The main part of Jaroslav Kerles´s work is his very specific cartoons which he published beginning in 1969 in the humor magazine Dikobraz. He soon became came very popular with readers and became one of the main contributors to the magazine. Dikobraz was published until 1989. After 1990 Kerles collaborated with the sequels to Dikobraz, such as Nový Dikobraz, Magazín Dikobrazů, and Pardon. After about five years the magazine industry changed, and these magazines ceased to exist.
Some of Kerles‘ cartoons from this period were published in the book Jak vtipy přicházejí na svět (Annonce , 1991) where the author also shares the sources of his inspiration.
Due to their originality and visual quality his drawings attracted the attention of book publishers (Knižní klub – Euromedia, Egmont, Panorama, Jota, etc.), and invited him to illustrate for them. The most known are illustrations to the nearly complete work by the famous American writer Robert Fulghum ( Knižní klub – Euromedia, 1996 1998), illustations to the books by Radomír Patěk (Darebáci, Jihočeské nakladatelství 1983) and also books by Ludmila Vítovcová (Já a tropy, Jihočeské nakladatelství 1986, Jota, 2010, Já a safari, Jota, 2012).
List of books illustrated by Jaroslav Kerles:
- Robert Fulghum : Všechno,co opravdu potřebuju znát, jsem se naučil v mateřské školce, Knižní klub, 1996
- Robert Fulghum : Už hořela, když jsem si do ní lehal, Knižní klub, 1997
- Robert Fulghum : Ach jo, Knižní klub, 1997
- Robert Fulghum : Od začátku do konce, Knižní klub,1998
- Robert Fulghum : Možná, možná ne, Knižní klub, 1998
- Radomír Patěk : Darebáci, Jihočeské nakladatelství, 1983
- Radomír Patěk : Bledozelená krev, Silvanus,1992
- Ludmila Vítovcová : Já a tropy, Jihočeské nakladatelství 1986, Jota 2010
- Ludmila Vítovcová : Já a safary, Jota 2012
- Václav Budinský : Volové na plotě, Knižní klub – Euromedia group, 2002
- Alena Jakoubková : Mluv, mluv, poslouchám tě, Knižní klub 1999
- Radim Uzel, Karel Koubek : Erotova lampa, Ratio
- Karel Sedláček : Poslední cedulář, Jihočeské nakladatelství, 1987
- Milena Kozderová : Mám ráda hajného, Jihočeské nakladatelství, 1981
- P.Havránek, K.Koubek, Z.Štěpánek : Umění žít, Tina 1994
- V.Richter, I.Samec : Já a zbytek světa, Tina 1994
- Anekdoty ( sestavila Alena Jakoubková)- S úsměvem jde všechno líp, Euromedia Group-Knižní klub,2001
ILLUSTRATIONS AND WORKS FOR CHILDREN
Another major area of Kerles‘ work was his illustrations for children. He had three children, seven grandchildren and one great–grandchild. For all his life he was very fond of children and his work was often inspired by children. He created a wide scope of board books and colouring books, and illustrated a very popular trilogy with poems by Robert Šmejkal (Zvířátková abeceda, Zeměpisná abeceda, Sportovní abeceda ). In 1990 he began collaborating with the Czech Television (at that time Czechoslovakian Television) and took part in creating the TV bedtime story, Pan Huu, which broadcast through 1997. In 1995 his dream came true - together with his son Petr he published the book Legrace v pohádce (Nok, 1995), where he humourously illustrated his owns poems.
List of published books for children:
- Legrace v pohádce, Nok, 1995
- Zvířátková abeceda, Roman Šmejkal, Knižní klub,1996
- Zeměpisná abeceda, Roman Šmejkal, Knižní klub, 2000
- Sportovní abeceda : Roman Šmejkal, Egmont ,2002
Board books :
- Hned za naší vesnicí, Orbis, 1977 ( text D.Fischerová )
- Vadí – nevadí. Panorama, 1979 ( text D.Fischerová )
- Cestou do Lhoty, Orbis, 1978 ( text D.Fischerová )
- Žerty z kuchyně, Panorama ,1980 ( text D.Fischerová )
- Ryby, rybky, rybičky, Panorama ,1981 ( text D.Fischerová )
Desk calendars illustrated by Jaroslav Kerles have been published annually since 1994 by Opava Publishing, owned by Rudolf Tesař. The desk calendars continue to include Kerles‘ best-known cartoons, as well as a unique cartoons depciting folk superstitions and weather lores, which Kerles created specially for the calender.
CARP JAKUB AND THE "KINGDOM OF FAIRY TALES"
Since1995 Jaroslav Kerles collaborated with Marcel Goetz,the founder of the touristic project Jižní Čechy Pohádkové (South Bohemia Fairytales). A character of „ Carp Jakub“ which Kerles created, is considered to be the symbol of South Bohemia. For „the Kingdom of fairy tales“ Jaroslav Kerles gradually created hundreds of so called „logo jokes“ with „carp Jakub“.
Approximately 300 „Fairy tales Info offices“ were arranged all over the Czech Republic, where the tourists with their passports can gain the rewards, titles and diploma for collecting the „fairy tales „ stamps which contain „ logo joke“ by Jaroslav Kerles.
A great number of entrepreneuers and companies felt that the originality of Kerles cartoons could be used to attract customers. As a result, after the Velvet Revolution when Czech private enterprises emerged, Kerles was flooded with offers of marketing work from companies throughout the Czech Republic and abroad. He was discriminating in whom he chose to work with, and selected those companies that reflected his values. He designed logos, banners, shop signs, business cards, pour felicités , etc. For E.ON Corporation he created some teaching materials and brochures for children. For the food chain FLOP he illustrated their discount flyers. The flyers were so loved, that Kerles original work continue to be used on them today.
Like many artist, Kerles felt the pressure to create. Yet at times he would set aside his many commercial ventures, and create for his own enjoyment. His oil paintings and may of his personal cartoons, which reflect life and people around us, have never been exhibited, and are still waiting to be discovered...