Dobrosav Bob Živković was born on 7 May 1962. in Pirot, Serbia. Since his birth Bob has shown a remarkable lack of talent for soccer, he was also an extremely bad athlete, the worst basketball player and equally terrible in extreme sports. He was not suited for being either a soldier or a poet, so he sat to draw. He drew during Art classes in the grammar school, but also during Math, Geography and Music classes. He continued to draw during his time in High School of Art and Design, after which he enrolled The Belgrade Faculty of Applied Arts. He still drew.
Not long after starting his studies he published his first works. That period of his life was marked by illustrations published in popular student magazines of that time, such as Student (1982) and Vidici (1982).
After the studies he began his career as a children’s illustrator. He worked for the children magazines, such as Tik-Tak and Zeka (1987 – 1998). He created a popular children’s comic book Jajzi that ran in Tik-Tak during that tine. Later he would become a regular illustrator for Politikin zabavnik, a magazine primarily aimed for the children in Grammar School and High School, which is even today one of the best selling magazines in Serbia. He will continue to work for magazines, ranging in topics from children’s magazines to serious political publications, such as National Geography Junior, The European, Daily Telegraph, NIN, Huper, Draganić, Playboy, Maxim etc.
At the same time, he also began his career as Science Fiction and Fantasy illustrator. His illustrations were published on the covers of novels in an edition Znak Sagite, Science Fiction and Fantasy Almanac Monolith and magazine Aleph. Three times he won Lazar Komarčić Award, the greatest Serbian award for working in the Sci-Fi field, for the best illustration– 1985, 1986 and 1988. The same year, 1988, he received a Diploma of Science Fiction Society Sfera (Povelja društva za znanstvenu fantastiku Sfera) from Zagreb, Croatia. During his career he has illustrated more than fifty novels and short story collections of the most popular writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy and his illustrations are often considered to be the most significant factor in popularizing certain authors in Serbia. As a Sci-Fi illustrator, he is best known for his majestic work on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, as well as his illustrations of Stephen King’s and Clive Barker’s novels, Roger Zelazny’s and many others.
Since 1989 he has began working for children even more than before. Since then he has illustrated more than hundred books for children and young adults. His remarkable contribution to the development of the children’s publishing in Serbia resulted in him receiving the most prestigious awards on the field. He is the only illustrator in Serbia who has been awarded five Neven awards for the best children’s illustration, as well as three Zlatno pero awards for the best illustrated children’s book. Among the other awards, he received one for the best design of a children’s toy (1994), Zaharije Orfelin award (2004), the award of ULUPUDS (Society of the Artist of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia) for the best illustrated book (two times – 1996 and 2004), the award of Zmajeve dečije igre children’s festival, given for the extraordinary commitment to the popularization of children’s publishing (2005) and special award and acknowledgment by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Živković has worked for all the major publishing houses in Serbia (Dečje Novine, Draganić, Laguna, Prosveta, Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva, Svet igračaka L, Alnari, Narodna knjiga- Alfa, Odiseja, Plato, Zepter), but the most important and most fruitful part of his work is related to the Kreativni centar – the largest publisher of children’s books in the country and in the region. During the twenty years of working for this publisher, Bob illustrated more than hundred books, which have been translated into over 40 languages.
From 1992 to 1998 Bob Živković was Art Director and premier illustrator of Saatchi&Saatchi offices in Serbia and Slovenia. After leaving Saatchi&Saatchi, he continued working in advertising business as a freelancer illustrator. In his long career as an Art Director and illustrator he worked on many advertising campaigns for prestigious clients, such as: Sandoz; Societe Generale Bank; Banini AD – one of the largest biscuit and wafer production companies in the region; George Ballantine & Son Ltd. – very successful campaign for Ballantine’s scotch whisky, rewarded at Golden Drum Advertising Festival in Slovenia; Beobanka AD – at the time the largest bank in the country; Bernard Corporate site – corporate website of Brewery Bernardy, Czech Republic (Apr 2001); Belgrade Stock Market, Greenet Caffe Company etc.
One of his most successful advertising campaigns was done pro bono for Belgrade Zoo. Belgrade Good Hope Garden campaign, which was branding also coined by Živković, is still strong and prominent in most Serbian medias. His engagement in Čestitke pune života (Greetings of Life) advertising campaign for UNICEF and the Ministry of Education of Republic of Serbia and Maloletnička delinkvencija (Juvenile Delinquency) – a campaign by civil society organization Link 011 with the help of the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Republic of Serbia and Joy of Europe Children Festival should be mentioned as well.
Many sides of his creativity Bob has shown by creating visual identities of the children’s theater Više od igre (More Than a Game), English-language theater Sunnydays School as well as the theater group Jorik from Novi Sad.
He has worked with many humanitarian organizations, both government and non-government ones, whose goals were to improve the lives of children and to help those of them in need. Some campaigns should be mentioned, such as his work with CRID (Centar za razvoj inkluzivnog društva – Centre for Development of Inclusive Society) on a campaign Neko to od gore vidi sve (Someone sees it all) for helping the people with disabilities; Živeti uspravno (Walking Tall) for Handicap International and Echo; Kampanja za borbu protiv narkomanije i AIDS-a (Campaign against drugs and AIDS) for the Public Health Institute of Serbia; Škola po meri deteta (School tailored for children) done for UNICEF; Pametna knjiga za tatu i mamu (Smart Book for Mom and Dad) also for UNICEF; campaign for promoting mental health for CARITAS; Hoću novu školu (I Want New School) campaign ordered by the Youth Center from Osijek, Croatia; campaign for collecting humanitarian aid for the children suffering from cancer, in a cooperation with Student Humanitarian Fond Osmeh na Dar (Give Away the Smile); campaign for protecting children on the Internet, ordered by International Aid Network.
Živković has also achieved successful cooperation with Pedagogical Society of Serbia, Society of the Students of Psychology of the Belgrade University, Young Explorers of Serbia (International Year of Volunteers campaign), Friends of the Children of Serbia (Children’s Week campaign).
As a promoter of environment awareness he did campaigns for the City of Belgrade (Living Environment as the Protection of Your Children campaign) and he supported environment protection campaign by Young Explorers of Banjaluka (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
During the Yugoslav wars of the nineties, he has been prominent anti-war activist, being one of the key members in the anti-war campaign War Kills.
He lives in Belgrade.
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