Lucija Mrzljak is an illustrator and animator whose films "Shuma" and "Kut" have been shown at many festivals around the world. During last year's Etiuda & Anima, her animation "A demonstration of brilliance in four acts" co-directed with Morten Tšinakov, was awarded the Grand Prix in the Anima category. This year Lucija will visit the festival again, which will take place on November 19-24 in Cracow.
What came first - love for drawing or love for animation?
Lucija Mrzljak: I started drawing very early, but I guess every child does the same. Around the age of 7, someone showed me how to make a simple animation in a flipbook and from that time started my fascination with the idea that my drawings could become alive.
Your videos and illustrations show how unlimited your imagination is. Where do you get inspiration for your work? Do you have a specific system that you can reveal?
LM: It’s quite difficult to say where do ideas come from. The world is so full of fascinating and complex things and it’s only a question of catching them and composing them into new patterns. Anything can be inspiring, everyday life, books, music, films… I often carry with me a sketchbook to write down ideas and make sketches.
I’m not sure if I could point a finger on a single book that influenced me. I’ve always been an avid reader of prose and poetry and different books inspire me at different times. But some authors I could highlight because I like to return to their books and every time discover something new in them… for example Bruno Schulz, Bogumil Hrabal, Julio Cortazar, Virginia Woolf, Daniil Harms, Baudelaire…
Animation is an attractive form for every age group. Would you like to devote yourself to a specific group? Do you plan to create in different animation genres?
LM: I wouldn’t like to limit myself to a specific group. I hope that my films would be interesting to anyone in the world regardless of age. Maybe I would try different techniques in the future.
A DEMONSTRATION OF BRILLIANCE IN FOUR ACTS | TRAILER
I watch old and new films, experimental, live action and animated films as often as I can. When I was very young I was very much mesmerized by the films of Maya Deren, Jan Svankmajer and Quay brothers, seeing their extraordinary work made me want to study animation. And later during my studies, I was very intrigued and impressed by discovering the work of Koji Yamamura, Priit Pärn and Igor Kovalyov. Also, I find music very inspiring. It’s quite an abstract form of art but it speaks directly to everyone and is very important in creating certain moods in films.
Do you think you can do animation without art school education? What would you advise beginners who love this form?
LM: Yes, of course. Some very successful and wonderful animation authors never studied at a film school. For example Estonian animators Priit Pärn and Chintis Lundgren. There is no perfect recipe on how to become a good filmmaker and no guarantee that a certain film School could turn someone into a successful author, it all depends on the personal enthusiasm, devotion and hard work. In my opinion, the best thing at the university is meeting people with similar interests which can be very inspiring and create professional collaborative friendships that can last long after university.