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Islands of colors

24. January 2020 - 29. March 2020

Curator: Kristína Kubáňová

Illustrator and beekeeper Simona Čechová, embarked on her journey in elementary school, where she used to sign her paintings – Simona Čechová, illustrator. However, her career path in those days was not a direct one. In fact, she decided, by accident, to study marketing and visual communication in Great Britain. And it seems that it was this decision had an impact on her future direction. After a inclining toward marketing for a few years, she returned to her original intent and became an illustrator.

Simona’s professional combination and initial indecisiveness have a positive impact on her even today. Her work does not carry a clear and well-established style; she can transform it as she strives to truly understand the most suitable goal to follow. She is an excellent listener and responsibly approaches every illustration assignment, communicating it flawlessly both internally and externally.

The bipolarity of Simona’s work may catch the eye of spectators when looking at her broad portfolio. This is represented by the dual nature of her work – analogue and digital, each supported by its inherent poetics.

Simona’s analogue works, which are her natural basis, have a strong intimate character. She uses individual elements in illustrations moderately and minimalistically like the mixed chromatic and achromatic colors with contrasting elementary colors. Each picture has a certain atmosphere and peace. Včelár Jožko / Joe, the Beekeeper (Ikar publishing house, Stonožka library), which she also wrote, gave her additional creative space and is the culmination of her work in this field.

Simona’s digital work is slightly different. It is playful and full of fresh intensive colors. Her use of colors play a significant role and is one of her greatest strengths. She boldly and fearlessly builds the compositions and stylizations. She plays with forms and stylizing hyperbole. Her subtle humor and occasional irony are also precious. The most distinctive examples of her digital work include the books Bratislava, čarovná metropola (Bratislava, Magical Metropolis) and Maliar a chlapec (The Painter and the Boy) created in tandem with writer Michal Hvorecký for the Monokel publishing house. In Maliar a chlapec, Simona confirmed her open mind and mastery in transforming her style, as she interpreted the entire range of the work of Ľudovít Fulla, the bard of Slovak fine art, in the 32 pages of this book.

Biography

Simona Čechová (1988) is a Slovak illustrator. She studied promotional design at the University of Bedfordshire in England (2010) and international marketing at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland (2012). After completing her studies, she returned to Slovakia, where she works in book and commercial illustration. Originally from Trnava, Simona now lives and works in Bratislava. Some of her recent book projects include Bratislava - čarovná metropola (Bratislava – Magical Metropolis, Monokel, 2018), Maliar a chlapec-prázdniny u Fullu (The Painter and the Boy – Holidays with Fulla, Monokel 2019) and her writing debut Včelár Jožko (Joe, the Beekeeper, Ikar 2019, Labyrint 2019). She has done illustrations for the magazines Raketa, Slniečko, Forbes and Magnus. She cooperates with graphic studios and advertising agencies, and is a member of the Slovak Illustrators Association (ASIL). In addition to drawing, Simona enjoys beekeeping, a family tradition for more than 120 years.