Artist Feature - Vratislav pecka of Posterlad

'Checkers' poster by PosterLad 

VRATISLAV PECKA, THE ARTIST BEHIND OUR 'TANGLED' PUZZLE draws on influences from the bauhaus school to create incredible, graphic posters.

Vratislav Pecka, the artist behind PosterLad, is a Czech designer and cryptoartist known for incorporating simple geometric shapes and vivid colours to create bold, graphic work. After studying film, video editing and animation, he co-founded Pecka, a Prague-based graphic design studio. In 2016, seeking a creative outlet beyond commercial work, he started the PosterLad project, through which he was able to fully explore his graphic style, free of artistic constraints. Vratislav has exhibited his work throughout Europe, Asia and North America and has quickly gained recognition as a cryptoartist. He lives and works as a full-time artist and designer in Amsterdam. 

Influenced by the graphic aesthetics of the Bauhaus school and permeated with a nostalgia for the ’90s, PosterLad posters play with a medium traditionally used for advertising. Rather than promoting an event or product or delivering a message, Vratislav aims to create posters that are visually captivating and graphically refined. His vibrant designs and constantly evolving aesthetic have resulted in an incredible collection of graphic art that is a refreshing take on the common poster.

'Twisted' poster by PosterLad 

From bold black and white designs, to softer organic shapes, the work that Vratislav creates for PosterLad is incredibly varied which has helped him to engage with a larger audience.

'Splashes' poster by PosterLad 

We recently chatted with Vratislav about our collaboration of turning his work into a puzzle and to learn more about his influences and his creative processes. 

What most interested you in collaborating with Parkside to turn your artwork into a puzzle?

First of all, I love playing around with puzzle. I also think you could not have picked a better design of mine that would suit better for puzzle than the Tangled one. Hence I was quite excited for this to make happen with Lindsay. My guess is it will be rather advanced puzzle solving, but that is exactly what I personally enjoy the most.

Our Tangled puzzle, featuring PosterLad’s illustration of the same name.

'Palette 2' poster by PosterLad 

Can you tell us a bit more about the PosterLad project that you started in 2016? It has acquired such a huge following, what about the project do you think resonates with so many people?

I started making posters as I needed some sort of getaway from the everyday hustle of freelance graphic designer who would just deliver designs to his clients and did not have much time to spend on something that he really enjoys. I would post these designs on Instagram, where I received couple of likes and followers which motivated me to make more. Over time, it was not just about getting more followers or likes, of course. I was able to see I am actually getting better at it and also people started asking me whether it’s possible to buy some of my work. Long story short, I started selling those posters and after two years of almost daily poster design, I was able to quit my graphic designer career and only focus on posters and collaborations such as with Parkside. I think it resonates with quite many people as I am always trying different styles, different colors, that there is chance it resonates with wider audience. If I sticked to just one particular style as many artists do, I think the audience would not be as big. But that is just my theory.

'BOOM' poster by PosterLad 

At one point you were designing a new poster almost daily. Do you find it challenging to come up with so many new designs?

Yes, it is very challenging sometimes. But that is exactly why I was doing it. I needed this challenge. As I said earlier, I felt I was getting better at it which was quite rewarding and motivating.

You have noted the Bauhaus School as one of your influences. Are there any other art movements or artists that inspire you?

Yes, Bauhaus school is the number one influence when it comes to my work. There are so many great artists around that inspire me as well, I have to mention Jan Kaláb, czech painter and kind of a rockstar for me. Even though his style is a bit different, I love how he works with colors. I am always mind blown when I see his work. I recommend you do that as well!

'Curved' poster by PosterLad 

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Is everything designed digitally or do you do any physical sketches as a part of your design process?

I never do any sketching what so ever. I always try to come up with something at that moment when I open the design app. It feels like playing a game or something. Yes, it can get quite frustrating when after couple of trials I am not able to come up with anything good enough. But that is just part of the process. I have always done it like that and I don’t intend to change my routine.

What are you working on right now? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or collaborations that we can share with our readers?

I am working on so many things at the moment, that it is quite overwhelming. I will have a first solo show since 2017 in Prague next month. I am working on PosterLad rugs, other mediums than posters (stay tuned!), T-shirts and some more collaborations which I can not mention here yet. I have been very busy and it seems it will not change any time soon. 

'Valencia' poster by PosterLad 

To view more of Vratislav's work, you can visit his PosterLab website, or follow him on Instagram here