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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"Every artist is shaped by things he's surrounded by" • Divoká tužka

Discover with us the work of a young talented graphic artist and illustrator behind the popular project Divoká tužka (Wild pencil), creating author's diaries, stickers, postcards, and many more interesting things that make people's life happier and more pleasant. In the following interview, we talked with Magda not only about her creation but also about lettering, illustration, and plans for the future. We wish you pleasant reading!

Hi! To begin with, we would like to know who's hiding under the name Divoká tužka (Wild pencil)?

My name is Magda, and I'm a studying graphic artist and illustrator. When I studied high school, I started illustrating and making various little things, diaries, badges, stickers… Now I sell them under the pseudonym Divoká tužka.

Well, hello there, Magda! How and when did this name and the whole concept come about?

Divoká tužka was originally a brand under which I started selling my handmade and illustrated products sometime in 2019. As time went by, it became my so-called pseudonym, and people on the Internet often call me Divoká tužka, which seems to me funny and actually very cute. And I always have my wild pencil with me. For me, nature, creation, drawing, wandering, and traveling go hand in hand.

Divoká tužka is quite a young brand, but you've been engaged in art much longer. Do you remember your first encounter with fine art? Why did you decide to take the path of a graphic artist?

I have been exposed to art, and especially the creation of it, since I was a baby. My mum is an insanely creative person. She's been creating with us all the time since we were little kids, from ceramics to various types of graphics. And because I really enjoyed it, my parents subscribed me to an art club at the age of four, and then I just knew.

I've always known that I wanted to study art and make a career in this field. I just had no idea where and what I would actually do. In the end, following the example of my teacher Baisová from the art club mentioned above, I chose an illustration. At least for now!

You're really good at illustration! Besides beautifully painted postcards, badges, and graphic prints, what else can we find in your work?

Primarily books! They make me proud the most. Somewhere here on the Internet, I was found by my colleagues from Albatros four years ago, thanks to which I have completed three illustrated projects, and soon there will be even the fourth!

Awesome! Talking about interesting orders, do you have any art projects that you fondly remember?

One immediately comes to mind, but this one is slightly unlike the others. Again, it's a book, just quite different and experimental. I made it during the semester at school. It's called Collection of things thrown away (Soubor věcí vyhozených), and I worked on it during covid, in the most escalated period of lockdown when it was almost prohibited to even walk down the streets. I collected discarded papers around the block of flats, such as shopping lists or some notes, and then I started investigating who had written them, why, and what reasons they had tossed them away. I made forms for this rather absurd investigation, wrote down the conclusions, and put them in this book. So it's how this funny file, let's say a book, came into being. Perhaps I've never immersed myself in any project as I've done in this one. And in the end, I even won third place in the student category for the Most Beautiful Book of 2021. What more could you ask for?

Tremendous success! Do you intend to expand your range of work?

Absolutely! I've tried many things, but I still feel that I'm also becoming drawn to crafts, whether it's knitting, ceramics, or sewing books. Creating anything. I'd love to learn to sew one day, then perhaps print some fabrics and make something out of them. But that would require at least 99 hours a day.

There's never enough time, especially for artists. Where do you take inspiration for your creation?

From everything around, everything that happens, and what I do. I think every artist is shaped by things he's surrounded by, whether in the real world or in his imagination. I think I'm somewhere in between.

In addition to illustration, you also engage yourself in lettering. Are you self-taught in this field?

Not anymore, as it's what I chose to study in college after all. Currently, I'm studying at UMPRUM in the Studio of Type Design and Typography, where we focus on books and writing, whether writing or creating fonts. But when I attended high school, I was a complete self-learner. I've read every calligraphy book I could find and got madly absorbed in calligraphy.

Such interest in calligraphy and typography is rare! Do you also organize lettering or illustration courses? Or have you thought about it?

I tried it once, but I felt that I didn't have enough experience to advise people properly. That was about three years ago. But I would love to try again now! Perhaps not courses, but rather some creative evenings with tea, colors, and collages. That would be awesome.

That sounds really nice. Do you have any personal favorite theme that you like to depict in your works?

Definitely nature and traveling. I spent the last six months on Erasmus in Ireland and started to devote myself more to writing and illustrating a travel diary. When I received from the publisher an offer for an illustrated book that should resemble such a diary, I didn't hesitate. So I spent the recent year drawing buildings, nature, and scenery. And I enjoy it more and more.

Great! Do you have any favorite art techniques?

My go-to is definitely gouache and colored pencils.

And if you had to recommend any product from Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth, which one would it be?

Eraser, without any doubt! I can't do without it, and other brands are no match.

We're happy to hear that. Thank you! What else do you like to do in your spare time?

That's a pretty hard question because most of my free time outside school and work is just another painting for me. I learned to knit out of boredom in quarantine, and I totally fell for it. I can hardly imagine an evening without knitting, as I really enjoy it. And then I definitely like to travel, hike in the mountains, and run so that it doesn't sound like I'm spending all the time just sitting behind a desk.

You have a busy schedule. What are your artistic plans for the future?

For now, to finish a bachelor's thesis, and then, who knows? Create and create, learn to sew, go to Sweden, return to Ireland one day, knit a good sweater for the winter, finish a book about cities and make people happy, through art or otherwise.

Thank you for making time for us. We will keep our fingers crossed and wish you good luck with new and interesting art projects and everything else.



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