DomovMountains and Canvases with Martin Majerčák
#Wisdom of our illustrators

Mountains and Canvases with Martin Majerčák

We recently met Martin through our OPEN CALL, where we were looking for new illustrations for our Pucle. We really liked the motif he sent, so we chose it as the second illustration and printed it with great pleasure. And we’re so glad you like Martin’s theme. The spirit of the city is our best-selling theme so far this year.

We are very happy to support unknown illustrators and it was with this idea in mind that we founded Pucle.

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi my name is Martin Majerčák, I am 33 years old and I come from Poprad. I graduated in International Economic Relations in Bratislava, but professionally I am painting, drawing and illustrating. I live near the Tatras so I have no shortage of inspiration at home.

I know that you primarily work with watercolour. How did you get started and what inspired you to do it?

For a long time I painted only in ink and was primarily concerned with comic book motifs, which have fascinated me since childhood. So my world was black and white, but from a certain point I needed to add colour to my work. I was always fascinated by watercolour, so I became more and more interested in it and it just took off. At the beginning I didn’t know what to do and how to do it, but fortunately there is a website where the best watercolorists of our time have their lessons. I recommend this to anyone who wants to make friends with watercolor. The courses are really perfect and take you through the whole process from sketch to finished work.

Do you have a favourite technical working method that you would recommend to other artists?

I have no revolutionary answer to this question. I take a lot of photos during my trips, I sketch a lot, so I always have something in my back pocket that I can go back to and work with. In my opinion, we just need to look around a lot, because beautiful and inspiring things are waiting for us around every corner, whether in the city or in nature.

How do you choose locations or scenes for your illustrations? Is there a specific process for choosing themes?

I take a lot of photos, either on my phone or on a 40 year old SLR camera, then at home I choose a motif that might work best on paper or canvas and start working. I always bring a watercolor moleskine and a set of paints on my vacations. So if it’s time to stop for a while on a hike, I take a notebook out of my backpack and draw right on the spot. I absolutely love the form of such a travelogue. At home, I often then turn these small illustrations into large formats.

What inspires you most in the mountains and how do these experiences translate into your work?

I like the overcoming and fighting with myself, whether during climbing or during some endless climb up. Then the reward in the form of indescribable views is really priceless and I will say that it was really worth it, even if it wasn’t free. Being into mountain sports, I also like to draw and paint climbers and skiers. Sometimes it’s just for ourselves, other times it’s for friends, or to capture our moments together in this amazing environment.

Why did you choose Bratislava as the main motif for your illustration on Pucla?

I have spent part of my life in Bratislava and I really like where Bratislava has moved since my studies and how the city is constantly changing and improving. I wanted to make a motif for myself as a memory, but also a motif for everyone who loves architecture and the unique character of each city. The motif therefore captures, on the one hand, the iconic architecture but also the possibility of greenery that can be found in the city. As a lover of geometry and colours, I couldn’t help but use this motif as a background for Bratislava.

How is your relationship to nature and hiking reflected in your art?

Nature and mountains as such are for me a place where I can switch off and recharge my mental strength. Since mountains are so close to me, they are the most frequent motif in my work. In the same way, at home I surround myself with mountain motifs, whether in the form of paintings or photography.

Coffee is one of your hobbies. Does your love for this drink have any influence on your creative processes?

Of course, no picture started without a good espresso or a fine filter. Being a lover of this drink, I am very happy to have been able to work with several cafes and roasters on coffee motifs that were used on coffee packaging or coffee merch. When a request for such cooperation comes, I am always very happy.

How would you describe your artistic style, especially when working with watercolour?

I personally can’t define my style and probably don’t want to. However, several people agreed that they thought it was closest to post-impressionism. However, as I mentioned, I don’t want to be attached to anything, as I approach each work individually and I don’t want to stick to a certain style of manitenl. This allows me to work absolutely freely and capture things just as I feel and see them.

Do you have any tips or advice for young artists who want to pursue illustration?

Draw a lot and don’t be afraid. to work on the themes that are closest to them and to find their own original style and handwriting.

Which of your works is closest to your heart and why?

It is certainly one of the last images of the western Tatras (you can see it below). And the reason is probably that I especially like the Western Tatras because of their character and difference from the High Tatras. The western ones are dominated by mountain meadows that play with a million colours in autumn and the views from them are truly breathtaking. When you meet a herd of kamziks along the way, the experience is even stronger. It is this emotion that I tried to capture in this double canvas, and although it doesn’t happen often, I am really happy with this image.

How do you perceive the development of your artistic style from the beginning to today?

I think I’ve come quite a long way from ink to watercolor and more recently to oil and acrylic. I like to look back at my sleep and compare images from different periods of my work and say to myself that it’s good that I haven’t given up, even though there have been several authorial crises.

Do you have a ritual or preparation before starting a new art project?

I try to approach each project uniquely. It is important to me that the result is both the client’s idea, but also that it has my signature. Each project starts differently.Sometimes we start with a colour spectrum, sometimes with themes or things that are to be included in the result.Then I sketch a lot and feedbackthrough until both parties are happy.

How do you manage to get back to creating after a period when inspiration somehow leaves you?

When inspiration leaves me I don’t create. I’ve learned not to push myself and not to do things by force, as it is felt in the result. but when inspiration strikes many times I don’t know what to do first. It is common for me to have several things going on at the same time and sometimes it happens that I work on several things at the same time. While one canvas is drying I continue on the other, or draw on the tablet and vice versa.

What would you say to young people who feel intimidated or timid about their own art?

What Woody Allen once said. Talent is luck, but what is important in life is courage. And so it is. A lucky few are born with talent, but that talent is just some headstart. Whether we have the talent or not, we need to work on ourselves and not be afraid to show what we have.

Is there a particular meaning or message you would like to convey through your illustrations?

I would like my works to provoke something in people. so it’s not just about likes or dislikes. I want my stuff to evoke an emotion in people. Because when it succeeds, I think it’s a small miracle.

Can you describe your creative process, from inspiration to completion?

This is a difficult question for me to answer. mainly because besides landscape painting I also do other work such as abstracts. Sometimes the process is triggered by a song I hear, other times by something that comes up during a conversation, but many times it’s just something magical I see in the mountains, then I continue sketching. I help myself a lot with my ipad where I can upload the colours directly to see if what I have in my head works on paper or not. If it works I start with working on watercolor paper or canvas.

And our usual question 🙂 Recommend two books that you think others should read 🙂

Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron and Goethe’s Faust. I’ve read both books several times, and both in several languages, but I’m always happy to return to them. and I’ll add a third bonus to lighten the load, a book by Woody Allen by the way.

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