This nationwide conference of illustrators, which is the first of its kind in Slovakia and, since 2012, has been organized by ASIL (Association of Illustrators) in cooperation with the Town Library under the auspices of the Mayor of Piešťany Ing. Remo Cicutto. Illustrators, graphic artists, designers, and book publishers all meet in the Piešťany Town Library to discuss current issues concerning their work and to facilitate mutual cooperation.
The topic of the first conference of illustrators was “Book as a Visual Whole: Illustration and Graphic Design”. The main ambition of the conference in 2012 was to, through discussions and the mutual exchange of ideas and opinions of the participants, to positively influence the quality of the visual aspect of currently published literature as well as to facilitate greater mutual cooperation between all those in attendance. Many personalities from the Slovak and Czech literary scene including illustrators, graphic designers, typographers, and publishers took part in this two-day meeting in the Town Library. Their contributions led to professional discussions about the level of Slovak books from the an illustrator’s perspective, the needs and opportunities of small and large publishers, the quality of mutual communication, and book typography, as well as about alternative forms for the graphic layout of illustrated books. An accompanying event at this conference of illustrators was a joint opening of two exhibitions – the Piešťany designer Michal Staško presented his collection of bean bag chairs and the illustrator Mária Nerádová displayed her original artistic work a “Slovak-Czech picture dictionary for Children”.
The second year of this nationwide conference of illustrators happened in 2013, subtitled “How Illustrators Lose their Illusions: Finding an illustrator’s place in the labour market“. During these two days in the Town Library nearly fifty illustrators spent time dealing with current issues in this field of creative art. The goal of PIKTO13 was to introduce, by means of lectures from international professionals, the illustrators to opportunities in the commercial sphere, to highlight the missed opportunities and to offer alternative possibilities for presentations. As an accompanying event to the conference the Town Library held the opening of two exhibitions. At the first one “Sami sebe“ (By themselves) the Slovak artists Miloš Kopták, Ľuboslav Paľo, Tomáš Klepoch, Matúš Maťátko, Daniela Olejníková, Mária Nerádová and Petra Hilbert presented their unique artistic books. Under the name “The New Rising of Slniečko (the Sun)“ submissions in the competition for the new graphic layout , header and logo for the oldest children’s magazine in Slovakia were presented. Part of the program also included a presentation of the newest release by the ASIL – a book by Daniela Olejniková called “Liek pre Vĺčika” (Medicine for a Wolf).