Ladislav Svoboda

*1986, Praha

Though I have enjoyed painting since childhood, I never thought I would dedicate myself to it with such intensity. For a long time, I didn’t know what to focus on in my life. I wasn’t drawn in any particular direction. That changed in 2013, when I found the Ateliér radostné tvorby (Studio for Joyful Art) run by Otto Kouwen. For that, I am very grateful to the organization Apla (now called Nautis), which works with, among others, people with Asperger’s Syndrome.

At the Studio, I have absolute creative freedom. I am not limited here by anything, and I can choose what and how I will paint. Sometimes it is hard to decide what to put on my canvas. I focus mostly on trying to make something that brings energy. To put as much of myself into the work as I can, and, of course, I want it  to be unique in some way.  Even when I want my work to be very diverse, sometimes it doesn’t quite work and I end up instead with a series of paintings with the same themes.

I get my inspiration from a number of sources, very often from my own stories. They are fictional tales that take place both on Earth and beyond Earth. The characters are human as well as extraterrestrial figures. I like comic characters too. though, so they often show up in my paintings as well. I am also inspired by computer games, films and other art, such as good photography.

I glean fewer ideas for my paintings from my personal life. I like to paint our domestic animals – I take care of an English bulldog and a Bearded Agama lizard. I’ve also painted portraits of my family and close friends.  Sometimes I make something up, and that’s when I decide not to use any template but just go with my imagination. Subjectively, however, I feel that those of my paintings lacking a model are less refined than those made on the basis of a photo or illustration.

Over the years that I have painted at the Ateliér radostné tvorby (Studio for Joyful Art), I have learned that a valuable piece of work needs sufficient time and care. Sometimes it is a lot of work, but the feeling one gets from the results is worth it.

Ladislav Svoboda, 2018