Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Lenka Polivkova (LP) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Lenka Polivkova by clicking here.
Interview with Lenka Polivkova at Monday 25th of April 2016
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
LP: My work lies in the application of the latest computer graphics with the classical craft of painting. Through this specific conception, I have tried to engage and promote the skill, artistry and craftsmanship of the human hand that, as far as I am concerned, can successfully keep pace with any modern artistic expression. Using large format canvases, but also exterior and interior walls, concrete screens, frontages, public buildings and the like, I work with open outdoor public spaces that, with the help of 3D effects, become transformed into abstract and timeless monumental paintings and mural art. Each such painting has its own specific theme for which it is designed. I have been attracted to design and artwork of this kind almost all my productive life. Artistic creations speak to me when they manage to inspire, captivate and fascinate, or just awaken in the human soul something grand. Intuitively, I have always felt a need to realize my potential and talent in this particular field of human endeavour until, one day, certain favourable circumstances of my life opened up an opportunity for me to study graphic design and painting. These days I continue moving in this direction. The motivation, for me, largely comes from those who are inspired and stimulated by my work.
FS: What is "design" for you?
LP: For me, design is a medium through which ordinary things can be transformed into extraordinary ones, boring into interesting, sad into cheerful, incomprehensible into intelligible, depressive into uplifting, ugly into beautiful...
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LP: I don’t have my favourite design because I’m always open to whatever my creative imagination and intuition suggest to me. On the other hand, I could perhaps say that working in urban space on large monumental paintings and mural art gives me the greatest satisfaction as well as provides the much-needed impetus for my designs.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LP: First, I started by creating a logo for a publisher of schoolbooks. Subsequently, I also designed covers for those books.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LP: Painting on large canvases and the application of modern computer design to my work.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LP: Always when I am in complete harmony with myself.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LP: Initially, I just allow my intuition to suggest to me certain creative ideas of a design that satisfy my desire for beauty and functionality and meet the requirements of the given task.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LP: When I start working on my designs and/or paintings, the actual outside world simply disappears for me. Naturally, that requires complete isolation from the world around me so that I can fully connect with a given theme and a task for which I am suggesting a certain particular design. But rather than focusing on my emotions, I focus on my intuition with which I seem to be always connected and from which I draw my creative inspiration.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LP: After the work is completed, I separate from it internally and allow others to experience their own emotions and feelings as a result of being stimulated and influenced by the final piece of work. And that alone gives me a lot of satisfaction. There is no room to experience any other emotion. In other words, the satisfaction that comes from a job well done is what I am really after.
FS: What makes a design successful?
LP: Unequivocal success of a particular artwork lies in whether it speaks to other people’s sensibilities, uplifts and inspires them.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LP: I have complete confidence in my first impression. Afterwards, I don’t usually alter it much at all. I think a good design speaks for itself; it does not need to be justified or explained.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LP: From my point of view, a designer’s task is, in the main, to elevate the human soul to something higher and more meaningful, especially when one speaks about, or relates to, a work of art. I think that a purely functional design should also be imaginative, possibly humorous and/or even funny but, at the same time, it should always preserve its practicality and usefulness as well.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LP: As the role of design evolves, designers find themselves spending more time and effort with their clients, researching and designing the goals of a project than ever before. Also, I think we are on the cusp of another era of design, a design that is not only functional and business oriented but also aesthetic, meaningful, public-oriented and capable of uplifting the human soul. Perhaps this may sound quite idealistic and even impractical. However, that’s how I see it right now.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LP: Petr Brandl Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2015. Currently, I am not about to hold my next exhibition. However, I am exploring some tentative possibilities which I do not wish to speak about publically at this particular point in time.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
LP: I live in Prague, the Capital of the Czech Republic. Although I am a product of my culture, I do not see myself as being particularly influenced, as far as my design and another creative work is concerned, with the culture of my country. On the contrary, I’m interested in what the international artistic community has to offer, even though I do the best I can to protect my own creative impulse.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LP: First of all the most fundamental is information. I need to understand for whom and for what purpose a particular design is to be created and what it is meant to express and mean. Personally, I can only work with what I myself see as meaningful and purposeful. If I don’t find it, I know that nothing good can come into being out of my efforts. And if that’s indeed the case, I don’t tend to get involved in the project at all. On the other hand, if I am indeed satisfied that it’s worth taking the trouble, then there’s no limit to my creativity, effort and a desire to create something really meaningful, useful, beautiful and of lasting value not only for individual people but also for the society as a whole. My quest, I suppose, is to find meaning and satisfaction in what I do.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LP: 1. A large wall mirror framed in a massive copper frame; 2. One of the bathroom walls built from glass bricks through which passing light creates an unusual and interesting effect in the hall of the apartment; 3. A small antique table which I have inherited from my grandparents and subsequently restored to its original form; 4. A handmade ‘singing’ Tibetan bowl from India; 5. My own painting that I have designed and painted above the main entrance into the apartment (190 cm x 190 cm).
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LP: To be a designer, I believe, it is to be free to create things out of one’s inner inspiration. And that is, as far as I am concerned, something that no other profession permits. One of the ‘negative’ aspects, I think, is that this artistic licence, of necessity, forces one to put his or her head above the parapet, so to speak. That can be a bit worrying because one’s artistic reputation may be at stake. However, I as a designer must take that risk. There is no way to get around it.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LP: Lightness, neatness and purity, timelessness, energy.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LP: A thorough mastering of various methods and techniques that are required for a given production provides the necessary foundation on which to build. Having said that, however, I hasten to add that the primary element still is a person’s talent, intuition, and creativity.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LP: Time as such is very difficult to specify. I think that every artistic expression needs its particular time, depending on individual circumstances concerning the task in hand. Sometimes behind the process itself, there may be a long history of intensive and demanding effort before the final creation can eventually see the light of the day. At other time, however, it may be the question of a few days. I don’t think that a truly excellent work should be limited by time alone.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LP: The most frequently asked question is where I actually draw my inspiration from and the process by which my work comes into being.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LP: I’m fond of designs that can be applied and used in architecture. Space, be it public or private, in which we live and have our being does influence most of us a great deal whether we’re consciously aware of it or not and it is, therefore, important that we feel good in it.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LP: In my artistic work, my intention is to stick to my present style and just keep perfecting it as I go. As far as the future is concerned, all I wish to say at this stage is that I intend to devote more and more of my creativity to monumental paintings.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LP: In the creation of my paintings and graphic designs, I draw solely from my own inner resources. My work is not in any way a continuation of somebody else’s style or following in the steps of any other artist living or dead.
FS: How can people contact you?
LP: The easiest and the most reliable way would to email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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