Friday, April 19, 2024

Drawings of a Young Man

When my mother moved from Croatia to Bosnia, she took lots of my papers, posters, and art with her which I left in her house at different occasions, including when I moved to the United States in '86. When she died, I asked a friend of mine Dejan Krsic to go to her house and take whatever he thinks is worth keeping and bring it back to Zagreb.

For one reason or another, I have never thoroughly gone through these things, especially the small papers. Having a little bit more time during my visit to Zagreb a week ago, I decided to check those out. Among other things, I came across these two drawings of younger me that I had almost forgotten.

The first is a small drawing of me by Andrija Maurović in 1975. Andrija Maurović (1901-1981), is considered the father of Croatian comics. His comics are probably, without exaggeration, the most interesting comics in Europe created at that time. His comics had a big influence on me as a kid, and I remember how pleased I was when he suggested drawing a portrait of me.

The second drawing/caricature that I found was drawn in 1978, two years later, by Oto Reisinger (1927-2016), an amazing Croatian cartoonist and caricaturist. At the time that he drew my caricature, I was already an "established" illustrator and comics author. That is why he wrote the dedication next to the drawing "to colleague, Mirko." That recognition from him was even more important to me than the buck-toothed face of mine he drew.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

"Face to Face" Round Table

On Friday, April 12, within the "Face to Face" exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska organized a round table with the exhibition curator Marko Golub, graphic designer Borut Vild, and graphic designer and art historian Dejan Kršić and me. The conversation was led by Sarita Vujkovic, director of MSURS.

The audience had the opportunity to get acquainted with my artistic career and the little anecdotes that followed me through my professional development.

I want to thank all visitors to the Museum and especially the visit of the bishop of Pakra-Slavonic, Jovan Јulibrko.

You can read and see more about the exhibition here.
Photographs by Nemanja Mićević.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Opening of Exhibition "Face to Face" in Banja Luka

On Thursday, April 11th, the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska opened an exhibition of my works titled "Face to Face.”

'This exhibition, for the first time in our country, offers the opportunity to look at Ilic's rich career. The exhibition of Mirko Ilic, one of the world's leading designers, born in Bijeljina, shows several cycles of posters and other graphic design works, one number of which were donated to the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska. Within the exhibition, his original works, part of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art collection in Rijeka, are shown as posters made for the Yugoslav Drama Theater in Belgrade as well as comic books combined with reproductions. The exhibition was realized in cooperation with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka and the Croatian Design Society in Zagreb.’

The exhibition was curated by Marko Golub and designed by Nemanja Mićević. It will be open until June 6th, 2024.

I would certainly like to thank the staff of the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska and, above all, the museum's director, Sara Vujković; without her efforts, this exhibition would not have happened.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Exhibition "Face to Face" in Banja Luka

On Thursday April 11th at 7pm is the opening of my exhibition "Face to Face" in the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska.

"At the exhibition in Banja Luka the audience will have the opportunity to see several cycles of posters, comics, newspaper illustrations as well as numerous graphic solutions that give us the possibility of layered reading of Ilic's diverse stylish and artistic expression."

Friday, March 29, 2024

Article From Designisso Magazine

I am happy to share this article from Designisso (DIS), an online magazine edited and operated by the community of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (Mome Grafika MA) in Budapest.
"One-Page Stories - A Selection from Mirko Ilić's Comics Course."
"In this world full of information and stimuli, sometimes we need a little distraction, a good laugh, or a moment of engrossment without committing to an extended read. One-page comics serve this purpose specifically. These bite-sized works combine humor, drama and creativity to achieve their impact on a single page.
In the compact world of one-page comics, only one name stands out: Mirko Ilić, who creates a balance between the short format and the depth of what is said, thus setting a new example for young artists. In the autumn semester, he visited MOME's Department of Design Graphics, specializing in illustration, where he held a one-week course. During the week, the students depicted their own narratives on a single page, in addition to the pleasant consultations, they were able to take a look at Mirko's work. Last but not least, the comic books were also completed."
If you read Hungarian, you read the whole article here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

My First Published Illustration

Immediately after my 17th birthday, I figured out that if I want to be an illustrator, I need to publish some work. I was always ambitious and on a mission. 

At that time, I heard that Omladinski tjednik (Youth Weekly) paper was looking for illustrators. Not knowing exactly how that worked, I quickly drew half a dozen drawings on legal paper with a marker and dropped them on the desk of an editor. A couple of weeks later, one of these drawings was published in a paper. The drawing appeared published without crediting me because in my haste, I totally forgot to sign my drawings or leave my name with the editor. In the first few days, I didn't even notice that; I didn't care. I had proof that my work was good enough to be published, which was the most important thing to me. 

Soon after that, I started publishing more work in 
Omladinski tjednik, and other youth magazines and papers. I became an illustrator, I was credited and even paid. 

A couple of years ago, I mentioned this story to an illustrator colleague of mine, Stjepan Micak, who puts a lot of effort into scanning and collecting illustrations and comics from my generation. He managed to find that issue of 
Omladinski tjednik with my illustration, and he sent a scan of that spread to me yesterday. Thank you, Stjepan. 

This is probably the first time that I have seen that drawing after almost fifty years. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement, and I am still working on that.



Friday, March 22, 2024

MSNBC News Blast from the Past

Watching David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-winning author, discuss Trump's financial troubles on MSNBC News last night, I suddenly noticed something familiar. On his bookshelves, he was displaying three books: Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print. These are all book for which I created the illustrations fifteen or twenty years ago. A blast from the past.

At that time, I illustrated the covers of many political and economic books, mainly for Penguin Books. You can see some of them here and  here 

Those books were art-directed and designed by Joseph Perez.