Saturday, 28 May 2022

Storm in Northern Croatia: Varaždin, Čakovec and Koprivnica Damaged

May 28, 2022 - Last night, a major storm in northern Croatia affected the areas of Varaždin, Čakovec, and Koprivnica, tearing down trees, public lighting, and flooding streets. The inhabitants of Varaždin, informed in advance, parked their cars in underground garages.

A new storm in the north of the country, the wind in Bukovac uprooted a tree

A strong wind accompanied by heavy rain and pea-sized hail hit the north of Croatia last night after 10 pm, reports Index.hr.

From the field, the worst was in the area of ​​Štrigova, Ludbreg, and again Veliki Bukovac, where a strong wind knocked down a tree near the NK Bukovčan playground. The hail was small, but it was pouring heavily, and the wind was strong and took some parts off the roofs of people trying to protect their homes from the damage caused by hail the size of tennis balls on Wednesday afternoon.

Varaždin residents hid cars in underground garages

In Ludbreg, citizens report that it looked as if "heaven and earth had merged", but so far there is no information about the damage. There was also a hailstorm in Gornji Međimurje, but it is not yet known if anything was damaged.

The people of Varaždin frantically hid their cars in underground garages last night for fear of hail and new damage that many suffered on Wednesday. However, apart from heavy thunder and showers, there are no reports of damage in Varaždin, and fortunately, there was no hail.

Storm in Podravina: Felled trees and lighting, flooded underpasses

The storm hit Koprivnica and the surrounding areas. At around 11:30 pm, a stormy wind and heavy rain, which in some places turned into hail and thunder, ravaged Podravina. The stormy wind destroyed trees all over the city of Koprivnica, and the heavy rain made the road impassable, reports Glas Podravine.

The aforementioned local portal states that the wind not only destroyed the trees, but also public lighting infrastructure. Underpasses, roads, and pavements were also flooded. Emergency services quickly went to the scene and cleared the roads.

The wind broke off parts of many trees and part of the roads were temporarily rendered unusable. Firefighters are still removing fallen trees from the roads. Traffic was suspended until further notice over the Koprivnica underpass, which was also totally flooded. 

In Koprivnica, 16 liters of rain per square meter fell, and in some villages, such as Torčec, even more. Emergency services are on the ground to enable the smooth flow of traffic.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Međimurje Wins Financial Times Award Again

ZAGREB, 16 March 2022 - Međimurje County has been given the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/23 award by one of the most reputable world economic magazines the Financial Times, its fourth such award, among 160 larger or smaller regions and more than 350 cities in the European Union.

County Prefect Matija Posavec, who received the award in Cannes on Tuesday, told a press conference on Wednesday that the award was not a coincidence and that Međimurje has been recognised as one of the most favourable areas for successfully doing business in Europe thanks to a system that connects the economy and education, among other things.

It is an award to a proud Međimurje that combines all those values of our people, who are productive and diligent, Posavec said, underscoring that over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic, Međimurje's economy continued to grow as it has been over the past 15 years.

Posavec highlighted several examples of a good entrepreneurial environment such as the Technological-Innovation Centre, the Međiurje Energy Agency and the Čakovec Metal Hub as well as the first scientific-research centre that is owned by a county government. He announced the opening of a regional competence centre in the next month.

"Results do not come overnight, but we are always thinking two steps ahead, and today we are thinking about what will happen tomorrow, which is our wish to become a pilot project in our health system and to apply artificial intelligence here too," said Posavec.

The director of the REDEA Public Institute for the Development of Međimurje County, Sandra Polanec Marinović, said that due to COVID-19 it was necessary to adapt to new criteria.

"We also presented those sectors that have the greatest potential for post-pandemic recovery, concentrating on new rapidly-growing sectors such as eMobility, as well as presenting the IT sector and creative industries," she said, recalling the huge municipal investments in business zones.

Business: For more, check out our business section.

 

Monday, 10 January 2022

Čakovec High School Teachers Welcomed Students in Original Way (PHOTOS)

January 10, 2022 - On the first day of the second school semester, Čakovec high school teachers dressed up as famous movie and television characters. 

As was well established in the previous weeks and then recently confirmed by the Minister of Education, Radovan Fuchs, school classes would return today to start the second semester of school. Despite the record increase in positive cases of coronavirus, especially after the Christmas and New Year celebrations and in the midst of the omicron variant, the Ministry of Education confirmed that the classes would be given face-to-face throughout the country. Until now, they reported, they had not received any requests from any school to teach virtual classes. This exception would be given to those schools that, due to the omicron variant, had limited staff to teach classes from the classroom.

The news is good for the Ministry itself, which ensures that face-to-face classes are essential to ensure quality education and for the emotional well-being of students, something that surely sounds just as good for teachers and parents. However, we wonder, how do students feel about it?

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When it comes to high school students, we imagine that after the Christmas and New Years' break, they wish they were still resting at home. The chilly temperatures in the middle of winter can be a turn-off for getting back to school. However, as eMeđimurje reports, Čakovec high school teachers have come up with a great idea to receive their students in the best way and raise their spirits to face a new school semester.

The teachers of the Josip Slavenski High School in Čakovec came up with an interesting idea and delighted everyone. In an original and funny way, they wished the students a happy return to school after the winter holidays. Teachers from the Čakovec Gymnasium decided to cosplay some of the most famous characters in film and TV series.

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''ET still wants to go home, the blonde from Harvard breaks stereotypes, Peaky Blinders spread fear and trepidation... No, don't be afraid, you're not stuck on a holiday binge! Your teachers, disguised as heroes from famous films and series, are waiting for your return. They want to show you that, despite all the challenges they pose to you, they are just people, cheerful, and well-intentioned. Welcome back to school in 2022 and we wish it will be a great year for everyone!'', reads the message for their students.

See below for more of the costumes and characterizations made by Čakovec high school teachers from the Josip Slavenski gymnasium:

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To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

County Prefect Candidate: All Governments Have Pushed Roma Issue Under the Rug

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - Darko Zver, the candidate of the Fokus party for the Međimurje County prefect in a snap election, told a news conference in Čakovec that all the Croatian governments "have pushed the issue of ethnic Roma in Međimurje under the rug."

One of the planks of Zver's agenda is to address the problems facing a sizeable Roma community in that part of Croatia.

Zver also criticized parliamentary deputy Veljko Kajtazi, who represents ethnic Roma in the national legislature, over his statements on the topics concerning local Roma members.

If elected, Zver promised "drastic changes" in social welfare benefits, education training, and employment.

He said that the county authorities must financially support training and retraining for the most sought-after occupations.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Pilot Project Introducing Roma Mentors Launched in Čakovec

ZAGREB, 5 Oct, 2021 - In an effort to increase employment of the Roma community in Međimurje, the Justice and Public Administration Ministry has launched a pilot project for Roma mentors, which was presented in Čakovec on Tuesday.

The pilot project is being implemented within a project to improve the protection of human rights and public security through strengthening capacities in probation services. The project is valued at €2.1 million and it is being financed from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

Part of the funds is earmarked for the employment of six Roma from Međimurje County for a period of 19 months as Roma mentors.

 After attending training, which will be conducted by Czech experts with experience in similar projects, the Roma mentors will provide support to probation offices, the police, employment service, public health institute, state inspectorate and other social welfare and educational institutions.

State-secretary in the Ministry, Josip Salapić, underscored that the project is aimed at totally including the Roma minority in society.

This is the first project of this kind in Croatia, the head of the prison system and probation administration, Jana Špero said.

An advisor in the Interior Ministry, Vladimir Faber, said that a lot is expected from this project.

"It will enable two-way communication between institutions and Roma communities and between institutions themselves," Faber said, adding that the biggest problem in Roma communities is poverty, social exclusion, poor education, crime among minors, which can be changed with mutual communication.

President of the Kali Sara Roma alliance in Croatia,  Suzana Krčmar, underscored that the Roma will always offer their hand and be open to everyone, especially those who are their friends.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Holocaust Memorials Put Up in Čakovec, Prelog

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - Memorials honoring Holocaust victims were put up in the northern Croatian towns of Čakovec and Prelog on Wednesday, with Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor expressing hope that the memorials, called Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks), would prompt young people to ask themselves who those victims were. 

The Stolpersteine placed in the pavement in six locations in Čakovec and two in Prelog commemorate 28 members of the Jewish community and the event was organized by the Jewish community of Čakovec, Čakovec town authorities, the town authorities of Prelog and Međimurje County.

This is an exceptional idea that pays tribute to all families and innocent victims of the Holocaust, Ambassador Mor said, adding that the memory of the victims continued to live in the cities where their names were inscribed in public areas.

The head of the Jewish community in Čakovec, Andrej Pal, said that "certain historical facts falling into oblivion or even being denied contributes to the disappearance of the community that lived and worked in this area and helped develop it."

Pal noted that before World War II 1,200 Jews lived in Međimurje, of whom 700 were killed or went missing during the war.

Međimurje County head Matija Posavec said that with Holocaust remembrance Međimurje was being promoted as a tolerant, open and humane region.

"We have organized The Week of Jewish Culture, the local museum has organized numerous exhibitions, Eva Panich Nahir is an honorary citizen of Čakovec, and the State Archive has restored the Jewish register of births, marriages, and deaths, simply because Jews have left an important mark on Međimurje's economy, culture and overall development," said Posavec.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Three Continental Croatian Cities Cooperate in Name of EU Funding

August the 25th, 2021 - Numerous continental Croatian cities are hoping to get their hands on European Union (EU) Funds. Koprivnica, Cakovec and Varazdin are all on the hunt for EU cash injections following their recent decision on cooperation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, this year's Spancirfest not only turned the historic core of Varazdin into a festival stage once again, but also opened the door to cooperation between three continental Croatian cities: Varazdin, Koprivnica and Cakovec, all of which agreed on a joint application for individual European Union projects.

"We've agreed on the models of our future joint cooperation in applying for some EU projects and funds, where each of us is too small to be able to apply on our own,'' said Varazdin Mayor Neven Bosilj, who hosted Cakovec Mayor Ljerka Cividini and their colleague Misel Jaksic from Koprivnica on Monday.

According to Bosilj, these three continental Croatian cities are among the top six in the entire country in terms of employment and are the (probably rather unexpected) drivers of economic activities.

At the same time, these three continental Croatian host the largest traditional events in the country, such as the aforementioned Spancirfest which is held annually in beautiful Varazdin, whose edition this year has been being visited by about 20,000 people a day, Porcijunkulov in Cakovec, and the Koprivnica Renaissance Festival, all of which attract crowds year after year.

"Tourism doesn't solely exist down by the coast. These are the three most important tourist events not only in this part of the country, but in the whole of continental Croatia,'' said Bosilj.

Cividini stressed that they must not miss out on grabbing the opportunity for cooperation on projects that are opening up through the ITU mechanism and other European Union funds.

"Cooperation will take place through the economy, tourism, cultural development. Today, we've shown that we have the will and that we want to do this, and there are a lot of projects," she said.

"I think this is a good trigger for our agricultural production, traditional crafts, cultural development and everything that makes life what it is up here in the north," Jaksic said.

For more on Croatian access to EU funding, follow our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

BREAKING FREE NEWS: Incredible Freddie Mercury Tribute by Čakovec Students

May 20, 2021 – Brilliant Queen and Freddie Mercury Tribute by Čakovec students boldly challenges prejudice, oppression and expectations.

When people think of Čakovec in northern Croatia, usually they're not thinking of a shockingly, progressive place. But, perhaps that's just why high school students of Josip Slavenski Gymnasium decided on this move. Certainly, the graduation photo of the school's 4 E class boldly counters all expectations.

Instead of the usual fun, frivolity and throwing of hats, the students decided for their end-of-term picture to challenge, provoke and confound everyone. The result is absolutely fantastic, 'breaking free' of all conformity.

In the Freddie Mercury tribute photo, the Čakovec students are all dressed as the iconic Queen frontman, as seen in the video to the band's unforgettable 'I Want To Break Free' single. In 1984, when the song was originally released, it caused quite the controversy.

Queen and Freddie Mercury 'I Want to Break Free'

In Europe, the release was well-received, the video adored and the song went to the top of the charts. But, in the USA, it was a different story.

Queen had not considerably troubled the charts in America since their breakthrough 1970s single 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. But, in 1984, the band released in the U.S. the American version of their multi-platinum 'Greatest Hits' album. A hit! Then, they followed it with a new single, 'Radio Gaga'. Again, a hit! After over a decade of releasing music, Queen were finally on the brink of breaking the most lucrative music market in the world.

So, what did they do? For their next song, 'I Want To Break Free', the band decided to appear entirely 'in drag', as women, in the video. Although transvestitism is completely unrelated to homosexuality, perhaps the least intelligent members of society presumed this to be the idea of the band's singer, Freddie Mercury, who was gay. Not so. The idea for the video actually came from Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

American music television simply didn't understand the video. They refused to screen it. When they did, American audiences were either mystified or horrified. Well, this is a country that once elected Donald Trump for president. The response to this brilliant Freddie Mercury Tribute photo from the students of Čakovec might be comparable, in the least progressive sections of society. You know, the places where people still point to the sky when a plane passes. Or where the music of Queen is considered 'new'. As, perhaps, is electricity.

4 E Josip Slavenski Gymnasium, Čakovec, Freddie Mercury tribute

And yet, with this outrageous Freddie Mercury Tribute, these Čakovec students have proved themselves to be the best of the future generation. Bold, confrontational, committed and outright funny. In the Freddie Mercury tribute, they stand in front of the banner for the Festival of Alternative Čakovec. It's a deliberately inclusive event, intended to draw all sections of society. Anyone challenging their sense of fun must simply be regarded as the most miserable, moany and backward of all among us.

Just as the band Queen confounded some with their 1984 release, so too today will these Čakovec students with their Freddie Mercury Tribute. Luckily, there are many more young progressive people in Čakovec and Croatia - and Queen fans - than there are miserable, moany voices. Bravo class 4 E Josip Slavenski Gymnasium, Čakovec!

Monday, 19 October 2020

Vuplast: Cakovec-made Biohazard Bags Help Croatian and EU Hospitals

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 19th of October, 2020, For more than 40 years, Vuplast has been producing and processing plastics, and during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, their degradable "biohazard" bag has been popular. It is made of 100% recyclable material, which decomposes when washed, without negative effects on the washing machine, and is used by hospitals, kindergartens and homes for the elderly.

“It feels wonderful when you're an entrepreneur and get one such recognition. We hope that they will recognise our positive business strategy ", said Ivan Marcius, head of business logistics at Vuplast.

Degradable and not harmful to the environment

"So far, we 've used more than 50 tonnes of recycled plastic that stood as waste and used it to fight the spread of the pandemic. By combining recycled PE-LD material and water-soluble PVA material, we've devised a way that damp clothing, bedding and textiles in general can be placed in such a bag, and it's safe to close it, too. We sell a set/box containing 100 yellow bags with a press for washing contaminated clothes, two red bags with a press for disposing of the rest of the yellow bags after the washing process because it can be used for further recycling, 102 laces for closing yellow and red bags, the confirmation of the disinfection of the product and the packaging process and instructions for use. They're strong and provide excellent insulation and are much more resistant to mechanical and chemical damage compared to 100% soluble washable bags. They can withstand up to 10 kilograms of textiles with proper handling, while for comparison, about 100 kilograms can be placed in 100% soluble PVA bags,'' explained Vuplast's Marcius. The project, which they themselves coordinated and led, employed 35 people during the largest orders.

Vuplast is also engaged in research in collaboration with their partner institutes and laboratories where they want to scientifically prove that 100% soluble PVA bags are more harmful to the environment. “When hospitals use our bags, we can recycle them after washing. When using a 100% soluble PVA washing bag, melt the complete bag and drain the material into the drain. We're the only manufacturer of such products and everyone feels safe when they use our bags. This was recognised by European hospitals and laundries that turned to our bags. We worked day and night to deliver our products to everyone,'' pointed out Marcius.

Their clients here in Croatia are mainly food companies, the pharmaceutical industry, utilities and hospitals. He says that he will earn more than last year, and this year they didn't ask for incentives and support for preserving jobs. The company also distributes toilet paper, sheets, kitchen towels, napkins and soaps, as well as producing PVC wrappers, folders, binders and liners. It currently has four employees, and new job positions are planned.

''It’s important that we have work to do''

Vuplast has customers all over the EU, and they recently exported bags for washing contaminated clothes to Switzerland. Them being chosen as the best entrepreneurial story will help them, the host added, to further market this product. They will apply for the Increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in manufacturing industries project in order to reconstruct their existing storage and production facilities and invest in the construction of a solar power plant that would be sufficient for their production.

''We'll also build new production facilities where we'll have the highest hygiene standards so that we can make further progress in packaging and production for large pharmaceutical companies. We're also planning a small logistics distribution centre for our products. It's important that we have a job and that our workers are satisfied,'' concluded Vuplast's Ivan Marcius.

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Friday, 24 July 2020

Art Corner: Follow Your Heart, Act with Humility and Gratitude… Words and Interview from Broken Isn’t Bad.

24th July 2020, The world is a crazy place to be right now, let’s pause for art, beauty and truth – an interview with ‘Broken isn’t bad’.

Let’s face it, there is a lot going on in the world, so I wanted to write something a little different and promise not to mention Corona (Covid 19) too much but it is where this story starts so bear with me for a second.

Lockdown was a very personal experience for everyone, my time was relatively pain-free (you can read my impressions here) and led me to re-evaluate every area of my life, particularly how I spend my time and where I spend my money. With so much extra time on my hands and social media being a vice (for many, I’m sure) – I decided to ‘clean out’ my social media so it provides more value.

I started following more thought leaders, writers, poets and artists. I have always loved art but once I started following more artists, I realised just how much joy (and inspiration) art brings me. I stumbled across an artist that I loved on first sight, made better by the fact that all of the illustrations are accompanied by a wide range of deep, thought-provoking or spiritual poems and texts (all the things I love in one place). In line with reassessing my other value – ‘where I spend my money’, I decided to buy a piece of art. Only upon looking further at the Instagram account did I see that this artist was in fact, from Croatia and then after messaging, I discovered that Sanda (the artist behind Broken isn’t Bad) lives in the city of Čakovec (90 km North of Zagreb).

The account is called Broken_isnt_bad and has an impressive 525,000 followers, how could I not reach out for an interview? In these crazy times, where so many are struggling, particularly artists, I wanted to share a success story and hopefully some words of inspiration.

 

How long have you been an artist and where did you study?

I studied graphic design at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb from which I graduated in 2012 and, in 2016, I opened my Instagram account and started posting my drawings under the pseudonym Broken isn’t bad, while simultaneously working in a big corporation as a graphic designer. It was a period of my life when I felt quite depressed and unmotivated. I was really unhappy with how everything works in those big companies where you cannot express your creativity as you’d like to, and where you must obey those above you who don’t have a bit of creative talent but think they know better than you. Also, my long-term relationship ended in quite a bad way and I felt really broken in a psychological sense, so it’s amazing how my artistic profile actually showed me how to move forward and regain happiness and peace in my life.

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"Bloom", Broken isn't bad

Did you always know this is what you wanted to do or did you try your hand at other careers first?

Not at all. I never thought I would make a career as an artist nor had I planned it. I had been searching for my passion for quite a long time and since I’ve always loved creatives stuff, handcrafting and drawing, graphic design seemed like the best choice to study at the time. During my student years, I started to be more interested in art in general; especially illustration, tattoo and street art and I started learning to draw in creative software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I found a job as a graphic designer soon after I had graduated, but had never been able to fit in, so I started drawing as a hobby, just for myself, in order to find a way out of that uptight place that suffocated me, but have never expected it would lead me to the place I am right now.

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Cat girl, Broken isn't bad

I see you have a strong social media following; how long have you had your Instagram page and when did you first start seeing movement on your page and reactions to your art? That must have felt so rewarding?

I opened my Instagram account in January 2016 at the urging of a friend who was among the first ones I showed my drawings to. As I can recall, it was only a few months after opening it that I started receiving positive comments, tattoo, and commission requests and started seeing a linear growth in following. Since then, everything has been surreal and happened so fast. I’m not sure how exactly I’ve built my loyal fan page, it somehow happened by itself, maybe because I wasn’t expecting anything and was true and honest with myself, so people found something familiar in my work, something to relate to. It has been definitely rewarding!

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"Happiness, Broken isn't bad"

Being an artist or creative is never an easy path in regards to making a living, and Croatia is a country which can be tough in general. How has your journey been and can you make a living just doing what you love?

The first year (2016) was the most difficult because I needed to balance my day job and my hobby (I mostly drew in the late evenings and nights), but at the same time, it was most enjoyable because I was working just for myself and didn’t worry about how many people liked my work or were buying from me. But the most challenging was quitting my full-time and well-paid job in 2017. If you're going to dedicate yourself to starting your own creative business, it's impossible to manage another career/job. In other words, you have to quit your day job and walk away from a steady long-term opportunity for something unpredictable and scary. You never know how profitable your business will be in the future, will you be able to give yourself a pay-check every month or whether customers will like your products. That was the greatest challenge I’ve experienced so far, but I’m so happy I followed my heart.

In 2018 I opened a legal small business here in Croatia, and I am now able to make a decent living by selling my prints and working on customised artworks. It’s the most rewarding and enjoyable job ever. Being my own boss, I love that I have flexibility in schedule. Having that work-life balance keeps me engaged and excited.

Coming from NZ which, in general, has a very optimistic attitude and moving to Croatia, one of the biggest differences I noticed was the mentality. I dont know how many times I have heard the phrase “ne može to” or “that wont work” – did you find the same in regards to pursuing a life in the arts?

Being born in the northern part of Croatia - Međimurje, I am lucky enough to be raised with a different mentality than it is in the south. To be honest, I have never heard the phrase “ne može to” here where I live, and I didn’t have any difficulties in regards to pursuing a life in the arts – especially not coming from other people telling me that it won’t work. My family and my friends have never discouraged me, just the opposite - they have been there on my side from the first day. When I told them that I was planning on quitting my job before I found a new one - they were nothing but reassuring, believing in me, my talent, and abilities.

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I trust you, Broken isn't bad

Social media is a powerful platform (its how I found you on Insta!) has this been one of your strongest tools or how else have you marketed yourself and your art?

Instagram has definitely been my strongest promotional tool since I opened it in 2016 and it keeps being such. I made Facebook page a year later, but it’s not that powerful and I don’t spend as much time there as on IG. I get most inquiries for commissions, tattoos, and prints, as well as nice words of support from my followers, via Instagram and it’s the easiest way to communicate with them.

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Love is Love, Broken isn't Bad

You have some beautiful, thought-provoking and powerful pieces; I loved seeing the same-sex option for your artwork in regards to love. In a very conservative country, this is a bold (and beautiful) move, what are your thoughts on this?

Sexuality for me means revealing the inner self and showing your vulnerability but at the same time, embracing it as your greatest strength. Most of my illustrations depict naked women and I try to mix eroticism with familiarity and surrealism – to show we are so much more than just skin and bone. With my illustrations I try to help individuals feel good about themselves, to find that invincible power which connects them with their inner selves in order to create a positive relationship both with themselves and with their partners – and I don’t want it to be exclusive to heterosexual people/couples – we are all human being and deserve the right to express our own sexuality.

Fortunately, majority of my following is from the US, Australia, Canada or Western Europe where those “controversial” pieces aren’t an issue. Growing up in Croatia where everyone who does not look or behave in accordance with general social norms provokes negative glances and cannot feel safe in their own neighbourhood, definitely plays a role in what people find offensive, provocative or controversial. I understand my work can be seen as a direct insult to peoples’ religious beliefs, but I try to ignore the negative comments and reactions and focus on an audience that values freedom of expression.

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"Lotus Man", Broken isn't bad

I saw on your page that you are inspired by your own thoughts, experiences but also by a lot of poetry are these your main inspirations and who are you favourite poets?

For me drawing is a form of meditation. I mostly create for myself (at least that was in the beginning) in order to express what I see and feel for my own self-healing purposes. Ever since I was little (and used to read a lot more than nowadays), I have been writing all those wise words from books, articles, songs, movies in my diaries. It was the quotes that led me to drawing and made me discover my true passion, so for me, it isn't just about quoting somebody else's words, it's about creating something out of it and healing myself at the same time.

My greatest source of inspiration has been words from poets and writers, like Rumi, F. Pessoa, P. Neruda, M. Angelou, E.E. Cummings, R.M. Rilke, O. Wilde, R. Payne, H. Murakami, F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few, but I am also interested in yoga philosophy, astrology and spirituality, therefore, the quotes from motivational and spiritual speakers/teachers have also influenced my work quite a lot.

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"Meditation", Broken isn't Bad

Which Croatian artists or authors do you admire or have been the greatest inspiration for you?

My greatest inspirations have been tattoo artists across the world who I have been admiring on Instagram and other social media for years. I’ve been always a big fan of tattoos and would say that tattoo art actually drew me to my style. Unfortunately, not many Croatian tattoo artists are there that would inspire me, since the scene is still quite small in our country. But I’d love to mention a few other artists who I admire very much; Korovles, Maja Tomljanović, Lara Zigic, Kvar illustration, Klarxy, 3Oko, Hana Tintor…

In these crazy times of the coronavirus pandemic, many are losing their jobs but I see it could be an opportunity for some especially in regards to online work or using social media to our advantage. If you were to give one piece of advice to the youth of Croatia in regards to the opportunities that exist (if you believe they do), what would that be?

I would say go for it! Go for your dreams and follow your passion - there’s nothing to lose! Honestly, I don’t think I would have an art career without Instagram. It has definitely been vital for turning my hobby into career, and I’m always happy to see and be able to follow new young illustrators/painters/DIY workers/musicians/hand-makers etc., especially from Croatia.

Permanent Internet access and use of social media have played a big role in artistic world and have opened up the opportunities for many people to curate their own personal gallery on social networks, build their own client base and spread their artistic message into the world. Even artists who use traditional techniques increasingly use digital technology to expose their work making it more approachable to a wider audience. Art is becoming more popular and we are starting to see a wider array of artist and their vision that otherwise would be overlooked.

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"Escape the Ordinary", Broken isn't bad

What would you say to anyone else who has an artists heart but doubts they can make it?

Do not compare yourself to others, you are neither better nor worse than those next to you – we all have our place in this world. Pave your own way and most importantly – be honest with what you create, stay humble, grateful and aware of your mistakes as well as your achievements. It always shows new potentials and ways to evolve and grow your craft. Magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid.

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"I don't owe you", Broken isn't bad

Closing comments

The world is undoubtedly an uncertain and scary place at the moment but words (and art) like this remind me that there is still beauty in the world. This is by far one of my most favourite interviews, a breath of fresh air with honest and inspiring responses – follow your heart, stay true to yourself, take the risk, act with humility and gratitude… timeless messages that we all need to be reminded of from time-to-time. If you want to see more from Sanda, you can find her works on Instagram under broken_isnt_bad or check out her website for prints and more information.

 

 

All images were provided by broken_isnt_bad and are subject to copyright.

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