we’re catching up with five incredible artists from Croatia, an Eastern European country on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and home of the first Greek colonies. I asked each artist how
their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered great
Vedran is a self-taught illustrator originally from Pula, Croatia. His powerful illustrations take on many important themes of class, power, and politics with incredible creativity.
One of the greatest influences on my work are my
friends—people who are encouraging with both critiques and
with compliments. Comrades who struggle and organize themselves, who are not in some way a part of big art and cultural
organizations in Pula, are also a huge motivational factor for me.
Originally, I am from Pula, a town on the coast of Croatia. I’m very nostalgic
when it comes to my hometown, although now I live in Ljubljana,
Slovenia. Sometimes pure natural infrastructure is not enough to
maintain a life quality. When the tourist season ends in Pula there is
basically no social life, so the people in my hometown often organize
Edgar Allan Poe
In the field of art and culture, particularly various organizations financed by the
local government, there are those deemed the holders of a “cultural monopoly“ and they are
organizing many cultural events for their own interest. I, however,
seek individuals who will connect with others
on a non profit basis to create work and flourish.
Višnja Mihatov Barić
Višnja is a designer and illustrator from Zagreb, Croatia. Her beautiful illustrations capture exquisite technique and thought-provoking emotions.
Art has been my first love ever since I was a small kid, so I graduated
from the Academy of fine arts in the capital city of Croatia. Zagreb is a cultural place with lots of art exhibitions and that’s what I love the most.
Living in the capital city has many benefits. You get to see the
works of many great artists—I love our artists, especially the work of
our street murals done by artists like Lonac Pot, Oko, and many others.
Illustrations for Speciwomen
Croatia is a beautiful country, with so many beautiful places and lots of potential. There are countless cultural things to do in Zagreb. Perhaps the
biggest attractions are the Zagreb City Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Zagreb street murals. They are changing the way we think about art, and it makes the city more alive.
Aleksandar is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Pula, Croatia. Influenced by his love of music, his work is a strong collection of inspiring posters and album covers.
The inspiration for what I do is
mostly in music. Heavy metal music. The music I’ve been listening to for
thirty years. Since I work as a graphic designer I’m also influenced by
trends in the design world and I try to incorporate Metal Iconography
with good design.
Unfortunately, life in my country is getting harder and harder. Politics is
increasingly inclined towards conservative and nationalist orientation,
and nothing is done to improve the economy or employment.
these reasons, more and more young people go to Western countries in
search of a better life. On the other hand, Croatia is a wonderful
country on the Adriatic Sea, full of experiences, good food, and I have
the good fortune that I am surrounded by good people.
Stray Train LP
This Misery Garden CD Art
I work in a design studio so I’m more associated
with this kind of community. It is quite strong in Croatia, and I have the
chance to work in one of the top five studios in my country.
Tamara is an illustrator based in Rijeka, Croatia. Her digital illustrations are delightful and charming and sure to bring an instant smile to your face.
I draw things that l struggle to find in my surroundings; the
cute, the funny, and the things that are a bit whimsical. This lack of children’s playfulness
and curiosity that most people often misplace, is what I strive to give
to my characters.
They Draw and Cook: Illustrated Recipe
My dearest thing about Croatia is that we are a small country, both in
size and the amount of modern lifestyle that still hasn’t taken its full
toll on us. I try to avoid the avalanche we live under in today’s
society, and my surroundings allow me to keep a more peaceful mind.
Mail Me Art
Badger Wakey! Wakey!
I believe that the Croatian art community is being shaped by many young
people eager to connect with like-minded individuals who share their knowledge and build a better platform for upcoming creatives.
Franka is a graphic designer based in Zagreb, Croatia. She belongs to NJI3 creative studio and designs with an emphasis on love, life, and culture.
I met my two colleagues that form our design studio – NJI3 (Dina
Milovčić, and Tessa Bachrach Krištofić) here while studying at the School
of Design and we’ve been working together ever since.
The first thing you learn here is that
everything has to happen on a minimum budget. This makes it harder for
everyone, but it also challenges you to be more creative and resourceful
at all times.
Temporary Design Museum
You could say that living in Croatia has a lot of advantages,
especially if you’re a nature lover. It’s very versatile and offers a
lot of possibilities for spending time outdoors. Zagreb, the capital and
my home, is the perfect size for a city because everything here is on a
smaller scale. You can get quality ingredients at the local market if
you’re a foodie and it’s also quite peaceful and safe, which is sadly
rather important nowadays.
Plakatiranje / Samo Ljubav
Rashomon Book Design
I believe our generation is on the verge of making design
an accepted and respected discipline with the general public. The art community in Zagreb is small, but very vivid. Everything happening right
now on a global scale is also happening here. It’s all more tangible when you personally know the
people trying to make a difference!
Many thanks to the artists who took 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