Although Daniela Olejníková has been doing most of her illustrations digitally for over ten years, her art style has been formed by the path which she completed during her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design: starting with painting, through “her native” printmaking, up to experiments with graphic design. Her interest in color coupled with her experience with traditional printmaking techniques, in particular, linocut and silkscreen, continue to project strongly in her artistic techniques. The layering of transparent areas and her use of various types of raster and structures all spring from her fascination with the imperfections of analogue outputs and the glamor of defects. In this exhibition her illustrations from two children’s books written by Marek Vadas predominate. In one of them: Útek (Escape) she turns toward the features of the digital medium and fully utilizes the instruments it offers. Despite that, the pictures preserve their resistance to an unnaturally perfect computer form and maintain a precisely imitated uniqueness of analogue while the exotic colors convey feeling related to this difficult story of loss and the search for home. The spatial object allows visitors to peek a several scenes at the same time and discover the different context that going through the book offers. In the book entitled Krutá Marta (Cruel Martha), software plays the role of an assistant that maintains the process of illustration under control. The creation progresses in a way that is almost identical to that of the preparation of a primitive silkscreen: each colored layer was copied manually in ink on paper, which brought a welcome element of accident into the result. Collages from old herbariums contrast with the wildness of colors and the expressive facial features of the characters in this fairy tale about the search for understanding and harmony among living creatures. The illustrations for the book Hávedník (Verminarium) written by Jiří Dvořák were also created in the spirit of the pursuit for the ideal balance between “dirty” work and digital design. In this case, Daniela returned to linocut after a long intermission. The book itself is printed in radiating Pantone paints, which shift the old technique to present times and ensure an unreproducible experience of reading, similar to the books Trinásť (Thirteen) and Dita written by Jana Bodnárová.
Daniela Olejníková was born on August 17, 1986 in Bratislava. After graduating from the printmaking studio of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, she has gone on to illustrate almost two dozen books for children and young people for Slovak and foreign publishing houses (Artforum, BRAK, Slovart, Nota Bene, Baobab, Akropolis, Argo, Little Gestalten, Boycott and others). She also worked on experimental editions of V melónovom cukre/ In the Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (2011) and Neviditeľné mestá/Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (2016), and her illustrations have appeared in the Denník N newspaper and the Slniečko and Raketa magazines. Daniela is winner of the Plaque BIB 2013 and the Golden Apple BIB 2017 in addition to winning several awards in the Most Beautiful Book of Slovakia and the Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year competitions. She has cooperated with the Čierne diery (Black Holes) civic association for a long time, creating prints with motifs of forgotten and endangered industrial architecture and illustrations for the publications Stratená Bratislava (Lost Bratislava, 2019) and Čierne Diery I a II (Black Holes I and II, 2018, 2021).