WHO IS MARTINA GABARÍKOVÁ?
Slovak illustrator Martina Gabaríková, known under the pseudonym of adzusi.art, has taken a winding road to arrive at digital creation. She has enjoyed drawing since childhood, but she only began actively creating after a car accident. Beginning with small illustrations, she has gradually worked towards colourful and playful designs for kids. Martina loves coffee, ice cream, her husband… and the feeling when she learns something new :)
Come and take a look at how INSPIO’s new original collection of wall stickers by adzusi.art was created. What was the greatest challenge Martina faced before she found her fulfilment in creating illustrations?
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN ILLUSTRATING? DID YOU ATTEND AN ART SCHOOL?
I graduated from an art school focused on music, specifically singing.
I always felt close to art but I’m really a self-educated
artist. Later, I started looking for online courses,
which gradually began to give me some direction.
I began focusing on painting full-time at the beginning of 2020. The year before I painted sporadically here and there. I began painting more actively, 5 to 10 hours a day, a year-and-a-half ago :)
WHAT DOES CREATING MEAN TO YOU AND WHAT IS A TYPICAL ELEMENT OF YOUR CREATIONS?
Creating is one of the most fulfilling things in my life. I always liked to work in a manner that left some tangible evidence of work I had done. When creating, I always have the final result in front of my eyes – whether it is good or bad, I see what I did and what needs to be worked on. I can also see what has improved. It is a wonderful feeling when I realize that I am capable of bringing an idea into a real and visible form of an illustration.
Joy, emotion, story, colour, and a smile are typical traits of my creations. I adore the smiles on people’s faces when they look at some of my illustrations. I like to combine simple shapes with rich colours and I incorporate a certain story or idea in each creation.
I perceive the beauty of children's illustration precisely the interaction between the painted characters in the story and the „conversation“ between them. For example, when I manage to capture the sight of a little mouse looking at a unicorn, or how their heads lean towards each other… it is clear that it must be love. :)
HOW DID YOU GET INTO DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION?
I was in a car accident in which my right hand was injured. The thought even crossed my mind at the time that I would never regain its full use.
At some point, during this period my partner bought a tablet to let me train my fine motor skills in a way that was different from exercising. In fact, I wasn't entirely sure of his idea, but ultimately everything gradually improved. Few months after the second operation of my hand, the entire pandemic situation had kicked off and, if that was not enough, they cancelled our department at work. So I also lost my job.
It was then when I began to intensively devote my time to digital painting every day.
WHAT WAS IT THAT DREW YOU TOWARDS ILLUSTRATING ON A TABLET AND NOT ON PAPER?
Sometimes I will sketch out an idea on paper when inspiration strikes and I don’t have my tablet close by. I try to keep my own sketchbook, but in fact, I always go straight to the tablet. It is much more practical for me. Today’s tablets with their accessories are able to beautifully and sensitively imitate the feeling of drawing as if you were drawing on paper. It also suits me that they offer huge variability in sketching and illustration editing.
That’s why I typically sketch out ideas directly on the tablet in most cases. I revisit them later and continue to refine them. Sometimes I have an idea in my head since early morning and once my other duties allow it, I will sit down with my tablet and draw. And sometimes it is really 5 to 6 hours at a time.
YOU HAVE ILLUSTRATED A BOOK ABOUT A SMALL SEED ("O MALINKOM SEMIENKU”) AND CHILDREN’S WALL STICKERS. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
The true beauty in designing wall stickers is really in the freedom. I can use any element, and the range of themes available to me is essentially unlimited. On the other hand, it is quite a challenge to create an illustration incorporating an idea and a story while remaining capable of attracting the attention of a small viewer in particular.
You have multiple illustrations in a book O malinkom semienku to tell the story. That is an advantage too. However, the limits of the topic itself are a disadvantage. This means that all the illustrations in this case are focused on the seeds and ears of the wheat. It's a beautiful theme, but when you draw it for two months straight, you really look forward to every opportunity to create some animal stories. :)
WHICH ANIMAL WAS THE MOST FUN TO CREATE AND WHICH WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING?
It was a real challenge to arrange the baby pandas around the mother panda. It was almost as if they didn’t want to listen to me and it was really important to me that all three will be there. The mother panda’s balanced smile perfectly captures this moment, even though she has three lively and playful pieces of quicksilver around her :)
I think the most entertaining is the combination of small characters with large ones, as in the case of the illustration with the small mouse and the unicorn.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE BEHIND THE ORIGINAL COLLECTION BY ADZUSI.ART?
Smile, joy, love, and gratitude. If we keep them alive and appreciate the little things, then every day can be more beautiful and fulfilling.
This interview was prepared for you by Lucka & Martina.