Welcome back to our International Artist Series.
Today we're catching up with five incredible artists from Slovakia, a European country with beautiful landscapes and castles. I asked each artist how their country and culture influenced their work, and they delivered great responses.
Ján is a brilliant mixed media artist based in Pezinok, Slovakia. His work features a unique geometric style, with vibrant scenes inspired by life and his family.
Annual Report LIDL
Slovakia has very rich and diverse nature. The four seasons of the year create breathtaking natural scenery that I like to display in my oil paintings. Slovakia is mainly my homeland where I have my family and my children, who also appear in my illustrations.
I am very inspired by artists such as Ľudovít Fulla, Martin Benka, and Mikuláš Galanda and they all lived in Slovakia. Their work influenced my personal drawing and painting styles.
Joy of My Children
Annual Report LIDL
I am currently trying to be useful for the local artist community here. In Slovakia, we have amazing artists, musicians, and actors and I like to work with them on various cultural projects.
Magical watercolor paintings are the medium of choice for this next artist, Kristína Kemenikova. Based in Lučenec, Slovakia, she creates vibrant illustrations featuring natural greenhouse themes and adorable cats and characters.
I was born in Slovakia. I lived abroad a few years but later on I came back home. I grew up on this land and in some way it formed my whole life. I love the nature and the changing seasons which give me lots of inspiration for my artwork.
I also love the traditional folk art community here. It has very deep roots on this land which has a lot to do with the architecture over here and is a big topic in my work. I love also the old-styled buildings and towns built before World War I. I feel like they carry lots of stories and memories.
My work is influenced not only by the area but by the culture. I often use a lot of my childhood memories in my artwork. Stories my grandparents told me as a little kid stayed in my memory and I love to use them in my illustrations.
The way people used to live here is very folk-styled, with lots of traditions so people could live in harmony with nature. Nowadays, the way of life has changed in so many ways but there are always people who remind us where our roots come from.
I feel like there was a period of time just before I was born when art was a bit shadowed by the authoritarianism. Before the World Wars, art was a very prestigious topic with lots of creative artists around.
It is great to say that, nowadays, the art community in Slovakia keeps growing, and maybe in some ways it still doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. But there are a lot of talented artists over here who do what they love and that's the most important thing.
Next up is Lina, an extraordinary illustrator and animator based in Bratislava, Slovakia. Drawing inspiration from her wondrous natural surroundings, she creates exquisite illustrations that are both calming and inviting.
I don't know how attractive Slovakia is for people from other countries, but for me, Slovakia is my home.
What I love the most is my family and friends, of course, and the most inspiring part of Slovakia is the nature. It is quite a small state and is very compact, so you have everything in reach.
I was studying graphic design in high school and then I went to the academy on the other side of the state to study animation. Each discipline influenced my work differently.
The classic graphic design techniques have strong roots in Slovakia, but they're slowly fading away so I'm glad that I've got some techniques down like linocut or dry-point. For me, the most inspiring Slovakian art is that which draws from our history and cultural heritage, and gives it a new life by connecting with fresh ideas.
These days I only know about the animation community in Bratislava because I was living there for six years as I worked and studied there. It isn’t very big so we all know each other and it is very personal and family-like.
Animation also has a strong background in Slovakia but there was a big empty gap during socialism and we're still recovering from that. Every year there are new animation directors with beautiful visual styles and interesting stories to tell, so I think there will be much more Slovak films in the world coming soon.
Comic artist and illustrator David Marcin is another incredible talent from Bratislava, Slovakia. His epic graphic style flies off the pages with stunning illustrations for editorials and graphic novels.
Pomimo 4 Poster
Honestly, there are only a few things that I like about Slovakia, and that is the honest kindness of people and their general helpfulness even if you are a complete stranger.
I think that I've always been influenced by foreign comics, movies and pop culture. Mostly by US mainstream comics and B-movies. And I often use my surroundings as a reference for my illustrations and comics.
Currently, I live in Bratislava, so I use photo references of Bratislava architecture and people on the streets. Architecture in Bratislava is a bizarre combination of old and new with unique alleys and buildings.
Slovak Crimes - Editorial
I studied art at my high school and art academy in Bratislava. But I think that our art community is very isolated and small. I'm trying to focus more on slowly growing the comics community.
Our final feature contains the amazing work of artist, Rudá Sova. Based in Bratislava, Slovakia, she creates intriguing collage art pieces made with traditional paint and paper.
See more in her portfolio.
Together We Are Here
Slovakia is a small country with many beautiful places that are waiting to be explored. I also like the nature, folk customs and traditions—especially our dialects.
Collage on Canvas
I am from Eastern Slovakia where there are many beautiful villages situated in forests and nature. But I usually focus on ''life by the sea'' as a main topic in my work.
In my opinion, the art community in Slovakia is slowly growing. I used to be a part of a great community during my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. ASIL is also a great platform for illustrators. It's a group of young people who try to bring about good conditions for illustrators and artists here in Slovakia. I also like the many art festivals here that give opportunities to young artists.
Many thanks to the artists who took the time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below:
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