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In fact, I didn’t start on any journey
Журнал Umělec
Год 2010, 1
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In fact, I didn’t start on any journey

Umělec 2010/1


Ivan Mečl a Veronika Vomáčková | grayscale | en cs de

Sometimes, we encounter the artists that appear in our magazine in an unusual manner. I personally have a knack for coming across artists who show no interest in publicity. Take the art of Veronika Vomáčková, for instance: it was introduced to us by her mother. First she called our offices, and when she came in person, she told us about how her daughter had run off to Spain and was living there in a village in destitute conditions with strange people. After our meeting, she forced her to send us samples. Veronika – with no great enthusiasm – sent us some pages from her diaries. I was intrigued and we later met in person in Prague. Our conversation took place under the looming shadow of “never trust anyone over thirty” and “don’t get involved with city folk,” so we didn’t get very far. But I really liked her drawings and didn’t want to leave them without commentary. When we parted ways, I asked her to write a story about how she got started on her journey. The following is an abridged version of her answer... fact, I didn’t start on any journey. I was born on June 5, 1982. After completing primary school, I attended a secondary school for the arts where I excelled at blowing off four years by not doing anything except playing truant. Maybe I went crazy – I don’t even properly remember that time, and luckily most of my classmates and teachers don’t remember me either. I didn’t apply to any college. They wouldn’t have taken me anyway since I was an unbelievably stuck-up brat who thought she was an artist and didn’t need anything like that.
After this, I spent three years doing art in the countryside, where I moved so that I didn’t have to live with my parents. Nothing much came of it and, unfortunately, my life wasn’t going anywhere either. Part-time jobs, student work at pubs or for restorers – as a specialist for working with lye, or as a manual laborer on construction sites. I didn’t hang out with anyone. There wasn’t anyone anyway and I looked down my nose at everyone. I spent most of my time doing part-time work, working around the house, and doing art – filthy as a pig from paint and charcoal... My mom helped me, too – I guess she felt that artists need help.
Best of all were my travels. First secretly, just short wanderings, a few days at a time, later several weeks spent traveling around the Czech Republic. ... After secondary school, I started travelling outside the country. Hitchhiking across Europe, on foot to the Polish seaside, and later on foot to Spain. But I never got there. In Switzerland, my tendonitis started acting up again. Pretty normal with a twenty-kilogram backpack, but I wasn’t about to turn back. I managed to limp across half of France until I ended up in the backyard of some really kind people, who took care of me for two weeks. They didn’t have a choice anyway. My foot had been wrapped in bandages since Switzerland and I didn’t dare take them off. When a doctor came and unwrapped my leg, he was shocked. Everyone else was too, including me. It had changed shape and color and was terribly hairy. That is when I started drawing, out of boredom, since I couldn’t move.
The next year, I set out for Spain again, for three months. After returning home, I decided to move there. And this is where it the fun stops. I didn’t know a word of Spanish, didn’t really know anyone there. ... So the first year was hell. Great job opportunities, luxury accommodations, and society – perfect filth all around. At least I got taken down a few notches. Not that I climbed the social ladder or anything, but at least I learned to get along pretty well in Spanish.
My pictures are my diary from the second two years. During the first year, I didn’t have the nerve to be making drawings and the second year I started paying attention to something else.
So as you can see, there is no “journey” to talk about. Maybe at least I have managed to become a good and somewhat more modest person.


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