Viktorija Banda is a gifted embroidery artist from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has always been a creative thinker and she loves to make things with her hands. Viktorija created a brand called POTKA: she embroiders illustrations from her sketchbook on tote bags and socks, for the moment. Nature lover, she finds inspiration in plants and animals. She’s also drawn to the romance of taking analog photography. Her creative process, as she says: “is calming, meditative and brings her happiness.”
How long does it take you to finish a piece of embroidery?
It depends on how big is the piece. About three days, if I’m including a sewed tote bag.
What’s your favorite thing to embroider?
Hmm, maybe dragons, magical creatures or some animals. At the moment I’m occupied with a olm. And I must say that I really love epic fiction.
From an emotional perspective, why shoot film?
I remember the first time that I shot my photos at the University, I totally felt in love with the magic of shooting film.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think analog photography is exciting: I like the imperfection and the limit that film gives you during the whole process of shooting, developing and scanning. Waiting to see is the best part.
What are the challenges young artists in Sarajevo face today?
I’d rather say: what are the challenges young artists in Bosnia and Herzegovina face today? We live in a small country with lot of wars and bad periods behind us.
We are slowly recovering and I think that one of our big problems is that people don’t take art seriously. Anyways, there are lot of great artists here! Fortunately, they are working on creating more spaces dedicated to artists who loves living in Bosnia.
Is embroidery art traditionally widespread in Balkan culture?
Yes of course, almost every woman from this places knows some types of handwork, knitting, crochet or embroidery.
I need to say that Zmijanje embroidery is the oldest hand embroidery known in the Balkans, and it was also included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014, which is the entry of the first cultural property from our country into this list.
Viktorija Banda IG:@viktorijabanda