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Vjekoslav Zivkovic — Featured Artist

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Vjekoslav Zivkovic: Featured Artist

Illustrator, animator, designer for characters and backgrounds

Home: Born in Karlovac

Website: http://vjekoslavzivkovic.com/

Twitter: @VjZivkovic

Vjekoslav was kind enough to answer questions for November’s Featured Artist Interview.

I’m amazed at all the projects you have been involved with, some with teams and others by yourself.  What first sparked your interest in illustration or animation?

A far as I can remember I’ve had an interest in drawing and coloring. I used whatever “tools” to tell my own stories. It was a way of playing for me. Every child does that. It is natural. While you cannot expect a five year old to write novels, with a pencil or color, that child can tell a story. It is human nature to express one’s thoughts and feelings through visual art. Children grow and find different ways of expressing themselves.  For me, I stuck with what was natural for me.

I understand you attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.  Was that your plan growing up?

As a child, I learned a lot from watching cartoons, especially Hanna-Barbera productions (So, watching TV is not always bad for kids, ha).  I attended classes in drawing and painting and learned a wide variety of skills.

Here is a painting of my home town, Karlovac. This is a view of the old center of town. The town is situated on four rivers and this old part was a Renaissance fortress (founded on the 13th of July in 1579) built as a defense post against the Turks.

01Painting of Karlovac

I planned on going to the academy to further study in drawing and painting, but fate had something else in mind.

Then one day I went to an animation class.  That is where I learned that animation was my true love.   I focused on that, and had many mentors, but it still left me open to any challenges along the way. During the last two years of the academy we had a great deal of flexibility to focus on our interests.  I learned a great deal from challenging myself.

Before you talked about using a variety of “tools.”  What do you mean by that?

For about 8 years now I’ve gone completely digital in all I do. I use Wacom Cintiq 24HD and Wacom Cintiq Companion for all my work. For those who might find that repulsive, do not worry, I do not press “enter” and let the computer do the rest. I still need to hold the pen to do all the work. All that digital technology does not keep me from neck and back pain – ha.

How does the digital work influence your art?

I thought it would be interesting to show the process that I go through while working on an illustration or some character design. You can see step by step how I did this crazy lumberjack. The software I used here is Photoshop.

03Process

It is clear how each layer makes such a difference in your final product.

I understand you participate in a community as an artist that is similar to the community I participate in as a writer.  We have #FP Friday Phrases where we post 140 character stories.  What community are you involved with?

I’m involved in a Twitter group called “Colour Collective” where artists from all around the world post their work in the same time (19.30h) every Friday and each week a colour is set as a collective theme. Doing this weekly gives me lots of joy. When I do my illustrations I always try to tell a story. If there can be drama, that is even better. Here is an example of something I posted.

04illustration1 

I can see the drama in this picture.  I think this is one of the first pictures I saw on twitter from you that caught my imagination.  I think it is what urged me to follow you.

 I understand you are comfortable working alone or with large groups of people. 

Most of the time, I’ve worked as a freelancer on all sorts of projects (animated short, music videos, animated feature, story books, collectible stickers, web games and apps, animated TV series, etc.).

There were other projects that were bigger and I am a part of the team. In the last year and a half I became a co-founder and member of a creative team called FooFoo. Most members of that team worked with me at another company, in the UK (an animation series). We understood each other so well that we became very good friends. We wanted to do a TV show of our own but pitching forums and TV producers like to work with studios that are already established in the industry. So we decided to do iOS Apps instead. In that way we could still be creative and tell our own stories, but this time directly to the customers. Here is the link: http://www.foo-foo.net/

02Character Design

We have been doing that for a year and a half now and at the end one of our Apps (Choro & Robin Adventure) is now opening a small door for us to make it a TV series. This is still in negotiation process so please keep your fingers crossed.  Here is the app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phonic-school/id964811139?mt=8

I would like to share with you a trailer I did for our very first App we did in Foo Foo. It is a bedtime story book for kids. Here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ySvtcF-iWE

I understand you also work with children, being a mentor to new artists.

I hold animation workshops for kids. I’ve been doing that for over 10 years. Two years ago, I held an animation workshop in Pilsen (Czech Republic). It had about 10 to 15 kids in the workshop and we had so much fun. At the end, the organizers gave kids paper with a few questions about the workshop. I still have those pieces of paper, and every time I`m down or am struggling on some project, I read what those kids wrote. You cannot get a more honest answer or feedback than from a child.

Indeed.  I’m glad you kept those papers. What kind of dreams do you have for the future?

We all have dreams and wishes. I think we all should dream big, but to set up smaller goals (dreams) along the way to help us reach that “big” dream, the ultimate goal.

When we were in the FooFoo animation company’s first meeting and talked about what we wanted to do, we kind of all had similar goals – to have an animation studio of our own.

We have been working very hard on our projects for the past year and a half and now we are very close to achieving that goal. If the idea for a TV series gets the go ahead from a TV company, we will definitely establish our own animation studio.

If that goes well, we will have a similar meeting as before and put our bigger goals on the table, and make a plan how to achieve that one. Dreaming and achieving is a never ending process.

Here are two quotes that keep me going.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Michael Jordan

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney

Thank you for sharing your experiences and your dreams for this interview as the featured artist for November.

Sunday Comics

Awards Can Build Community

I’m new to writing blogs (four months), so when I received two awards in one week, I was a bit overwhelmed.  I was flattered, but at the same time felt as if I was just handed a chain letter. (“If not passed along terrible things will happen to the receiver of this letter” – These chain letters were popular years ago.  Now on facebook one receives the FB message to “share” if you love puppies)

November 1st, I’m starting my first NaNoWriMo adventure and felt I didn’t have time for anything else.  But then I thought about it and realized….hey, this is supposed to be fun!  Also, I have been enjoying reading new blogs and all the interesting things posted. My blog was not just a diary, it was part of a bigger community of sharing.

I thought I’d make up my own rules and respond by combining the two awards.  (My computer will not blow up or anything, will it?  Will it?)

wpid-20151021180935infinity

Thank you Beaton, of https://becomingthemuse.wordpress.com/ for the Liebster Award.

Thank you, Afrika Bohemian, of http://www.tribe53.com/ for the Infinity Dreams Award.

Liebster — The Rules:

  • Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  • Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post, too.
  • Nominate 5-10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts.  You can also nominate the person who nominated you
  • Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers
  • Lastyly, COPY these rules in the post.

Infinity Dreams – Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
  • Post the award badge and rules.
  • Tell 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

The following could be thought of as facts about myself or answering questions:

  1. What is the story behind your blog name?

My name is Bobbi Bowman.  I thought about changing “man” to “woman.”  “bobbibowwoman” I feel kind of bad about the two “ww” in the middle.  They kind of creep me out.  But it’s too late to change it now.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I work with a little goldfish that tweets every Friday in #Friday Phrases.  She has become popular enough that some have suggested I need to illustrate her.  So I am brining her to life in word and image.  It’s a lot of work, but I find it enjoyable.  The more I work with the wonderful Friday Phrases community, the more I write.  Is this an interesting phase or a new life?  Hummmmmm

  1. What was your favorite class in High School?

I loved speech and drama.  Speech: I had a way of breaking things down and holding interest.  Drama: I was a behind the scenes kind of gal until they threw me on stage a couple of times my Senior year.  I mostly worked with backdrops, props, and costumes.

  1. Favorite Books?

Right now I’m reading so many blogs I have not found time to read a book.  I do have an extensive Nancy Drew collection from when I was younger.  I also used to read “The Chronicals of Narnia” once a year.  I like YA literature. Recently fell hip deep into a wonderful Sci-fi series of books written by an Oregon author.

  1. Favorite Movie?

You are killing me here.  I can only give you my favorite two movies of last year because I love way too many movies: “About Time” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

  1. Weirdest thing you eat?

I love the most hated candy in the states…candy corn.  I eat it once a year and love it.  Then I’m done.

  1. What one word covers me completely?

Blanket

  1. What is your party trick?

Not showing up.

  1. What three things would you take to a desert island with you?

My husband (although not technically a thing), my phone, and a luxurious yacht

  1. If aliens invaded the planet, why would you be the first they should take?

I’m very diplomatic and curious.  I also have a good sense of how to explain the different events happening on earth.  I’m also a killer mime if there are communication breakdowns.

  1. Share one thing you didn’t understand about the world when you were a kid.

Why bad things happen to good people.  (Still working on that.)

My Rules:

I have enjoyed reading blogs, so here are a couple of awards you may wish to play around with.  They’re fun and the questions are interesting.  You can even make up some of your own.  However, the award is not to be meant as homework, so if you are not feeling it, please don’t do guilt over it.

The idea is to share and build community, so no pressure.

Wandering Wives

Petrichor and Clouds

The world according to Godistricksy

teleportingweena

graygirlsrock

Friday Phrases!

Hall of Tweets

Sunday Comics

This is dedicated…

rose

November 11th (11/11) was the first date I had with Robert.

One year from that first date, we held a commitment gathering to become a family.  There were four of us.  Robert, his two sons, and myself.  11/11  We had pizza, played jenga, lit candles, and exchanged small objects that symbolized what was important to us as a family.

Years later, Robert and I legally tied the knot, twice in one week during the month of June.  Once in Kansas and again in Oregon. My large family could not fly to Oregon and his large family could not fly to Kansas, so we flew….and celebrated twice.

When someone asks us how long we have been married, we have to jump over some semantic hurdles, bring out calculators, and try to ‘ask Siri.’  We do have several “celebrations” to look back on, each special in their own way.

But we usually count back to our first date. 11/11

Happy Anniversary, Robert

Sunday Comics