Mateja Kovač (38) is an academic painter and illustrator with a master’s degree from the School of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. After her studies, she discovered the advantages of digital tools and working in Photoshop, finding it to be a perfect medium for expressing her sensibility. As her beginnings in illustration were independent from publishing or graphic design, it allowed her to develop illustrations in a specific style as independent art products. In 2014, she began collaborating with international clients, and over the years her projects have ranged from outdoor and social media marketing campaigns to applications for fashion items, packaging, stationary, presentations, and more.
INFLUENCES, INSPIRATION & STYLE
Mateja’s interest in fashion, design, film, and literature has a great influence on everything she does. European culture and heritage have always played a key role in her sense of aesthetics – stories of interesting, multi-layered characters, realistic backgrounds, and the beauty found in imperfection are some of the core values of Mateja’s artistic approach. Little gestures and habits, daily rituals and life paths, as well as the tangible belongings that surround us are often the light motive of her personal work. Her inspiration derives from warm, interpersonal relationships, intertwined destinies, connections amongst people, and love – where the atmosphere being transmitted often dominates her paintings. By captivating moments inspired by simple phrases and thoughts, she aims to emphasize the “joie de vivre” of simple quotidian rituals.
TECHNIQUE & SKILLS
In the first years of her work, Mateja was constantly experimenting with different techniques, always overcoming new obstacles by learning to achieve various different results while discovering her own unique style. What has shown to be very useful over the years is the research and experimenting Mateja has done with different styles, making her capable of performing projects of various scopes. Along with her main focus of achieving classical painting techniques through her digital work, she believes her biggest virtues are her self-discipline and rapidity, constant education, as well as the ability of building quality relationships. By comprehending the needs of different clients, successful collaborations have resulted thanks to Mateja’s ability to quickly experiment, stylize, and adapt to new ideas.
COLLABORATIONS WITH AGENCIES & CLIENTS
Some agencies and clients she has collaborated with: McDonald’s USA (Red Urban agency), Hillcrest Shopping Mall Canada (Red Urban agency), Graniph Japan, Papyrus USA , La The Box France , Rouge Fashion Magazine China, Tesco Magazine UK, Happinez Magazine Netherlands, Hendes Verden Denmark, Amélie Croatia, In The Moment magazine UK,Franck Croatia (Imago Ogilvy agency), Lufthansa Germany (Callwey publishing company), Zagreb Tourist Board Croatia ( in collaboration with design studio ĐKĆ), Nova TV & Zadovoljna hr Croatia, Breathe magazine UK, Marinski Heartmades Croatia, Nespresso Croatia, Sullivan Street Studio California, Huggies Pull-ups Canada (Ogilvy agency)