Martin Miškolci is an artist / designer living in Slovakia with a passion for cars. He creates automotive illustrations and prints for a living under his brand, Petrolified. The final, side-on artwork of the famous vehicles are just part of the process, so we spent some time getting to know Miškolci and learning how he works on a bespoke piece from start to finish.
Stable: When did you begin illustrating and start creating automotive illustrations?
Miškolci: I’ve had a pencil in my hand ever since I remember, and all I used to draw was cars. I think it just came naturally to me. Drawing and painting was always something I was passionate about, and over time it all just developed in to using digital tools instead of the traditional.
S: What tips do you have for someone looking to get into your field?
M: Just get the work you have out there, share it with the public and never stop striving for improvement. I’m personally never satisfied, and I always try to do my next artwork better than the one before. It’s a curse and a blessing at the same time as you spend huge amounts of hours trying to improve the smallest details, that only you might ever appreciate.
S: You offer bespoke illustrations of cars. What is the most interesting, or rarest, car that you’ve illustrated?
M: I’ve been lucky enough to have owners of some amazing cars hang my artworks on their walls. I’ve done a few bespoke Miuras, quite a bunch of 911Rs. All the time, I hear stories about the importance that these vehicles have to the owners or their families.
S: Do you have a favourite car you like to illustrate? What’s the story behind that car that makes you like it so much?
M: The 911 has such an iconic shape. It has to be one of my favourites, but if I had to pick just one it’d have to be the BMW M1. There’s something alluring and different about it’s design that wasn’t matched in it’s era.
S: What’s the hardest part of illustrating a car from start to finish?
M: The resource images! I spend up to five hours just researching the car and looking for good, high resolution images on the internet. I try to capture the cars from the same perspective, and point of view, each time so it’s never easy to make do with what’s available out there. I wish I had access to all the cars, as that would’ve made my life so much easier.
S: What piece of equipment do you think is the most important, or useful, for illustration?
M: A powerful computer is essential when you’re working with the level of detail, and amount of Photoshop layers, that I do. Each illustration is made up of more than 1,000 layers – different shapes. Rendering them all in real time puts a huge load on the computer.
M: Even though I don’t draw the shapes free hand, having a graphic tablet is very handy too. It’s a bit more precise and comfortable when working long hours.
S: What other artists or illustrators do you get inspiration from?
M: With the rise of social media, you can draw inspiration from all sorts of artists around the globe. To name a few, my Czech neighbours Unique & Limited, who are very well known for recreating special moments in automotive history, or Guy Allen is someone whose work I look up to, especially his ability to play with beautiful colour palettes.
S: Do you have any plans for Petrolified in the future?
M: Of course! In the near future you will see a new collection as the result of my cooperation with Pagani [Note: this collection is now available on the Petrolified website]. As always though, the list of ideas is endless and it’s just a matter of time and effort for me to be able to bring them to life!
Thank you for your time!
A massive thanks to Martin from Petrolified for joining us for this interview.