PETER ŠKERL (1973) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and graduated in visual communications design.  He has been self-employed in culture since 2002. Although he belongs to the younger generation, he has an extensive illustration opus behind him. He already showed his artistic talent at various competitions as a primary pupil. As a student at secondary school for design he made a short cartoon film ‘Three Caterpillars’ and provided the artwork for several periodical books. At the Academy of Fine Art and Design of the University of Ljubljana, he developed illustration into a creative, design and imaginative totality. With a feeling for illustrating book contents, he used various painting techniques and their combination in developing his own artistic expression. He co-created theatre and puppet performances, at first as an amateur actor and later also as artistic designer. He did the set for the puppet shows ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Mr Constantine’s Hat’, ‘Wormitch and the Sticky Substance’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

The book Marshlanders has drawn a lot of attention both at home and abroad. It has been awarded with Hinko Smrekar Award – the highest illustrator’s Award in Slovenia. It was listed among 200 books for children and young adults from the whole world – The White Ravens 2014 and exhibited at the Bologna 2014.

Peter Škerl has been awarded  several times: Kristina Brenkova Award – Original Slovene Picture Book Award (2007, 2016, 2018). He has been three times nominated for ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) (2016, 2017, 2018) and twice for HCCA (Hans Christian Andersen Award) (2017, 2018).

He still like to experiment, mainly illustrate for children and he particularly enjoy it because children react quickly and openly to his work.

 

 

AWARDS IN THE FIELD OF CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATION:

  • Ideata da manlio menaglia promossa dalla rivista delle nazioni, Roma, 2001
  • The Hinko Smrekar Award in Recognition of a Young Artists, Ljubljana, 2002
  • Award for Best Designed Children’s Book, Ljubljana, 2007
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Izola, 2008 (Mr. Konstantin’s Hat)
  • The Hinko Smrekar Award, 2012 (Marshlanders)
  • The Levstik Award, 2013 (Marshlanders)
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2016 (About a Cow that Barked at the Moon)
  • Listed for the IBBY Honour List, 2017
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2018 (A Cup of Coffee)

 

 

NOMINATIONS:

  • Nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Nomination for Andersen’s prize (2017, 2018)

 

 

A SELECTION OF PUBLISHED WORKS:

  • Near us there lives a girl, Ida Mlakar Črnič, Sodobnost Publishing House, 2019
  • A Cup of Coffee, Ivan Cankar, Miš Publishing House, 2018
  • Butalci, Fran Milčinski, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2017
  • My Neighbour up there, Peter Svetina, Sodobnost Publishing House, 2017
  • Speckles the Ball, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2016
  • About a Cow that Barked at the Moon,  Miš Publishing House, 2015
  • Andrej can’t sleep, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2015
  • Nefertiti, Kleopatra, Morfem Publishing House, 2015
  • Animal Farm, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2014
  • Where Do Animals Live?, Barbara Hanuš, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2013
  • We Are Different, We Are Friends, Barbara Hanuš, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2013
  • Marshlanders: Tales from the Greenwood Forest, Barbara Simoniti, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2012
  • Nowbody Knows: Parables in Comics and Verse, Nataša Konc Lorenzutti, Družina Publishing House, 2011
  • When Tortoise Is Lost, Desa Muck, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2009
  • Where do the good men live?, Zdravko Duša, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2008
  • Konstantin’s Hat, Peter Svetina, DZS Publishing House, 2007
  • Oh, these Doctors!, Cvetka Sokolov, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2007
  • You Never Know at Night, Cvetka Sokolov, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2006
  • Pinocchio Reads for his Reading Badge, Tilka Jamnik, DZS Publishing House, 2006
  • Through Seven Fairytale Lands, Manka Kremenšek Križman, DZS Publishing House, 2005
  • School’s Not for Me!, Cvetka Sokolov, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2005
  • Pika in the Library, Tilka Jamnik, DZS Publishing House, 2004
  • Red House, Cvetka Sokolov, Mladinska knjiga Publishing house, 2004
  • How to Become an Earthworm, Špela Kuclar, DZS Publishing House, 2001
  • Dad, That Was Really Cool, Zdenek Sverak, DZS Publishing House, 2000

 

 

EXHIBITIONS:

Independent exhibitions:

2004

  • Exhibition of illustrations

BARVE ŽIVIJO PODNEVI/COLOURS LIVE BY DAY

Galerija Lična hiša, Ajdovščina

 

2005

  • Retrospective exhibition of illustrations

Pionirska knjižnica, Knjižnica Otona Župančiča, Ljubljana

 

  • Retrospective exhibition of children’s illustrations

Galerija Liznjekove domačije, Kranjska Gora

 

2006

  • Oita Bienniale of Illustrations – Zagreb, Croatia

 

2009

  • Exhibition of illustrations from the Čebelica collection

KJE SO DOMA DOBRI MOŽJE/WHERE GOOD MEN LIVE

Galerija Sončnica, Ljubljana

 

  • Exhibition of picture book illustrations

KLOBUK GOSPODA KONSTANTINA/ MR CONSTANTINE’S HAT

Srečko Kosovel Library, Sežana

 

  • Retrospective exhibition of illustrations

Baraga Gallery, Trebnje

 

2011

  • Exhibition of illustrations from the Midrash stories

ODMEV TIŠINE/ ECHO OF SILENCE

Anton Martin Slomšek Diocesan Gymnasium, Maribor

 

2012

  • Retrospective exhibition of illustrations

ILUSTRACIJA PRIPOVEDUJE/ Illustration Relates

Gallery of the municipal library, Grosuplje

 

2013

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a book

MOČVIRNIKI/ Marshlanders   

Glass atrium the town hall, Ljubljana

 

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a picture book

KLOBUK GOSPODA KONSTANTINA/ Mr. Constantine’s Hat

Municipal library, Kranj

 

2014

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a book

MOČVIRNIKI/ Marshlanders 

Galerija Lek, Ljubljana

 

2015

 

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a book

ŽIVALSKA FARMA/ Animal Farm: a fairy story

Glass atrium of the town hall, Ljubljana 

  • Retrospective exhibition of illustrations

Galerija Institut » Jožef Štefan«, Ljubljana  

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a book

ŽIVALSKA FARMA/ Animal Farm : a fairy story

Galerija Simulaker, Novo mesto

 

2017

  • Retrospective exhibition of illustrations

Maribor Public Library, Maribor

  • Exhibition of illustrations from a book Animal Farm: a fairy story

Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Sarajevo, Bosna and Hercegovina 

 

His ilustrations have been selected to be shown at several major illustrations events, including:

  • Biennale of Slovene Illustration – Ljubljana, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012
  • Ideata da Manlio Menaglia promossa della rivista delle nazioni – Rome, Italy  2001
  • OBI – Tokyo, 2004
  • First Croatian Biennale of Illustration – Zagreb, 2006 and 2010
  • 2nd International Illustration Blue Book Group Fair – Teheran, Iran, 2009
  • Hiii Illustration – Merit award, 2014
  • Bologna children’s book fair – Illustrators annual 2014
  •  »Sentieri Illustrati« – Galleria Sagittaria Pordenone, Italy, 2016
  • Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava, 2015 and 2017
  • United Arab Emirates – Japan 2009-2012. 
  • Little Hakka International Picture Book Exhibition, Gankeng Hakka Town, Shenzhen, Chinese 2017
  • »Sentieri Illustrati« -Galleria Sagittaria Pordenone, Italy, 2018

 

 

“Peter Škerl has created his own recognisable artistic language, which lives in harmony with the text and adds to it. His illustrations are distinguished by a sensitive depiction of mood, created by pictorially rich colour surfaces. The painted story supplements the text by creating and identifying the place of the events, providing the literary figures with visible characteristics, which potentiate their characters, and by dynamics. The illustrator achieves this with changing points of view, elements that encourage the movement of the pages onwards, page turners, and lines that show movement (he transfers from the world of comics to pictures, sometimes barely noticeable but extremely effective, so-called motion lines).” /Grounds for nomination: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2016, 2017, 2018 – Illustrator nomination, Peter Škerl, Slovenia/

 

“Škerl’s work is distinguished by delicate, cultivated drawing with a mass of precisely drawn details and inventive compositions. A particular added value of the author’s illustrations is given by  unconventional use of colour, which sets chromatic relations in a completely new, original manner – so that the colour convincingly adopts the atmosphere not just of the story itself but also the prevailing characteristics of the time in which both the text and the illustrations are set.” /Smrekar Award, 2012: Močvirniki/ Marshlanders (Statement)/

 

 

“Peter Škerl’s illustrations are exceptional artistic works, which simply breathe the text. The illustrator adapts himself so much to the text, which carefully describes the nature of swamps and the life of those that live in them, that he is completely immersed in the author’s ambient. Because of the nature of the story, he remained completely faithful to the events and his sensitive drawings of the animal heroes of the narrative are fully harmonised in terms of tone with the dull green swamp colouring, which gives the depictions a characteristic atmosphere and thus goes far beyond mere artistic description. He achieves a mysterious charm in his pictures, which is also radiated by the most concealed nature of the undergrowth, amphibians and insects and he has created simultaneously a monumental and delicately sensitive work, in which the full page illustrations, as well as the vignettes are much more than an indispensable part of the integral literary work of art. Such a book transforms reading into a real aesthetic luxury, which links the beauty of art and nature.” /IBBY Honour List Illustrator 2014: Simoniti, Barbara: Močvirniki/ Marshlanders (Statement)/

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