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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"I am drawing every single day, mostly at night" • Stefan Ivanov

So many things can draw us to art. Unfortunately, in the case of Stefan Ivanov, it was a severe motorcycle accident that turned his life upside down. In the following article, this talented artist talked not only about this serious topic but also about favorite subjects and artistic plans for the future.

Hello Stefan, we would like to ask you what drew you to drawing and fine art in general?

Well, it all began in the summer of 2006. Six months have passed since I spent two weeks in a coma after a terrible motorcycle crash. I decided to start drawing so I could help my physical and mental state.

That was a sad start in fine arts. In your work, you draw predominantly historic vehicles. How did the idea of dedicating yourself to this subject come about?

After my first Skoda illustration, I decided to try to make another one. After several different models of modern Skoda, I decided to start drawing historic models of the brand. Along with the drawing, I started to do research on the company’s history. Then came the idea of creating a tale about L&K and Skoda through art.

Interesting! You capture mainly Skoda cars. Have you established, for example, any kind of collaboration with the company?

I can tell that my name and work are known in Skoda Auto company. There is an article about me in their magazine. I have made several attempts to collaborate for the exhibition in the Skoda museum, but I think they are not interested. I don’t want to sound rude, but what I have done so far about L&K and Skoda, nobody has ever done it before. I am the only one who tells the story of the company in such a way. My work is known in automobile societies mostly in Europe and USA. Some people are interested in it.

How often do you devote yourself to your artistic work?

I am drawing every single day. I draw mostly at night because during the day I am working.

You have our respect. After a whole day at work, sit down to draw… Do you draw from references, or do cars “pose” for you sometimes? What do you think is better?

I am using mostly factory photos. Also, I am using archive photos from back in the days because they tell stories that are interesting for me to research. Photos from races, from travels, from war times. I don’t make illustrations from modern photos of old models.

How, in a nutshell, does the creating process of one of your drawings look? Do you, for example, start with sketches, or do you draw right away?

Well, first I have to find a proper photo. Some are hard to draw, with many details, and many elements, while others are not so hard. One illustration usually takes 4-5 days to finish. I am using only pencils.

Pencil drawing is not easy at all, but the results are worth it, especially in your case! Have you ever tried to focus on another subject than historical cars?

When I was a small child, I was making illustrations of superheroes, monsters, knights… Several years ago, I created several portraits of people I know, but my muse was soon over. I have no time for other subjects. Only L&K and Skoda cars, trucks, buses…

What about another technique? Aren't you tempted to try the painting?

I am a self-taught artist. I have created my own technique and it is the only thing I know.

We completely understand. Do you have any favorite products from Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth you really like?

I am using classic Koh-I-Noor brown series pencils. Also, the black Toison D’or. I also have, as we in Bulgaria say, the “old material” pencils from Czechoslovakia times.

We're happy to hear that! Is there any artist whose work inspires you?

I am familiar with the work of Frantisek Kardaus, Vaclav Zapadlik, Vladimir Bidlo, and Jiri Rames, and they are all great artists. However, I think it is right to follow myself and my goals.

When we talk about your goals what direction would you like your work to take in the future?

I have several goals. I want to have the opportunity to create the whole history of L&K and Skoda. I wish to open exhibitions around the world so I could show and tell the story, the story of Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement and what they have done for the Czech Republic and what they have done for Europe, and the world. I want to tell about Frantisek Krizik, Otto Hieroniums, Alexander Kolowrat, and T.G.M., about the coach builders such as Brozik, Sodomka, Koller, Uhlic, and Petera. They all were connected with L&K and Skoda. I want to publish books with illustrated models and tell the story through the pages. I want to make sure the story still lives in the automobile world.

These are beautiful plans, and we sincerely hope they'll come true. Thank you, Stefan, for your time and kind words about Koh-i-noor products. We really appreciate it.



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