A talented painter among designers

A talented painter among designers

It sounds like a fairytale, but it’s real life. Agáta Fraňková is a painting apprentice gaining experience in a team of top-level designers. Let Agáta give you a sense of what it’s like working in the Škoda Design studio.

22. 11. 2023 Škoda World

Agáta has been into cars since she was a little girl, when she also discovered a talent for drawing. But she wasn’t able to combine the two interests in her studies. At the Škoda Academy she was apprenticing for the profession of painter, and in her second year she was involved in the Azubi project, in which apprentices at the academy design their own Škoda “dream car”. She was originally supposed to be in charge of the paintwork for the Roadiaq, but she offered to help sketch the initial design.

Agáta likes sharp, strong lines in her sketches.

Her work caught the eye of exterior design coordinator Jiri Hadaščok and Škoda’s chief designer Oliver Stefani, who offered her an internship in the Czech carmaker’s design department.

She spoke on the  #ExploreSkoda about her work on the Škoda Roadiaq:

She joined the design studio to gain experience and to learn. “It’s really intense. In the beginning, for example, the designers, headed by Oliver Stefani and Karl Neuhold, taught me about the correct proportions for sketches, and I feel I’ve made a lot of progress. I also started working with the graphic design programs that are used here. I learnt how to use a modern tablet and stylus, which let you sketch like you’re working with pencil and paper,” Agáta says, describing her experience.

She clearly enjoys the environment at Škoda Design. “It’s made a great impression on me. Everyone is nice to me, they like working with me and they encourage me to try new things. You can really feel the wonderful team spirit here. Oliver Stefani once saw a sketch of mine that he liked, so he came back and taught me a few special tricks,” Agata smiles. “I try to put something new into my drawing, something no one has seen before. That’s pretty hard, so you have to look in all kinds of places for inspiration and then keep pushing yourself,” she says.

She appreciates the support she gets when working with Škoda Design and the new experience she gains.

Although working in the design department is really intense, she also says it’s something she could get used to. “I guess any job can be stressful – you can be under pressure because you feel you’re falling behind or something isn’t working out the way you need it to. But it’s my dream job, and I could definitely get used to the pressure,” Agáta says. “I also like the fact that several languages are spoken in the working environment as though it’s the most natural thing in the world,” she adds.

A new perspective

In addition to gaining experience for herself, Agáta Fraňková would also like to contribute to the design studio. She gets involved in the day-to-day work and, if given the chance, would like to influence the design language of Škoda cars in the future. For example, she likes the current direction taken by the family of electric models, which should share a design language, but at the same time could be more distinct from each other, in her view. “I like more aggressive curves. When the car has a bit of a frown, it looks a bit menacing. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, cars that look like they’re smiling broadly,” Agata says, describing her taste in cars.

Agáta Fraňková is one of the big surprises of this year’s apprentice dream car, the Škoda Roadiaq.

The modern Škoda cars she especially likes are the third-generation Octavia RS or the third-generation Škoda Superb, a car that is also particularly highly rated by the Czech carmaker's designers. But when looking for inspiration for her drawings she would also look back into the relatively recent past. “For me, the first-generation Škoda Fabia and first-generation Octavia are fantastic models – they’re amazingly timeless cars,” says Agáta.

Exterior design coordinator Jiří Hadaščok says that Agáta displays a rare talent.

At the moment, Agáta is concentrating on finishing her apprenticeship, but she’s also thinking about her future as a designer, which was actually her original dream. “The very first meeting with people in the design management team was fascinating for me, but I didn’t really expect much from it. It was a wonderful surprise, though, and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity.” The internship started at the end of the previous academic year, and now she intends to attend design classes instead of gaining work experience on the production line throughout the school year.

“Agáta is very perceptive and hardworking, plus she is blessed with undeniable talent. We are happy to have discovered someone with such promise and to be able to support her development,” concludes Jiří Hadaščok, exterior design coordinator.

DSC7424_b077e7b2Agáta is still at the start of her journey, but she already knows that she's going to focus all her efforts on design.

Agáta is already taking part in some specific projects and getting to know the Škoda Design environment more closely. But she is also trying to work out her future. “Oliver Stefani and I were talking about the fact that I should do a two-year top-up course for a high school diploma after leaving the Škoda Academy, probably followed by study at some university. I’m also looking into English language courses and certificates. I can tell they’re interested in me here and want to help me develop,” Agáta says. On the other hand, she’s trying to keep her feet on the ground. “I try not to forget that nothing is decided yet. I still have a long way to go, but the motivation is huge,” says the young student with humility.