Often, artists create their pieces with nuanced thoughts behind every stroke, line, and color choice, with hidden meanings, more profound thoughts, and philosophical ideas behind the visuals.
Vratislav Pecka, better known as PosterLad, is different. The art and posters he creates bring visual joy to those that see his art. No hidden messages or thoughts are on display; his work is designed solely with aesthetics in mind.
The result? Beautiful posters that feel balanced, welcoming, approachable, and, frankly, playful.
PosterLad went to school for film and animation but realized that his true passion was for graphic design. He worked as a freelance designer for over ten years but quickly realized he needed a side project to create without rules, regulations, or input from clients.
We enjoyed sitting down with Pecka to answer a few questions regarding his art, influences, and frustrations.
The Bauhaus style clearly influences you. When did you first learn about it, and why are you drawn to it?
I learned first about the Bauhaus school many years ago when I fell in love with the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I liked his architecture style, but when looking more into his background, I quickly found out about the Bauhaus school as he used to be a director of the school. It was an instant click. Ever since I started with my posters, I would always work with simple shapes, colors, mostly red, blue, and yellow. That is almost what the base of the Bauhaus school graphics is all about. Since then, I also like to use the Bauhaus eye element to demonstrate the influence of Bauhaus.
You state on your website that your posters aren't meant to express any thoughts or deliver any messages. So what goes through your mind when you're creating your designs?
I am only trying to deliver a positive vibe from the poster, something captivating to the viewer's eye. Hence I am just trying to make things look good, in balance, in order. Because I think beauty lies in the balance. That is all I am thinking about when making these posters.
What aspect of creating work for clients was the most frustrating for you, and why?
I am not saying all clients are like that, but some of them think in a way, "I pay, you do what I say." They don't want the best solution made by the designer, but they want to see other different options so that they can choose what they like best – but not the thing that could be the best solution for their business. I have always tried to deliver the best I can at that given moment. And I found it frustrating to make adjustments based on the opinion of a person that does not know much about graphic design, what works, what doesn't, etc. Most of the time, I made what they wanted anyway, and after that, we almost always agreed to go back to the initial idea that I had in the first place. That is why I decided to start with my work, my posters. I was the one who approved every single one of them. That felt really liberating. So I kept going.
We know that you create crypto art and NFTs, but please tell us your initial thoughts about this new world of art when you first learned about it.
I started with it in January this year. I did not want to miss that big hype around it. I like the fact that digital designers who spent years of making art just for the sake of having fun and maybe getting some likes on Instagram are now actually able to make a living out of it. I think it is great!
At the same time, I realize these cryptocurrencies that one can buy your art with are not environmentally friendly, but that should change soon. We'll see what this new world will bring, but from my perspective, it opens new doors and possibilities for how to monetize your skills.
You often stick to a consistent color palette. How do you pick and choose the featured colors in your designs?
Most of the time, I like to use a red-blue-yellow color combination. But as I evolved as a designer, I am trying to use different combinations in my design for the sake of keeping the fun in it. Not to be too repetitive. That is also the reason why I am changing styles very often.
I don't like to be stuck with one particular style. When it comes to picking colors, it is often the most time-consuming thing when making the poster. I always try to find the biggest contrast between those colors, which is not always easy.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to an artist that's currently feeling bogged down, overwhelmed, or uninspired?
That it's okay to feel like that! We all feel like that from time to time. What helps me when I am stuck or uninspired is that I start doing different things: exercising, reading, going for a walk or a run, looking around, and trying to find some inspiration in everyday objects. Nowadays, you can also find endless inspiration online. At the end of the day, it all comes down to opening that design app or picking up at that brush and start making something. Having fun in the process is key for me.