Instagram: @animalenas

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I’m 27 years old, from Transylvania, Romania. Currently living in the mountains with my partner and our cat, Luna, I work remotely as a graphic designer and illustrator and savouring il dolce far niente. I’m all about connection, joy, freedom, living authentically and the exploration of inner and outer worlds.

@animalenas

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My aesthetic is warm and nocturnal, centered around stylized women who exudes wisdom, sensuality and wildness. I try to work with a limited color palette and keep the shapes clean and simple without adding too much detail, but sometimes I get carried away. I’m still exploring, still learning.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Currently, I’m hopelessly in love with digital. It gives me the freedom I need to experiment and takes away the stress of logistics or getting it wrong, which means a lot for an over-thinker. My next favourite medium would be gouache -I find it almost meditative, so soothing and perfect for my need to simplify complex feelings into clear shapes.

4. What is your artistic process like?

When I get a certain idea or feeling, and the need to express it, I first get curious about how would that look embodied. That’s an important part of my process and also why the result is mostly centered around a character within me, and hardly ever abstract. I love making a ritual out of the artistic process. I make some coffee, maybe light up a candle and usually put on a podcast about psychology, spirituality or creativity, to help me get into a deep flow state and easily absorb new ideas. Music is the other important part of my process when I’m in a dreamier mood.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I’m mostly inspired by my own experience as a highly sensitive woman, but also by nature, wild animals and vintage illustrations – one of my favourite are ‘Moon Madness’ by Alexandre Rzewuski. Some illustrators I love are Jenna Barton, Abigail Larson and Alexandra Dvornikova.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is how I process life and how I cope with it. Growing up, I struggled with not feeling really seen or understood, so art made me feel less alone. I was reading a lot and kept finding proof that there are people who feel and think the same way that I do, that I’m not some hopeless alien and there may actually be a place for me in the world.

@animalenas

7. Where did you study?

Initially, I was drawn to art school, but back then it seemed like too risky of a move so I ended up going for a bilingual science program in high school, a Bachelor Degree in PR & Communication and a Master’s Degree in Online Marketing. I then predictably gravitated back towards art, working as a freelance graphic designer, playing with photography and recently with illustration. I still wonder how my life would’ve turned out should I went for art at a young age, but I am also happy with the knowledge I gathered on the way, where it took me and the freedom I have now to create and keep learning.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ahh this question. Honestly, I feel like I don’t want to pinpoint where I’ll be in 5 years, since I love how life has a tendency to surprise me when I just flow with it towards truth and joy. But I imagine there will be a cabin in the heart of nature, my incredible partner beside me, deep connections with people who inspire me and make my heart grow, lots of exploration, art, learning and whatever 5 years down this spiritual path I’m on will bring.

9. What about in ten?

In ten years, I can only hope to live fully and figure out more of who I am and how can I show up in the world, how I can be of service to others.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I hope it will serve as a reminder for people to be free, to embody their truth and let themselves feel. Also, I hope it may inspire them to dig deeper in their psyche, to get curious about all the different characters living there and realise they are never alone.

@animalenas

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Sushi! And pasta, always.

12. Favourite book?

I can’t choose, there are so many I love for different reasons, but the first ones coming to mind are Steppenwolf by Hesse, The Waves by Woolf and The Book of Disquiet by Pessoa.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Alternative, indie rock.

14. What are your hobbies? 

Reading, hiking, ceramics and, most recently, gardening.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A Jungian analyst or a witch. Most probably both.

@animalenas