In November 1993, a little more than two years after my arrival to the Netherlands, I started a painting just to please myself. At that time I did not know that this painting would mark the beginning of a long and wondrous journey which would eventually find its haven in what is now known as The Legend of Steel Bashaw. A few months after the first painting was finished I did another one. Then forced by the necessity of earning the living, I had to abandon the project. It took another seven years until I was able to proceed with the work on the project and make the third painting.
The Legend of Steel Bashawe is a retold version of one of the most popular Serbian fairytales, Baš Čelik. I rewrote the original folktale and painted 16 pictures. The process of creation of this book was long and uncertain and it took me 15 years to finish it. Of course, I haven’t been working on the project constantly for 15 years. There were many breaks of which the longest one, as mentioned, lasted for seven years. Eventually I finished the book in August 2008 and a few months later it was published in Serbia by Zmaj. In 2010 the American publisher Flesk Publications published the US edition of the book. Compared to the Serbian edition, the US edition is an expanded edition containing 20 additional pages. It has a bonus section titled The making of The Legend of Steel Bashaw that includes the sketches, preliminary drawings and a number of insightful descriptions of the process of making the book.
|The US edition, 2010|
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