What is your star sign?
What was the last great book you read?
An Autobiography of Malcom X
So you are an artist/designer/illustrator and you also specialize in board designs. How/when did you start out with art and creativity?
My childhood dream was to become a fashion designer. I wasn’t accepted to the secondary school of fashion design so I ended up at art school where my first intentions started. Since then I’ve been focusing on artistic expression of myself. I had a short pause while I studied History of Art, which was only about heaps of theories and history. After two years I left. I was really fed up by those Kunst Historic theories when they try to explain why this artist painted this or that. I was like “How can you know? Maybe he was just drunk so he painted it.” I needed to do something more creative so I quit and was accepted to the University of Art.
Paris, je t’aime! It was an amazing experience and you are right, my dream came true. It was after my second year in the art university where I was creatively bored. I felt like I had to follow the professor’s way of thinking and creating so I tried to save my open mind and asked for an internship in Paris. And they accepted me. I left for Paris and stayed there for 1 year. It was crucial moment for me. The professors helped me and lead me to the conceptual thinking before I start to create something. They prepared me for the work in advertising agencies. So when I came back to Czech I left the uni. I couldn't stand that inner contradiction any more. It was a great decision.
How did you move into designing for boards?
I did it since my younger brother began to ride them. Sometimes he brought me his old and broken decks and I painted on them. Then his friends were coming to me and I painted on their decks as well. So I started like this. Every time I had some exhibition I put some boards on the wall. The idea about starting my own brand “By Lil Lu” with longboards and skateboards came up last year. It’s still in the beginning because I moved to NZ. If everything goes well I would like to start it properly here. But I need some initial outlay ;)
How have you found that transition as a woman? (It is a very male-centric sport at times) Did you feel supported by others in the industry?
Some Czech brands (lead by men) asked me to do a few designs for them but no one really supported my intention to make a boards for the girls. I feel they take me as a competition even though it could be cooperation. One lady from Czech Cosmopolitan was impressed by my boards so she interviewed me for the magazine. But it’s not exactly for girls who ride boards (especially if I don’t make them with golden trucks ;))
Thanks to my travelling I can see the differences and I just realized that if you are one of those people who goes on their own path as I do, you have to fight. I don’t have a university that stands up for me and gives me a gallery space for free, or prints publications for me. I’m not invited to these academic group exhibitions because I simply didn’t lick their asses enough. I can see that if you follow the rules and go hand in hand with your teachers, you earn your degree then you have this academic support. As I decided to go my own way I don’t have it. So I had to prove myself by exhibitions in Berlin to “show” the Czech audience that I’m a creative person and I can do my own exhibition even in Czech. But the Czech mentality is particularly begrudging and envious. It’s been seven months I've been in New Zealand and I've already had three, exhibitions (group exhibition with Hello studio in Hamilton-Bon Voyage, solo exhibition in Auckland, a part of Art Week-Dreamland, silent auction in support of TEAR Fund New Zealand! Gaza Appeal) and I’m invited for a solo exhibition next year. So I’m still wondering what’s wrong back in czech.
You also create amazing pieces of art. What inspires your artworks?
Thank you. My inspiration is coming from the astro world, alchemy, religious, mystics and magics. I’m a big critic of Christianity. I love those old mystic symbols, I try to modernize them but keep the meaning. I believe that they are a holders of the energies they represent. So I’m not using bad symbols.
So you are currently living in New Zealand. How does NZ compare to other countries?
I love it here! There's a lot of possibilities here. And such beautiful nature. I've especially fallen in love with the Maori culture. It’s amazing that they still keep their traditions alive. I would love to learn all their secrets and rituals because they are connected (mostly) with the nature, spirits and general environment we are living in. I've met good and bad people, like everywhere else but people here are much more welcoming and kind than for example in Paris. Me and my boyfriend used to travel here only by hitch-hiking and sometimes even old Grandma would stop and take us. It’s amazing. Back in Czech they would probably scream you out :D
Will you be showing any of your work in NZ exhibitions? What are your plans for the next year? If the lovely, friendly, beautiful and kind immigration office will give us both a visa than we would love to stay as long as we can! I was already invited to have one solo exhibition next year and I will be participating in Outsider Art in December this year. I should do a live painting. I don’t make any plans for next year as it depends on the visa status.
Yes I do, or at least I’m growing up into it. I’m not that radical butcher girl who is fed up when a guy tells me I’m pretty. I have a healthy relationship but I just realized that even though we are living in 2014, there is still discrimination towards girls. So I feel like I should stand up for my “kind” but still don’t know how exactly. I don’t know what is it, but some strong feminist intentions are growing inside of me. I still don’t know what will come up from it. I'm trying to find out how to use my skills to help girls, humans. I’m just pissed off when I see that in certain countries women can’t do things, like wear what they like, marry a man they love, go out with their girlfriends, drive a car... I respect that we should follow some religious traditions but also modernize them with the current time period. I mean, what was normal in 15th century doesn't have to be normal now. It’s not only about us, women, it’s also about changing the men’s attitude towards us.
Where can we see more of your work/buy one of you awesome boards?
From time to time I update my website, but more actual work you can find on my Facebook page. I'm also on Behance. All the boards are on my Facebook, so you can pick one and let me know by email and I’ll prepare it for you. You can also ask me to make a design specially for you. That’s the way how I do it for now. The price is around $300 (if you ask me to do a design specially for you the price will depends on time I spend on it). What is also good about my boards is that I produce one design only once. So that bitch who copies your style won’t be able to buy the same one you have ;)