Thursday, 25 October 2007


In 2001 I attended cosmetic course, where I learnt how to tattoate and do the permanent make-up. Since then Im doing it on a quite regular basis. I wouldn't say I actually enjoy torturing people, but imagine the feeling when you touch the skin and you draw a line with the needle, that stays there forever.Its demands a high level of concentration. After doing a big tattoo for several hours, Im completely knackered.

these two are fresh and as you see there is almost no blood, because I use surface anesthetics, which helps me lower the stress which might appear because of pain, and so the time of healing is shorter. Nowadays machines have a kind of feature, which could freeze the part of skin you work on and it completely releases pain stress and there is also no need for expensive anesthetics. But these are expensive toys that I can just dream about now.

Before tattooating customers have to be clear about what and why they want it. I refused few requests, because I haven't agreed with them. There was a girl ,for example, who wanted me to make her a huge spot in the mid of her forehead.

Before tattooating I introduce the customer all the procedures, they also need to know if they have alergic skin reactions. Sometimes I make an unseen probe, so we see how skin reacts. So far I tattooated over 50 people and no one had any problems or complaints.

This is my latest work. I design all by myself, each person has its own and I never repeat them.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication
Programme: Foundation Degree CVA
Project Title: 2nd induvidual Essay
Date of Issue: 12th of February 2007
Level/Year: Level 1, Year 1, Term 2- 3
Unit Title: Contextual Studies
Unit Code: CVA 105
Project Leader: Freddie Gaffney
Author: Anja Tolar

London, May 2007

The Socialization of the Bull
AKA the socialization of Slovenian Animation

“ This ?! This is the story written by a life, story about ambition, naivety, selfishness, revenge, little lies, milk, soup cubes and after all…love!”

Milan Eric, Zvonko Coh

Short PROFILE of Media Product:

Name: “The Socialization of the Bull"

Type: All evening film

Sort: Animation

Technique: 2D, pencil drawn

Genre: comedy

Year: 1998

Length: 78min

Medium: cinema

Language: Slovenian, English subtitles

Premiers: 20th of May 1999 (Slovenia, Kolosej, Ljubljana ) Ottawa 2000 International animation Festival

Country: Slovenia

Studio: E-motion film

Editors:Čoh, Erič

Script: Čoh,Erič,Štandeker,Vujanović

Voices: Grubar, Niko Goršič, Violeta Tomšič, Aleš Valič, Gojmir Lešnjak, Jurij Souček, Maja Sever, Janez Škof, Brane Završan, Zvonko Coh

In spite of having a highly developed broadcasting system in my home country Slovenia, the national TV, cinemas and Ministry of culture have not paid much attention to animation for a long time. The policy of National TV has been mostly limited to the synchronisation of foreign products. Despite all that a few talented, self- financed individualists have still succeeded in launching their short animation projects, which were shown at animation festivals all over the World. Although different influences could be felt in their work (Walt Disney, Czech and the Zagreb school,..), are all of them mostly self-thought. Thanks to two young enthusiasts among them- Milan Eric and Zvonko Coh, who spent almost 13 years behind their light boxes, creating more than 50,000 hand drawn frames, Slovenia has got its first animated all evening film since it became independent.
During my most recent visit home I noticed some differences: Film Fund funds 2-3 animation projects annually and even TV has realised a few short animated children films. But we still do not have an institution which would provide professional circumstances for the study of film animation.There is no such thing as animation as an independent course, not even the subject. It is optional and integrated into other subjects such as Illustration and Video.The realisation of projects lies upon the shoulders of the initiative of individuals. Some work done is of a high quality, but the effort of it's producers rarely pays off due to a lack of commercial advertising of their own work.The only rare chance to represent their work are in animation festivals.
Slovenian film production has always been relatively modest in its output, but over the last 10 years, an exciting and accomplished group of new producers and directors have emerged. Thanks in part to the creation of the Slovenian Film Fund in 1995; Slovenian cinema has become increasingly popular within its own market, catching the attention of a new domestic audience as well as attracting filmgoers and awards abroad. In 2001, Slovenia celebrated the 10th anniversary of its independence and the Canadian Film Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of Slovenia, presented the collection of debut films by promising young directors whose films tell fascinating, daring and amusing tales of a society in transition.This was the first time when a bizarre animated tale of hair-loss, evolution and a bull “The Socialization of the Bull” was shown to the international public. (18)

Professor Raisin is a world famous geneticist seeking a formula to stimulate hair-growth and restore his head of hair. With the help of his less well-known brother, Bruno and his attractive assistant Marta, Raisin intends to accelerate evolution starting with a single cell of his hair. Meanwhile, far away, on the edge of the Andromeda constellation, the King Father has been forced to banish his son, the Prince. Having been caught smoking a cigar, an act that could lead to the “anti-evolution” of the King Father’s entire planet, the Prince is transformed into a bull and sent to Earth where he must learn to fend for himself. The prince-bull finds himself in Professor Raisin’s lab, where the tales of evolution and anti-evolution collide and intervene. (15)
When researching the narrative sight of “The Bull” and its influences I noticed a slight similarity with our first all evening STOP MOTION animated film Zvezdica zaspanka (Crt Skodlar 1965) …The motive of sending someone to the new world, full of different traps, where this protagonist has to prove and not only change itself but also the world around. I can see a great similarity with the hidden idea of Slovenianship- the desire after independency, which was in post-war Yugoslavia just an unimaginable dream, but in the 90s when we The Bull was made- already a goal in the pocket. So The Bull in this context could also be seen as a symbol for Slovenia itself. A little country, for centuries dependent on others, suddenly gets independence and is sent on a try out into a Big World of western policy. From this point of view I could assume that the motif of an unsocializated bull could mean a slight PARODY on our political circumstances.


Talking about the genre in animation, not only that animation itself could be considerd as a genre on its own, but there exists a few different theories about how we can divide it into different groups. Some theorists in our media field make a distinction between commercial-industrial and artistic experimental animation. The first one is done with a stong emphasis on popularity and a wide distribution of a mass production and in most cases loses quality. It builds on a simple understandable narration and popularity of its characters.
»With the intention of distribution of an animated series a cheap technique of imitated animation (also: reduced animation) developed…, where the mass production of its same like pale heroes got its own place.« (Rakezić, 1998)
Meanwhile more complex, artistic experimental animation stays in the domain of closed circles and there are rare opportunities to see it on a big screen .For this reason few animation festivals were formed on our ground (Biennale of Slovenian Animation in Isola, Animateka in Ljubljana and Film festival in Portorose).
When working with different animation mediums myself, I noticed that even technique (whether it is 3D CG, 2D drawn or CG or stop motion) affects the narration in some ways and so we could talk about different genres according to the technique used. 2D drawn animation is much more adjustable and allows us some extreme exaggeration and playing with different colour, shapes, which subconsciously plays on our emotions, which could never be reached in the same way in computer generated space. This makes gap between reality and imagination bigger , while 3 dimensional animation with its access into the third spatial dimension and its tensions towards the realistic imaginery leaves less and less space for imagination. The viewer implies his spatial sense into the visual space and quickly becomes an actor himself. (Kren,1998)
Beside all that the usage of analogue or digital media itself also causes a difference in perception. The impression of 24 image analytic sequence of the film tape is very different than 25 (PAL Standards) or even 30 (USA NTSC standards) layered (synthetic) video image. Today the cathode ray tube is slowly getting replaced by LCD and plasma screens which also affects the visual field and so it is in the perception of animation. (Zelena, 2006)
The Socialization of the Bull was a very daring and highly risky attempt to regain the popularity of classical traditional animation as it once had been. But did the work pay off?
“Film with a very complicated structure, not at all characheristic for a drawn animation, … , evoked broad professional interest. Considering subtle pencil variations of a grey scale and few colourful details accents is the author’s handwriting very organic and influential.” (Strnad, 2000)

Searching for information about an audience’s opinion I encountered this interesting recension of one of our important film critics: “There is no manipulation, lies or other concerns of contemporary Hollywood animation production and luckily also no “Slovenian film complex”, it is simply an interesting, intelligent product that has no intention of digging after any deeper global truths (which might be the viewer’s first impression)…But it could also be its failure. The film’s intention to entertain the viewer does not succeed as it’s simply not humourous enough. But the most painful loss of the product is definitely in its script, which fundamentally decreases the worth of ten years efforts of its creators. The film is worthy of your attention, but do not expect to get much more out of it.”
This hand-drawn adult comedy caused an absolute boom in cinemas all over the country when it was first represented to the home public, sadly left small impact on future animation production and international audiences due to a lack of further advertising, the undeveloped art market in Slovenia and an uneducated public for this kind of an artistic expression.
Easier accesibility and availability of digital media today raised the interest and production of individual animated shorts, but for anything bigger than that the obedience of national and other institutions is needed, which at this point still isn not favourable disposed enough to this kind of artistic attempts. My opinion is that a higher level of visual public education could also contribute to better production of animation, this is why I think it is crucial to intigrate animated film into the youth's educational system. So once they become adults they are able to criticaly evaluate and distinguish this kind of product of art, not only as marked »for children«.

Postmodernism is also a time when marginal arts got a different, more valuable place. Maybe the future will support the emergence of new creations of a few brave individuals who still fight for its existence.
Although some might be concerned about the future of classical animation in the times of blossoming computer generated production, the first one still has its own fans and kept its popularity among viewers, which could be seen on the rich visit of home and international festivals.There are still some small production companies, who are opened for fresh and innovative experimental approaches and praised although they haven not jumped on a commercially popular animation band wagon.


01. The Catalogue of 2nd Slovenian Animation Festival. (2000). Information taken on 25.5.2007, from
02. The Catalogue of 3rd Slovenian Animation Festival. (2003). Information taken on 25.5.2007. from
03. Borčič, M., Umetnostna vzgoja, Osnove filmske umetnosti; priročnik za učitelje. (Fine Art. The Essences of Film Art; The Manual for Lecturers), Ljubljana1981, Mladinska knjiga.
04. Erzetič, B. 3D in navidezna resničnost.( Seeming Reality), Klik, The magazine for Creative Computer Sciences (75), Ljubljana 2005,p. 22-24.
05. Film Fund of Republic of Slovenia, The Socialization of the Bull? Information taken on 25.5.2007. from
06. Film Fund. Kastelic, D., The 6th Festival of Slovenian Film. (2003)., Information taken on 25.5.2007. from
07. Kren, S., Teorija animiranega znaka.(The Theory of Animated Sign, The Bachelor Degree) Diplomsko delo, Maribor1998, University of Maribor, The Faculty of Pedagogy.
08. Misak, Kako nastaja animirani film?(The Creation of Animated Film), 2004. Information taken on 25.5.2007. from
09. Nemanič I. Filmsko gradivo Slovenskega filmskega arhiva pri Arhivu Republike Slovenije, Dokumentarni, igrani in animirani film.(Film Material from Slovenian Film Archives, Documentary, feature and animated Film), Ljubljana 1998Archive of Republic of Slovenia.
10. Animateka. Radešček, B. (2004). Slovenski klasični animirani film. information taken on 25.5.2007. from
11. Animateka. (2004). Radešček, B. (2004). Slovenski klasični animirani film. Information taken on 25.5.2007. from
12. Rakezić, S. Strip in animirani film – zgodovina neke povezave. V I. Prassel, Strip, animacija, film: součinkovanje v umetnosti. (Strip and Animated Film) Ljubljana1998, Slovenska kinoteka.
13.SloCartoon. The page of Cartoon Fans, information taken on 25.5.2007. from
14. Strnad, I. (2000). Slovenski animirani film.(Slovenian Animated Film. Archives,), XXIII (2), p.107-116
15. The contents of the Solcialization of the Bull, Infromation taken on 25.5.2007, from
16. The description of the film, Information taken on 25.5.2007, from
17. The description of the film, Information taken on 25.5.2007, from
18.Ottawa International Animation Festival, Information taken on 25.5.2007, from
19. Zelena, G., Izsek iz filmske animacije, seminarska naloga 2006.( A Cut from Film Animation, Essay 2006.), Information taken on 25.5.2007, from
15. The Interview with Milan Eric, my Lecturer on Academy of Fine Arts and Design of Ljubljana and the creator of The Socialization of the Bull, Ljubljana, London 2007, contact no. 00386 31 210 284.
NOTE: Due to the limited availability of Slovenian literature within the UK it has been necessary to source the bulk of my essay from the internet.

My Essay about Brother's Quay

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication

Foundation Degree CVA

1st individual report

2nd October 2006

Level 1, Year 1, Term 1

Contextual Studies

CVA 102

Project Leader: Freddie Gaffney

The Epic of Gilgamesh
by Brothers Quay

“We want to make a world that is seen through a dirty plane of glass.”
– The Brothers Quay

Essay written by: Anja Tolar

London, November 2006


Up: “Dramolet” and “The Comb”, down: “Are We Still Married” and “Anamorphosis”

Based on my personal experience (study of painting on Fine Arts Academy of Ljubljana, and Master Degree study of Photography and other related media) beside my Slovan cultural origins, this short synopsis represents and continues theses and ideas developed in my Diploma’s thesis about psychological portrait in painting and my Master thesis about the impact of socially concerned photography.

I started to pay an attention to the work of enigmatic identical twins, Stephen and Timothy Quay, after some of their animated films were represented to my class and evoked strong negative reactions. Consuming their work with admiration I felt isolated. Nobody liked them, but everybody spoke about them. The mechanics of this phenomena interests me.

American by birth and English by adoption (studied on Royal College of Art, London), they turned from illustrators into one of most accomplished animation artists of recent years. Their inspiration emerges from an eccentric mixture of fantastic décor18 and grotesque puppetry captured into a claustrophobic, hermetically preserved marginal Freudian microcosms, controlled by ingenious alchemy of unconscious dream world of metaphor and seemingly more associative than narrative visual poetry.14

Historical inspiration and narrative frame

Up: “Nocturna Artificialia”, down: “Cabinet Jana Švankmajera”

The Quays often base their animations on the work of other writers and artists. Predominately taking their influence from East European art and literature, their films have been adaptations of texts by Schulz, Walser, Kafka and Carroll. Visually, their imagery is a hybrid constructed from the depths of art history: Ernst, Bacon, Arcimboldo, Fragonard, Bosch and Escher all make fleeting appearances within their work.
Unnameable Little Broom or Little Songs of the Chief of Hunar Louse (Being a Largely Disguised Reduction of the Epic of Gilgamesh), Tableau II (1985), relates more to predecessor animation films as The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, from which it borrows few main visual motifs and progresses them into a series of complex constructions: the use of drawers and tables as devices and as mechanisms, the transformation of meaning within an object through juxtaposition and the influence of Surrealism to create a psychosexual drama.19
The Quays kept the original frame of the story in which the toddler King of Sumeria, Gilgamesh, in order to defeat his rival, wild man of the steppes- Enkidu, sends him a prostitute as a trap. Inspired by a drawing of a mad Swiss painter Anton Muller, They recreated the main character into a flat puppet with both eyes in the middle of fade face, riding a bicycle. An angel/insect like phantom, glued with feathers , mandibles, bird cartilage3 and shell eyes- became Enkidu.
The second title This Unnameable Little Broom has more personal connotations for the creators and refers to “the pretty bureaucrat (in the London visa office, who was trying to deport them due to a lapsed visa) who feels it is his duty to sweep everything clean” 3. To make this implication a little more obvious, 'hunar louse' is a reference to the Office of Immigration and Passport Control based in Lunar House, Croydon. This Unnameable Little Broom could be seen to reflect a paranoia of the Institution or of an outside force attempting to corrupt the established order. As a theme, losing control reoccurs subtly throughout the Quays' work.19

The “metaphysics of Obscenity” -meanings
Up: “in absentia”, down: “Phantom Museum”

the Quays describe Gilgamesh's kingdom as one that is “an entirely hermetic universe literally suspended out of time in a black void” 3 The pale yellow shadow-mottled walls are inscribed with calligraphic text and its seemingly vast expanse is randomly broken up by square holes from which medical hooks occasionally project. A table – a mechanism and a trap – concealing female genitalia within one of its drawers, stands at the centre of Gilgamesh's domain.19 High above this space are strung high-tension wires, vibrating in the wind, one caught with a broken tennis racquet, a private icon used in previous works. They express the whole idea of pathological symbolism (Enkidu’s catapult to electrocution adulates orgasm).
As a symbolic construction, Gilgamesh's world is one of evil and deceit, simultaneously encoded with psychosexual tension and personal resonance for the Quays. The medical hooks, the rusting scissors, the razor sharp high-tension wires and the sound of a chainsaw all imply a castration theme, emphasised not just by the violent mechanical trap that Gilgamesh sets but also by the sequence in which he places two eggs on a slicing wicket, positioning them where his own testicles should be.3 Such brutal and sexually violent imagery would continue to reoccur in the brothers' films, most notably in Street of Crocodiles, where organic materials are organised into representations of male genitals, pierced with a hundred tailor's pins.19
Impact on Audiences

Up: “Street of Crocodile” and “Look What the Cat Drug In”, down: “Epic of Gilgamesh”

To bring their puppets to life, the brothers work painstakingly frame after frame of static postures, building them up into the semblance of motion.6 With their experimental techniques of extreme camera angles, fast 180-degree reversals, uncomfortable view points, whip-pans, extreme close-ups, symbolic usage of music (childlike for Gilgamesh), suggestive sound effects ( saw - his mutilation) and mysterious lightning they create, inside the film, the illusion of an active, anonymus power and dramatise the viewer’s role.6

Although it is hardly enough to attract the very conscious, rational and critically-minded modern adult, the puppet- “human being as if” 10, with it’s archaic powers of suggestion, still offers specific aesthetic experience and, by arousing the perpetual child dormant in every adult, also has moral significance.

Viewers will find the echoes of their own experience in this hermetic, cryptic, seductive little film, whose conflict is between infantile and adult sexuality- mutually exclusive epistemologies.3


The work of Brothers Quay clearly reflects the constantly alternating spirit of postmodernity. The pasticchio of different influences, mixture of traditional and modern technical approaches, variety of different meanings, interaction between legitime and legalised , alienation of a being and reistic objectification of the world are all signs that echo a new era in artistic expression, a byproduct of commodity culture and post-industrial society at the turn of the century.

Although obviously not a mainstream adult animation, with its technical excellence and intriguing puppet imagery, has immediate impact on viewers any kind. The metaphors in their films could be thought about in many contexts: poverty, hunger, madness, solitude, plurality of margins. 12 The multifaceted mode of expression haven’t only earned admiration of animation directors, film students, visual artists, literary scholars, philosophers, but also projected itself into works of child animation, like Toy Story and lately, as they “signed the contract with the devil”5 and produced video clips, stage décors, advertisements, and dance videos, also gained respect of wider, non-artistically educated public.


1. The Brothers Quay Collection. Ten Astonishing Short Films. DVD,1984-1993.

2. HAMES, Peter, Dark Alchemy. The Films of Jan Svankmajer, Flicks Books, Wiltshire 1995.

3. WEINER, Steve, The Quay Brothers’ The Epic of Gilgamesh and the ‘metaphysics of obscenity’, in J. Pilling (ed.), A Reader in Animation Studies, London, John Libbey & Company, 1997, p. 25–37.

4. ROMNEY, Jonathan, Life is a Dream, Sight and Sound, December 1995, p.12-15.

5. GOODEVE, Nichols Thyrza, Dream Team: Thyrza Nichols Goodeve Talks with the Brothers Quay. Brothers Quay, Artforum, April 1996, XXXIV, No. 8, p. 83-85, 118, 126.

6. ROMNEY, Jonathan, The Same Dark Drift, Sight and Sound, March 1992, p. 24-27.

7. FELPERIN, Leslie, Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life, Sight and Sound, December 1995, p. 46.

8. SADL, Zdenka, Usoda custev v zahodni civilizaciji (The Destiny of Emotions in Western Civilistaion), Sophia, Ljubljana 1999.

9. BUSSEL, Jan, The Puppet Theatre, Faber and Faber limited, London 19 6…, str. 13-21 and 132-140.

10. V.I.D.M., The Puppet Theatre of the Modern World, George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, London 1967., p. 35-41.

“What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade.”
– The Brothers Quay

Web Resources:

11. Tribute to Raymond Durgnat by The Brothers Quay

12. Through a Glass Darkly: Interview with the Quay Brothers by André Habib

13. Zeitgeist Films The Brothers Quay

15. The Quay Brothers: Choreographed Chiaroscuro, Enigmatic and Sublime by Suzanne Buchan
also: BUCHAN, Suzanne H., “The Quay Brothers: Choreographed Chiaroscuro, Enigmatic and Sublime”, Film Quarterly, Spring 1998, pp. 2–15.

17. Believemedia

18. Brothers Quay: In Absentia

19. Senses of cinema, Stephen and Timothy Quay by James Rose

20. Nova fantazija iz tvornice braće Quay

21. Braća Q - mračna čarolija
also: ATKINSON, Michael, “The Night Countries of the Brothers Quay”, Film Comment, 30, September/October 1994, pp. 36–44.



My diving career CURRICULUM VITAE

My eyes saw the sunlight first on 24th of November 1981, in small ex-Yugoslavian country called Slovenia. I lived between Italian and Austrian border, in the enclosure of Alps, right by high mountain lakes. Since childhood I showed a great interest in exploring nature's variety, which I even deepened with free diving. My parents couldnt get me out of water for hours, although I trained swimming since the age of 5. After 8 years of intense swimming trainings, I changed boring following of bottom lines with gym- at the age of 18 became Master of martial arts and one of first women judges in my country (this is maybe why I have no problems with panick divers).

The same year-2000, I was accepted to Academy of Fine Arts and Design of Ljubljana, Slovenia . Although I mostly researched interpersonal psychical communication (which I also improved with years of summer jobs in sales and tourism), I kept my love to water. After family and my personal tragedy in 2003 I found scuba diving as the most helpful theraphy. I did first 2 stars of CMAS at home, mostly diving in Adriatic Sea.

In the beginning of 2004 I did first trip to Jordan, got on well with all the stuff in Dive Aqaba Divecentre, especially with my later on instructor- Gareth Bruce, and consequentialy crossed over to PADI- first Rescue and then DM internship. At one of my trips downthere I met one of our most famous underwater photographers, Andrej Voje and became his photo model, which is not very thankful job to do, but I learnt a lot, especially about underwater photo equipment, rare aquatic life sorts and also my diving skills improved.

My Red Sea fairy tale ended up when I had to get back home and finish my study of painting. On 29th of September I did my Bachelor Degree and was assigned an academic adress. Right after it I got accepted to Master degree study of visual communications design. My main subject is Photography.

Totally into this art I regularly attend any kind of courses. I just finished one that was held by one of our most famous documentary photographers, working also for National Geographic, Arne Hodalič.

There is not a plenty of study literature written in my home language, so I mostly study in foreign languages, like English, German and Serbo-Croatian. Which are all my second languages. Then I also learnt little bit of Italian and Arabic in order to achieve easier understanding and better correspondence with co-diving stuff and customers.

My diving future plans are to become instructor and specialise myself in working with people with special needs. To develop better understaning and keep updated Im also attending simposiums of latest hyperbaric medicine researches.

In late 2006 I moved to UK to study Animation and so I live closer to developed diving community, working on diveshows, like the one every year on Birmingham's NEC, where I represent my friend's Jaime Burns all day diving programme Tv Scuba (

Anja Tolar
PADI # 969426


Since primary school I have drawn these funny, but also educational drawings for all sorts of publications from children's fairy tales, different magazines, websites, manuals (like the one for brass players, that I introduced separately).

The Big Nose
The Human Pig
The Staring Mouth
The Thinker
The Wood Witch
D.I.T. Illustrations
A musician, Igor Marosevic, well known Slovenian Philharmony Member asked me to do illustrations for new Brass Player's Manual, because after he invnted a device which helps to improve training of these kind of instruments, he needed to change the whole training system and so also publications. To achieve faster and easier young student understanding of the new invention, I tryed to do very simple and at the same time very correct illustrations to cover all the sections in new manual.

Myself, the illustrator of DIT

The change of mouthpiece


Air column


This post includes paintings, nude drawings, art graphic designs and preparatory design sketches made while studying Drawing Painting at Ljubljana Fine Art and Design Academy. The red line that connects all of my work is the research of cubistic kind of space concepts and special atmosphere that originates from my psychological communication with the model. My beloved technique is aquarell and oil pastel.

Some of my student work was published on Academy's official website: