PETER ŠKERL (1973) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and graduated in visual communications design.  He has been self-employed in culture since 2002. Although he belongs to the younger generation, he has an extensive illustration opus behind him. He already showed his artistic talent at various competitions as a primary pupil. As a student at secondary school for design he made a short cartoon film ‘Three Caterpillars’ and provided the artwork for several periodical books. At the Academy of Fine Art and Design of the University of Ljubljana, he developed illustration into a creative, design and imaginative totality. With a feeling for illustrating book contents, he used various painting techniques and their combination in developing his own artistic expression. He co-created theatre and puppet performances, at first as an amateur actor and later also as artistic designer. He did the set for the puppet shows ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Mr Constantine’s Hat’, ‘Wormitch and the Sticky Substance’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

The book Marshlanders has drawn a lot of attention both at home and abroad. It has been awarded with Hinko Smrekar Award – the highest illustrator’s Award in Slovenia. It was listed among 200 books for children and young adults from the whole world – The White Ravens 2014 and exhibited at the Bologna 2014.

 

Peter Škerl has been awarded  several times: Kristina Brenkova Award – Original Slovene Picture Book Award (2007, 2016, 2018). He has been three times nominated for ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) (2016, 2017, 2018) and twice for HCCA (Hans Christian Andersen Award) (2017, 2018).

He still like to experiment, mainly illustrate for children and he particularly enjoy it because children react quickly and openly to his work.

AWARDS IN THE FIELD OF CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATION:

  • Ideata da manlio menaglia promossa dalla rivista delle nazioni, Roma, 2001
  • The Hinko Smrekar Award in Recognition of a Young Artists, Ljubljana, 2002
  • Award for Best Designed Children’s Book, Ljubljana, 2007
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Izola, 2008 (Mr. Konstantin’s Hat)
  • The Hinko Smrekar Award, 2012 (Marshlanders)
  • The Levstik Award, 2013 (Marshlanders)
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2016 (About a Cow that Barked at the Moon)
  • Listed for the IBBY Honour List, 2017
  • Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2018 (A Cup of Coffee)

NOMINATIONS:

  • Nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Nomination for Andersen’s prize (2017, 2018)

A SELECTION OF PUBLISHED WORKS:

  • A Tramp and a night Light, Svetlana Makarovič, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2019
  • Near us there lives a Girl, Ida Mlakar Črnič, Peter Škerl, Sodobnost Publishing House, 2019
  • Boriški ban, Fran Milčinski, Peter Škerl, Sanje Publishing House, 2019
  • A Cup of Coffee, Ivan Cankar, Peter Škerl, Miš Publishing House, 2018
  • Butalci, Fran Milčinski, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2017
  • The Golden Pear Tree, Fran Milčinski, Peter Škerl, Sanje Publishing House, 2017
  • About the Tiny Little Soul That Coudn’t Get Into Heaven, Fran Milčinski, Peter Škerl, Sanje Publishing House, 2017
  • The Fairy, Fran Milčinski, Peter Škerl, Sanje Publishing House, 2017
  • My Neighbour up there, Peter Svetina, Peter Škerl, Sodobnost Publishing House, 2017
  • Speckles the Ball, Jan Malik, Peter Škerl, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2016
  • Hačepsut, Helena Kraljič, Peter Škerl, Morfem Publishing House, 2016
  • About a Cow that Barked at the Moon, Ida Mlakar, Peter Škerl, Miš Publishing House, 2015
  • Nefertiti, Helena Kraljič, Peter Škerl, Morfem Publishing House, 2015
  • Kleopatra, Helena Kraljič, Peter Škerl, Morfem Publishing House, 2015
  • Andrej can’t sleep, Barbara Simoniti, Peter Škerl, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2014
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell, Peter Škerl, Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, 2014
  • Where Do Animals Live?, Barbara Hanuš, Pete Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2013
  • We Are Different, We Are Friends, Barbara Hanuš, Peter Škel, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2013
  • Marshlanders: Tales from the Greenwood Forest, Barbara Simoniti, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2012
  • Nowbody Knows: Parables in Comics and Verse, Nataša Konc Lorenzutti, Peter Škerl, Družina Publishing House, 2011
  • When Tortoise Is Lost, Desa Muck, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2009
  • Where do the good men live?, Zdravko Duša, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2008
  • Konstantin’s Hat, Peter Svetina, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2007
  • Oh, these Doctors!, Cvetka Sokolov, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2007
  • You Never Know at Night, Cvetka Sokolov, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2006
  • Pinocchio Reads for his Reading Badge, Tilka Jamnik, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2006
  • Through Seven Fairytale Lands, Manka Kremenšek Križman, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2005
  • School’s Not for Me!, Cvetka Sokolov, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing House, 2005
  • Pika in the Library, Tilka Jamnik, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2004
  • Red House, Cvetka Sokolov, Peter Škerl, Mladinska knjiga Publishing house, 2004
  • Ladybugs, Vojan Tihomir Arhar, Peter Škerl, Mladika Publishing house, 2003
  • Earthworms, Špela Kuclar, Peter Škerl, DZS, 2003
  • How to Become an Earthworm, Špela Kuclar, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2001
  • Dad, That Was Really Cool, Zdenek Sverak, Peter Škerl, DZS Publishing House, 2000

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS:

  • International Illustrators Group Exhibition Ideata da Manlio Menaglia promossa della rivista delle nazioni, Rim, Italy, 2001
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Lična hiša Gallery, Ajdovščina, 2004
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Municipal library, Ljubljana, 2005
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Gallery of the Liznjek House, Kranjska Gora, 2005
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Where good men live, Sončnica Gallery, Ljubljana, 2009
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Konstantin’s Hat, Srečko Kosovel Library, Sežana, 2009
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Baraga Gallery, Trebnje, 2009
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter – Midrash stories Echo of Silence, Anton Martin Slomšek Diocesan Gymnasium, Maribor, 2011
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Illustration Relates, Gallery of the municipal library, Grosuplje, 2012
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Marshlanders, Glass atrium the town hall, Ljubljana, 2013
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Konstantin’s Hat, Municipal library, Kranj, 2013
  • International Illustrators Group Exhibition, Hiii Illustration, 2014
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Marshlanders, Lek Gallery, Ljubljana, 2014
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Animal Farm, Glass atrium of the town hall, Ljubljana, 2014
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Gallery Inštitut Jožef Stefan, Ljubljana, 2015
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Animal Farm, Gallery Simulaker, Novo mesto, 2015
  • International Illustrators Group Exhibition »Sentieri Illustrati«, Galleria Sagittaria Pordenone, Italija, 2016
  • Retrospective exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl, Maribor Public Library, Maribor, 2017
  • Little Hakka International Picture Book Exhibition, Gankeng Hakka Town, Shenzhen, Kitajska, 2017
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Animal Farm, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Sarajevo, Bosna and Hercegovina, 2017
  • International Illustrators Group Exhibition »Sentieri Illustrati«, Galleria Sagittaria Pordenone, Italija, 2018
  • Exhibition by Illustrator Peter Škerl – Cankar’s Short Story “Cup Of Coffee”, Music Pavilion in Petar Kočić Park, Banja Luka, 2019
  • International Illustrators Group Exhibition KURI, GLAN, GLAN, Pokrajinski muzej Ptuj, 2020

His ilustrations have been selected to be shown at several major illustrations events, including:

  • Biennale of Slovene Illustration, Ljubljana, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2016
  • OBI (Oita Bienniale of Illustrations), Tokyo, Japan, 2004
  • Croatian Biennale of Illustration, Zagreb, 2006, 2010
  • 2nd International Illustration Blue Book Group Fair, Teheran, Iran, 2009
  • Bologna children’s book fair, Illustrators annual 2014
  • Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava, 2015, 2017, 2019

»Peter Škerl has created his own recognisable artistic language, which lives in harmony with the text and adds to it. His illustrations are distinguished by a sensitive depiction of mood, created by pictorially rich colour surfaces. The painted story supplements the text by creating and identifying the place of the events, providing the literary figures with visible characteristics, which potentiate their characters, and by dynamics. The illustrator achieves this with changing points of view, elements that encourage the movement of the pages onwards, page turners, and lines that show movement (he transfers from the world of comics to pictures, sometimes barely noticeable but extremely effective, so-called motion lines).« /Grounds for nomination: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2016, 2017, 2018 – Illustrator nomination, Peter Škerl, Slovenia/

»Škerl’s work is distinguished by delicate, cultivated drawing with a mass of precisely drawn details and inventive compositions. A particular added value of the author’s illustrations is given by  unconventional use of colour, which sets chromatic relations in a completely new, original manner – so that the colour convincingly adopts the atmosphere not just of the story itself but also the prevailing characteristics of the time in which both the text and the illustrations are set.« /Smrekar Award, 2012: Močvirniki/ Marshlanders (Statement)/

 

»Peter Škerl’s illustrations are exceptional artistic works, which simply breathe the text. The illustrator adapts himself so much to the text, which carefully describes the nature of swamps and the life of those that live in them, that he is completely immersed in the author’s ambient. Because of the nature of the story, he remained completely faithful to the events and his sensitive drawings of the animal heroes of the narrative are fully harmonised in terms of tone with the dull green swamp colouring, which gives the depictions a characteristic atmosphere and thus goes far beyond mere artistic description. He achieves a mysterious charm in his pictures, which is also radiated by the most concealed nature of the undergrowth, amphibians and insects and he has created simultaneously a monumental and delicately sensitive work, in which the full page illustrations, as well as the vignettes are much more than an indispensable part of the integral literary work of art. Such a book transforms reading into a real aesthetic luxury, which links the beauty of art and nature.« /IBBY Honour List Illustrator 2014: Simoniti, Barbara: Močvirniki/ Marshlanders (Statement)/