am. Most recently I met this extraordinary woman during Women’s Social Leadership Awards in London, her name is Dr Rachel Armstrong, who became my great example for showing the inner personality power to the world. An amazing public speaker with passion sending her message all across the room. She inspired me a lot so I tried to apply similar energy when I was giving advice to aspiring illustrators at Futurising in London. And it worked perfectly! Passion and confidence inside me were transferred to people I was talking to. They got excited themselves and I believe they took me for an example in a similar way I took Rachel. The event appeared very successful to me after such experience. It was quite a journey.
So, let’s believe in ourselves more, it gives us energy and passion to create great things which we are made for.

Leading artists for social contribution
MAY 25TH, 2010

Inspired by Susan Jones and her posting on artists as social entrepreneurs in Artist Fellows group I’d like to contribute with my point of view on the role of the artist in society. To me being an artist means that I have a voice, my artwork is a step to communication, it opens doors (and hearts of my audience), gives a chance to speak out. Some artists communicate through visual language only, others feel a need to engage different aspects of it through public talks, presentations, media coverage, writing and so on. I mean talking about art as a source of pleasure and entertainment shouldn’t be the only thing we can do. Through this public voice, we have a certain level of influential power and for this reason, we should use it for a broader range of social activities. I am perfectly clear that many artists aren’t confident to talk about social issues and make a contribution but maybe we should focus on training them in a similar way we train leaders. Visible artists are leaders and they need to stand for their beliefs and should have a chance to share knowledge and experience more frequently, they actually have this option through being watched by media more or less constantly.
Young people are excited by celebrities in pop music or film stars, but we rarely hear these people talking about life and work – and we need visible people to talk about what’s behind success, what’s behind failure, what it takes to build a business or to become a star, we need to motivate, influence new generations to make the right decisions rather than allow them to take themselves on the wrong path. Today’s society is very intellectually advanced and all the facts and experiences should be shared more easily, the artist is the medium. I know there are books where you can read all the stuff about techniques of success, books on happy society and contemporary issues like earning money versus taking care of relationships, but I don’t think they end up in hands of youngsters so easily. Not everybody is into philosophy and spends hours reading so that we have to find other channels to some fun and light-hearted communication. When the artist has a show somewhere, a few people talk about the pieces, some of them get the message, some of them don’t, but that’s not enough to me. The artist is a public figure and should feel some responsibility when taking up this role. Any thoughts on that anyone?

Additionally, here is a screenshot from Ogunte, which is an organisation for women, and they wrote my name in their presentation as an example of their event impact.

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:


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.


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.


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:


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).


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).


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!

Lady in gold

For the first time ever I tried out the gilding technique on canvas with my acrylic painting. It was tough, but I did it! Fortunately, I found a spare small canvas at home (of the 50x60cm size). I sketched a few ideas in pencil on paper first. The final artwork represents a fashion female icon as if seen in a magazine editorial of a famous brand. Some elements such as the eyes and the gold leaf itself might remind Klimt’s artwork, but the signature drawing and figure stylisation are unique. I used metal gold leaf, it is not the genuine gold. Below are some sketches from the initial stage, which I usually draw on a smaller paper. This way I can achieve a nice detail of the linework as well as tweak the composition.

Prvý krát som si vyskúšala techniku zlátenia na plátno s mojou akrylovou maľbou. Bolo to ťažké, ale zvládla som to. Našťastie, našla som doma čisté plátno vo formáte 50x60cm. Naskicovala som si niekoľko nápadov ceruzkou na papier. Výsledné dielo reprezentuje módnu ženskú ikonu akoby sme ju videli v časopiseckej prezentácii slávnej značky. Niektoré elementy, ako oči alebo zlaté plátky samotné môžu pripomínať Klimtove diela, ale osobitá kresba a štylizácia figúry sú úplne unikátne. Použila som metalové zlaté plátky, čiže nejedná sa o pravé zlato. Nižšie je zopár skíc mojich nápadov, ktoré obvykle kreslím na menší papier. Takto sa dá dosiahnuť pekný detail v linke, aj vyladiť kompozícia.

The Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic Award

I feel very honoured to announce that I became a laureate of the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic Award 2019! I was awarded for the long-term international presentation of Slovak visual arts abroad. Other ten artists from all backgrounds of professional arts have been recognized by this prestigious prize including the amazing opera singer Titusz Tobisz and the principal ballet dancer from Vienna State Opera, Nina Polakova. I would like to thank the Minister of Culture, Ľubica Laššáková and the jury, that made this decision.

Cítim sa veľmi poctená, že môžem oznámiť, že som sa stala laureátkou Ceny ministerky kultúry Slovenskej Republiky za rok 2019. Bola som ocenená za dlhoročnú prezentáciu slovenského výtvarného umenia v zahraničí. Medzi ocenenými z rôznych oblastí profesionálneho umenia sú napríklad úžasný operný spevák Titusz Tobisz a baletná sólistka Viedenskej štátnej opery, Nina Poláková. Ďakujem pani ministerke kultúry, Ľubici Laššákovej a tiež komisii, ktorá rozhodovala.

Collecting Japanese Art Awards

This post is a little flashback to the past when I was collecting awards and diplomas from the Japanese organisations for my computer graphics and illustrations. I wanted to find out more information on it for some special professional occasions. I discovered, that two diplomas I received from Toray DCA, were signed by the most prominent digital artist in Japan, Yoichiro Kawaguchi. A number of times he presented his work at the SIGGRAPH conferences in the US. His work in robotics was also mentioned in a video on the web site of the BBC. The other award and trophy I received were from Hirosaki City mayor. He granted it to me during the group exhibition of DIDO - Digital Discovery Illustrators Organisation. DIDO was founded by the illustrator and teacher Marty M. Ito.

Tento príspevok je krátkym návratom do minulosti, keď som zbierala ocenenia a diplomy od japonských organizácií za počítačovú grafiku a ilustrácie. Chcela som zistiť o tom viac informácií kvôli aktuálnym profesionálnym príležitostiam. A tak som objavila, že dva diplomy, ktoré som dostala v súťaži Toray DCA boli podpísané najprominentnejším digitálnym umelcom v Japonsku, Yoichirom Kawaguchim. Predstavil sa niekoľko krát na prestížnych amerických konferenciách SIGGRAPH. Jeho práca v robotike bola tiež spomenutá vo videu na stránkach britskej televízie BBC. Ďalšiu cenu a trofej som získala od starostu mesta Hirosaki, ktorá bola udelená pri príležitosti kolektívnej výstavy s DIDO - Digital Illustrators Discovery Organisation. DIDO založil ilustrátor a učiteľ Marty M. Ito.

Artfacts Performance Award

I received an award certificate from a Berlin-based company running the online artist database My global artist ranking advanced 125 % in 2019. The highest rank I earned in my art career was number 8237 in 2004. The numbers are calculated from the evaluation algorithm of my exhibitions added to the system in comparison to other approximately 600k artists on the web site. You can see my full profile here.

Dostala som certifikát od Berlínskej firmy, ktorá prevádzkuje databázu svetových umelcov Moje globálne umiestnenie v rebríčku sa v roku 2019 posunulo nahor o 125 %. Najvyššie umiestnenie v kariére som dosiahla v roku 2004, bola som na priečke 8237. Tieto čísla sú vypočítané z hodnotiaceho algoritmu na základe mojich výstav v systéme v porovnaní s ostatnými, približne 600 tisíc, umelcami na tejto stránke. Môj celý profil si môžete pozrieť tu.

My noble life story until today

I spent many years living with my parents in the Bratislava city centre, in a large flat of one of the oldest Art Nouveau buildings. Both of my parents worked for national newspapers and I literally felt like being raised in a very noble manner. This starting point of my life gave me the confidence to be a helping hand to my peers. With a basic internet knowledge of the old days, I built a community forum for them online. I even organised competitions for young artists and animators with some publicity and sponsors.

When I moved to England between 2006 and 2010, I was suddenly celebrated as an artist-illustrator when I won a nation-wide talent competition organised by Channel 4 television called 4Talent Awards. As a direct result, I was invited to the Royal Society of Arts Fellowship in London. This shifted my life completely, I was part of luxurious events at different historic landmarks of London. I got to attend the same events as many representatives of British or foreign nobility. To name a few, it was a private view of Rubens and Brueghel exhibition at the Buckingham Palace Gallery, networking meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and many more. Princess Royal introduced the President’s lecture at the RSA House and I was honoured to be there too.

Later, while still living in London, I supported illustrators from Slovakia and the Czech Republic and helped them to find projects abroad, so we made a contribution to international publishing. I brought and presented a selection of Slovakian animated shorts to a festival in France and flew to Western Australia to give a lecture about computer art.

However, in 2011, I had to come back to Slovakia. I lived and worked in a beautiful house in the Western Slovakia countryside. It became a time of some intense introspection and family life. I did not wish to lose my connections to the UK, so I began volunteering as the RSA Connector. I promoted the RSA in Slovakia and nominated a number of interesting personalities from Slovakia, France and the UK to the Fellowship successfully.

I was also sitting at the board of the Slovak Art Forum (Umelecká beseda slovenská) in Bratislava for two years. The office of this visual arts society was in the premises of Matica Slovenská in Bratislava, the Slovak cultural and historical organisation. It was quite interesting to see all the pictures of the famous Slovakian leaders from the past such as Ľudovít Štúr hanging on the wall behind me.

When my children’s books got published between 2016-18 I delivered a number of creative workshops for children in libraries and schools across Slovakia. I always had a passion for sharing my work experience in the arts, so I also gave lectures at universities.

In the end, I realised that I only followed my ancestors legacy, despite knowing so little about them. My great grandmother spoke French and played the piano and my great grandfather served the tsar’s family. Their son, my grandfather studied in Vienna but his heart was attracted by the land in Slovakia and he put his roots down here.

Unconsciously or not, I build upon the work of my family members. I am still curious and open to new chances that my exceptional life brings me. So do not hesitate to get in touch if you wish to propose a collaboration, project, art commission or so. I will always be happy to respond.

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