Interview with Artist Zebo Ludvicek
WENTWORTH has just released two NEW puzzles featuring images by U.S. artist Zebo Ludvicek. Her ‘quirky’ style has proved very popular with our customers. With jigsaws featuring giraffes riding on giant turtles and fantasy towns, they’re the perfect puzzle for those who like something a bit different. We spoke to Zebo about her unique creative vision.
1. Your paintings (featured on our puzzles) have a very creative/fantasy theme. Where do you get your ideas?
All my ideas for puzzles derive from stories that I write for children. The paintings are the illustrations for these stories. I enjoy a bit of quirkiness in every aspect of my life, from the interior of my house to my taste in clothes (and friends!) and this quirkiness extends to my art. I love painting supposedly normal situations, in an offbeat way. Something that makes the viewer say, "Hey, wait a minute! Can that happen?" and then smile.
2. What materials do you use to create your artwork?
I create most of my artwork digitally, using various tools like the airbrush tool, a slew of brushes and lots of textures. I want my work to have the look and feel of watercolor, or colored pencil or ink or pastels, but I achieve this on a computer.
3. Are there any artists who have especially influenced you?
At age five, I was given the big white Walt Disney book and I used to spend hours looking at the pictures. I remember the size of that book was bigger than my lap. I still have it, though the embossed Mickey Mouse on the cover is long gone! That book started my love of art and illustration. I would lose myself in it. I loved illustrators Maxfield Parrish, Arthur Rackham, Beatrice Potter and Norman Rockwell when growing up, and in later years Maurice Sendak and Mercer Mayer. The only painters who I remember being influenced by were N.C. and Andrew Wyeth. Their paintings drew me in (and they lived close to where I grew up in Philadelphia.) I am mostly influenced by children's book illustrators as opposed to painters.
4. How do you feel about seeing your image on a Wentworth Puzzle? Does it seem strange to see your work adapted in this way?
Delighted! I think it is an absolute hoot! I have seen my artwork on various surfaces so, no, this does not seem strange. Just another genre. I painted my first mural for a client, at age eleven, and that summer, I started designing images for a tee shirt shop in Ocean City, NJ, (on the boardwalk). That was really fun, seeing people wearing my designs, and I was only in the fifth grade! After getting a BFA from University of Maryland, I immediately started working as an in house illustrator for a publishing company in Chicago. I illustrated book covers, coloring books, interior illustrations for magazines and children's books. So, seeing my image on a puzzle was just a different surface to me. What DID amaze me though, was how detailed and perfect the image was on the puzzle. It looked like I had just painted it! I was so impressed with that.
5. Do you do puzzles yourself?
I had never worked on puzzles before, I am just so busy with artwork for zebo studio. When I do have time for leisure, my choice is to run with my dog, Jack. When I received "Giraffes in Town", my first puzzle, I was very excited about it. I decided to set it up on a table, so when I took a lunch or coffee break from work in my studio, I could put a few pieces together. It was such fun, sometimes I had to force myself to stop and get back to work! What a sense of accomplishment when it was completed. I now TOTALLY understand why people get addicted to puzzles! I love the surprise of the cut out whimsy shapes. I can't wait to see what will be the whimsies in my Tower Town puzzle, which is an illustration of quirky village on a hill....houses? trees? squirrels? clouds? I don't know yet!
IF you’re interested in finding out more about Zebo Ludvicek’s Artwork, you can visit her website: http://zebostudio.wix.com/zebo-studio