Partnership / Squarespace This Year I Will

Martina Paukova: This year I will work without distraction

It’s Nice That has teamed up with Squarespace to commission four illustrators to create new works that depict their new year’s resolution on a Cover Page. We asked each illustrator to make a creative resolution for 2016 and create a new piece of work inspired by the commitment. Here, we unveil our final Cover Page created by London-based illustrator Martina Paukova.

This year I will work without distraction

“Distraction has been my loyal daily companion for some time now. It happened to be the first thing that jumped to my head when thinking of New Year’s resolution. Distraction, as it is now, is of that sticky, syrupy adherent sort and tends to linger! I really would like to think that I can fight it but I have my doubts if I can keep the resolution.

The whole process of creating the Cover Page was quite straightforward – distraction in my life goes hand in hand with my both daily and work life. First I had to decide how to portray the whole context and individual distractions within it; also I was trying to take into account the way my usual visual vocabulary usually works and how can I actually draw it all out. Certain amalgamations of all the instances I tend to experience distraction came to my mind almost immediately. And the rest was to follow.


Martina Paukova: This Year I Will, work-in-progress


Martina Paukova: This Year I Will, work-in-progress


Martina Paukova: This Year I Will, work-in-progress


After this I decide on individual mini scenarios; my body positions and activities within those, the whole selection being quite arbitrary and almost mirroring my initial flow of ideas. Then I picked up and drew the selection of objects I am surrounded by both in my workspace and in my room. I was trying to focus on and choose things I hold dear and have personal relationship towards (be it a plant I inherited from my previous flatmate or a lamp called Bobby). This is one of few moments when actual pen pen and paper came into play, the rest was purely digital. What I ended up with was a badly drawn selection of poses / activities involving one female figure (me) and selection of things, objects, plants and furniture. Next. I vectorised them all using Adobe Illustrator and started the composition (which is the best part of the whole process).

The actual blending together of various types of distraction within one picture while having certain storyline in place proved to be the biggest challenge when creating the work.  Initially I played with couple of scenarios in my head and then I wrote it all out (usually that does help – little written scenes before starting the actual drawing). Lots of mental moulding was taking place at this stage. What then really helped was the drawing itself, the moment I placed first marks and mini scenarios on the paper the whole idea just sharpened up and I knew what I was doing!

I think the completed work fits rather wonderfully with my wider portfolio. Very often I am asked to work on pictures involving computers, ipads, iphones and technology mixed with the everyday and the mundane – this commission very nicely overlaps and ads to to my usual visual mix. And as it was to large extent based on the personal, the whole creative process was that much more rewarding and fun as a result."

Martina Paukova is an illustrator living and working in London.

Check out Martina’s Cover Page here!


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Martina Paukova: This Year I Will, Squarespace Cover Page