Michal Bočánek: I want to get as close to the reality as possible and I do not look at how long it will take

Michal Bočánek is a graphic designer and a big drawing enthusiast, which means that he has a big collection of crayons and a customized drawing table. Even though this Dali admirer started drawing only three years ago, thanks to his patience, he was able to create work that would almost seem impossible to achieve. In particular, his biggest challenge was to draw reflections on the water.

How did you get into drawing? Did you draw in your childhood?
I started drawing in the year 2013, but even earlier I was experimenting with oils. I didn’t really draw in my childhood because I had a lot of interests, such as playing ice-hockey professionally. When I was younger some people were talking to my parents about my talent, but I was mostly interested in ice-hockey. :-)

Your drawings look very complex. How much time do you usually spend on one piece?
In my opinion, patience is the most important thing. While creating something, I want to be perfect and get as close to the reality as possible and I do not look at how long it will take. My drawings take on average about 20 hours.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Your style demands a lots of patience. Has it always been like that?
Probably yes, because if I start to work on something, everybody says that to me :) My dream is to do restorations.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you have any other interests aside from drawing?
I am a computer graphics designer and drawing fills my free time.

What about your paintings with oil?
I’ve kept a few paintings from the past, and right now, Im working on a reproduction of a Salvator Dalí painting which I admire. Step by step, I want to go from drawing back to oil and paint wherever possible.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you have other favorite artists, besides Salvator Dalí?
When it comes to recent artists, I admire Magda Torres Gruza. (FB https://www.facebook.com/artemagda)

What inspires you?
I like challenges, and you can see it in my drawings with pencil. One drawing represents water on the face, a reflection in the water, a reflection on a car or on a water surface.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you sometimes have to force yourself to draw, or it is your passion and you look forward to it?
It was my passion, but now I sort of have another hobby, so I force myself and I skip to my work :-) I renovate old furniture, French polish etc. In a way, it's as our ancestors did it.

Does it happen that sometimes you are stuck in a loop and draw nonstop?
My deviation is to buy as many pencils and labels as I can, so that I have everything I need to draw. It's the same for all my hobbies.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you have a favorite brand of material?
Yes. I’m using Prismacolor pencils. I have around 136 shades of them. Then, I usually use pencils, Faber and Staedtler and also I have my own customised drawing table. The kind of table I wanted did not exist in the Czech Republic, so I designed it and found a skilled manufacturer to build it. My favorite brand of oil paint is Umton.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you think that the quality of the artwork depends on the quality of the paints or do you not care about the material?
When it comes to realistic drawing, in my opinion, special pencils are really helpful.

Are you a member of any artistic community? Are you meeting with other artists and are you publishing your works?
Yes, I am an admin in the Facebook group „Drawing and painting 18+“, and I also publish on my own Facebook site, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

What do you think about other Czech artists?
There are many interesting people, but I see the barrier between realistic drawing and „art“. I sometimes hear opinions like: „Why doesn’t he just take a photo? The outcome is the same!“

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

Do you have any orders from other countries?
I don’t take orders, because here in Czech Republic, everyone wants drawings but nobody wants to pay. People don’t understand the time that I spend making my artworks. When it comes to the other countries, so far, I haven´t noticed any serious orders.

What would you recommend to aspiring artists?
Lots of patience and most importantly, don’t give up! Don’t stop educating yourself. For example, a good school for aspiring artists is YouTube.

Do you have time for your private life? Do you have a girlfriend?
Yes, for a long time I am happily married.

What does your wife think about your works?
She likes them.

What are you currently working on?
Right now, I want to go back to painting with oil and then maybe try to draw some advertisements.

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Image source: archives of Michal Bočánek

What are your plans for summer?
I want to finish all of my projects, that means – renovation of one table, one oil painting – a reproduction of Dalí and one portrait with pencil. In autumn, I want to start working on new things.

What are your plans for the future?
I don’t want to lie to myself. Everybody wants to be successful, selling some works and making a lot of money, but I don’t really desire great fame. In an ideal world, drawing would make me enough money to live. Unfortunately, this is not the case yet, so I have to do things that are holding me back. My dream is to do what I like: drawing and renovations.

Thank you very much. I wish you a lot of luck.

Author: Jarmila Kacerlová