Some are inspired by children’s books, some are inspired by architecture or their own memories, the environment around them, or just another artist—we gathered five defining illustrators from the region who are different in character but stand out from the visual noise. Let’s see!
Daniela Olejniková | Slovakia
Daniela Olejniková works in several genres, but still the children’s book illustration is what she found her true self in. Although she works mainly with digital methods, much of her work is based on traditional techniques, such as her experience in the use of linocut and serigraphy. Her trademarks include overlapping colors as well as various patterns and textures associated with simple shapes. She has already illustrated books not only for children but also for adults, including the publications of Čierne diery, which deals with the promotion of Slovakia’s built heritage.
Michał Pecko | Poland
Michał Pecko lives and works in Gdansk, one of the windy and northern port cities in Poland; he is currently a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the Academy of Fine Arts there. His unique melancholic illustrations also focus on architecture, which he arranges into strange, futuristic compositions—his main source of inspiration is the utopia of architecture.
Ivana Kozlau Lauridsen | Slovakia
Ivana Kozlau Lauridsen, of Slovak descent, currently lives in Denmark, and her works are characterized by minimalist, refined aesthetics that exude serenity. Her main source of inspiration is her own personal memories, which she associates with the nostalgia of the seventies: her visual world becomes unique and recognizable from this gesture. Her pictures show her homeland, the Tatras, foreign travel destinations, and everyday moments: one of her most popular themes is swimming, combined with natural elements.
Lehel Kovács | Hungary
Lehel Kovács is a freelance illustrator living in Budapest; his works have already appeared in various Hungarian and international newspapers and magazines. Among his clients are The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. He has a degree in window dressing and a graphic background; his works are characterized by freehand drawing and digital post-production. His visual world is defined by “pseudo-retro” and “children’s pop-art” styles.
Alja Horvat | Slovenia
Alja Horvat has been a fan of art and drawing since her childhood. In her visual world, she was influenced by artists such as Josef Frank, Henri Matisse, or Pierre Boncompain. Her work focuses on various female figures modeled on people close to her. Her colorful, delicate, yet bold illustrations appear not only in the form of paintings or prints, but also in the clothing, swimwear, and other accessories of various brands. The designer has collaborated with brands such as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters or CeliaB so far, but has also worked with Reanult. This year she also made her own brand debut called By Alja Horvat, where the specific graphics of the Slovenian illustrator are echoed on the pieces of clothing she designed.