Welcome to our new series, Mad Skills Monday, where we will be showcasing top work from young artists and designers to bring some creative inspiration to beat the post-weekend blues. In our first instalment we have both vibrant colours and stylish black-and-white from visual artists Ladislava Bohacova and Despo Themistocleous.
Power tool: Pencil and paper followed by Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
Power snack: Bulletproof Coffee
Ladislava is a unique visual artist for two reasons: firstly, she has worked extensively within graphic design, illustration and fine art. Secondly, her work draws influence from the many countries she has lived in or visited, including the Czech Republic, the UK, India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar. Her BA final project imagines how the branding for Prague 2020 could have looked had the country’s original Olympics proposal had been successfully put forward. The work aims to display Czech culture in a way that also welcomes a multicultural audience.
Ladislava also creates abstract paintings and digital artwork inspired by traditional cultural symbols and mythology, dreams and nature. These mostly involve the use of acrylic and oil paint, but several also use acrylic paste to achieve a greater 3D effect.
Ladislava studied Graphic Design at BA level at the Arts University Bournemouth and at MA level at the London College of Communication. She currently works as a graphic designer in Prague.
Follow Ladislava on: Her Official Site
Power tool: Photoshop
Power song: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Power snack: No snacks, just a large cup of coffee
Despo Themistocleous works within graphic design, filmmaking and photography. Her work is best represented by her postgraduate study of the film noir genre. This project initially focused on how different emotions were visually conveyed in some of the most popular film noirs of all time. This at first focused on various lighting techniques, but it soon became apparent that the body language of smoking was a visual indicator of emotion – and film noir characters smoked a lot. Despo communicated the high amount of smoking scenes into a series of information graphics that showed how many seconds out of each movie displayed actors smoking onscreen.
Accompanying this series was a short silent film, where actors re-enacted the smoking scenes of film noir using the same lighting methods. The result is a montage of inhaling and exhaling, cigarette handling and gestures that conveys a vast combination of emotions, character relationships and gender differences. The viewer is also reminded of an era where smoking was so common it was considered normal behaviour for most people, a stark contrast to the media and popular culture of today.
Despo studied BA Graphic Design and Photography at De Montfort University, and graduated in MA Graphic at the Arts University Bournemouth. She is currently working as a web and graphic designer in Nicosia, Cyprus, and is seeking more opportunities in Cyprus and the UK.
Follow Despo on:
Want us to show off your mad skills? We’re always looking for young creatives, students and graduates to showcase for our Monday feature, so send us an email with some samples or a portfolio link with the subject line “Mad Skills Monday” to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll check you out!