Artist Profile: Vesna Vrdoljak

from left: 'Man' and 'He's Gone' produced for Elle Netherlands.

With Elle Decoration South Africa forming a part of a global brand, we love having access to the incredible content curated by the other international Elle and DECO titles. We noticed these collage artworks by Vesna Vrdoljak produced for Elle Netherlands and wanted to discover a little more about the artist…

‘Flower Arrangement’ by Vesna Vrdoljak

A typical working day for you…
The day preferably starts with creating something new or continuing with an assignment. Rather than working on something continuously to finish, I let every piece rest from time to time before finishing, so multiple works are being produced simultaneously. I love mornings since I can look at my work with a fresh view and continue where I had been stuck the day before.



Your studio space is…
Small but light! A good amount of daylight is essential to be able to work.

Three words or a quote that best describes your work…
Stylish, minimal, nostalgic.

Please elaborate your thoughts on the techniques your work follows
 I always work analogue; cutting paper with scissors and pasting with glue.
Recently I also started to make blow-ups and enlarged prints. The enlargements is the only non-analogue technique applied. I never mess with colors or brightness. I choose a photo on its quality and keep it.

How do you balance commercial work with your own personal work? Are they much intertwined? 
I love the combination of assigned and non-assigned work. If there are too many commissions I miss doing my own thing, but also the other way around.
I like to work following a briefing, but also to make something without any given topic.When working on a commission, I try not to abandon my own style. But the great thing about commissions is that it sometimes invites you to do something you would never choose to do by yourself.

From left: ‘ Performance’ ; ‘Over there’ by Vesna Vrdoljak

Specific rituals to prepare for new work or exhibitions? 
In my latest solo exhibition I made work inspired by the space. For exhibitions I always try to work on series but it hardly works out the way I plan. The moment I start thinking about concepts it works out differently but it is good to have a starting point.

Do you draw inspiration for your work from life, travel, people…?
 I visit a lot of exhibitions. I do not only find inspiration from the exhibited art but also from museum or gallery spaces – the emptiness, neatness and calm in those spaces. I love fashion magazines, and the way people dress. I can be inspired by the lay-out of magazines. I love things that don’t make sense. Nature inspires me, especially mountains and the sea. In images I am inspired by black and white pictures of clouds. Electronic music; I always need electronic music when I make things.
The ultimate material to work with?
I am very tactile when it comes to paper quality. The black and white photography from the 50’s inspires me. I recently found a book on Egyptian art from 1955. The paper feels like velvet.

The ultimate colour combination?
 Grey, pink and yellow.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
 Believe in yourself, focus and keep on going. Which is my own advise by the way.

What are the main positives and negatives of working in an Artistic role?
Positives: Working alone and making your own decisions.
Negative: Working alone and making your own decisions.

from left: ‘Green Woman’; ‘Yellow Square’ and below ‘On the Road’ by Vesna Vrdoljak

Top 3 major influences on your work?
 Fashion, color combinations, the way some paper feels.

Top 3 artistic icons of all time?
 John Baldessari, Andrei Tarkovsky, Willem de Kooning

Advice you would give your younger self in Art school?
 I have never been to Art school but now I would say: experiment as much as possible.

Favorite words to live by?
 My father told me: “Don’t do anything you will regret, yet don’t regret the things you’ve done.”

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