Instagram: @lolita.calistru

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

My name is Lolita and I’m 22 years old. I`m an Illustrator and Visual creator originally from a small country in eastern Europe, named the Republic of Moldova. I moved to Romania 3 years ago, when I came here to study at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca. I came here with no plan but here I am, feeling at home, with lots of friends, a totally new approach to what I want to do with my life, new love and a cat.

It wouldn’t be my story if I didn’t talk about how I started embarking on this journey. Everything started back in 2010, when I decided to pursue a dream of mine and went studying to art school.

What we did there was learning the art fundamentals: we learnt about color, composition, value, form, brushwork and, also, perspective. Still life, landscapes, academic drawing, every little thing that I didn’t know before and that was about to change and become a passion, that was art school for me. But as I said before, I only view it as a “passion”, that is why I chose another path for myself and went to a university that had nothing to do with art. I started drifting for a while and lost perspective, also I stopped drawing and painting, even though that was always somehow on the back of my mind.

Without any direct purpose of romanticizing this pandemic, but this is what made me get out of my comfort zone. I guess calling it “comfort zone” is not really doing it justice because I felt at home when I started drawing again, but I decided that I needed to do this every day, not only as a “once upon a month passion” so that’s when I bought a small tablet and started drawing in Photoshop. At first, I didn’t understand a single thing and felt kind of lost but it didn’t discourage me, I knew there was a lot to learn and I had to kick my ass off and start working. I put in a lot of work and time and it did pay off.

@lolita.calistru

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My aesthetic is to show beauty in the eyes of the beholder. I like to use bright colors to accentuate the beauty of imperfection and also, I am a fan of anthropomorphism. I feel like I always attribute some human traits or emotions to every little thing that I create.

Friends, family, strangers on the street, icons, everyone has always inspired me. I think that people are amazing and a constant source of inspiration.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

At the moment, I mostly draw on the iPad in Procreate and in Photoshop. I find it super helpful and easy to work with the tools that they provide, a variety of colors, brushes, strokes.

Besides this, I always have that part of me that screams and wants to get out and she sounds something like this: “Come and paint, look, we have oil, it’s going to be fun!”. Jokes aside, I love traditional art, always feeling super relaxed afterwards.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I actually begin with an idea in my head, start sketching and making drafts on my notebook and after a lot of scattered thoughts and brainstorming, I can finally select the best one of them all. First of all, I think about the concept and the emotion that I want to show in my illustration, that is where my main focus goes.

Then I start to sketch but sometimes inspiration comes from nowhere and I sit down right away and start to sketch on random a piece of paper.

Therefore, the most difficult stage for me is choosing colors, I always try to match the colors to the idea of my illustration. The last stage is to fill everything with color and indicate shadow and light. I think this is my favorite part of creating an illustration because light plays a huge role in it.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Most often, I am inspired by nature, female beauty and the world around me. As I said before, everything around me inspires me and when I say everything I really mean it. I can see a freckle and start from there, other times it can be my friend sitting at a café, doing nothing but there is something that catches my eye.

I also love to draw flowers and plants because I always thought that they have something divine and beautiful.

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

Art has always played and plays a huge role in my life and in my worldview. I think that I see the world from a different angle because I always notice the falling color, the beauty of nature and designate for myself the features of people and their vision of the world.

Also, Art helped me develop as a person and to express my emotions, I think that without this I would not be the person I am today. (If this was a documentary about my life this is where I would say “no, cut, actually I am sure about this one”.)

@lolita.calistru

7. Where did you study?

Now I am studying at the Technical University, to become an engineer. Sincerely, this is not what I wanted, judging from what I know and who I am today, but I’ve learned so much from this experience. The person that you were two years ago may not know what you know today. That doesn’t mean that it was wrong or that it shouldn’t have happened, it just means that you were different, you did what you knew best and what worked for you then, this is what I always tell myself.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope that I will live a happy life and that I will embody all my creative ideas and learn to work with different techniques and materials.

At the moment, I would like to take a course in book illustration and I also have a small dream to make carpets.

9. What about in ten?

I hope to build a family, travel the world, still learning things about myself and working as an illustrator.

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

I want my art to make people happy, inspired, but I think the most important thing or what I have in mind whenever I think of someone looking at what I create is: emotion. It is definitely the fastest communication medium, it is education and tradition agnostic.

That’s what I want to achieve with my art, I want to give bits of myself and see it in other people. You can feel it in the air, the change of energies, the whole emotion. Also, it’s about empathy and its power, a universality that I think everyone searches for, or every artist, at least.

But all in all, I am looking for emotion.

@lolita.calistru

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

My favorite food is Italian. I can definitely call myself a pasta lover, I could die for a bowl filled with penne with pesto. Italian food is amazing, that is all I can say.

12. Favourite book?

My favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell, because I’m an anti-utopia fan. This book covers serious topics of our society like: freedom, war, love, truth.

Here is my favorite passage: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

13. Favourite genre of music? 

My tastes in music vary. Sometimes, I want to listen to Britney Spears, and then I want Depeche Mode but my favorite one is melancholic, calm and sad music. Because of that, Placebo is my favorite band.

14. What are your hobbies? 

My hobby is oil painting, making custom clothes and travel. Now, I am planning to bring another one to the team and that is to make carpets, I really wanna pursue this.

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

I think I would be an engineer or an architect, what I was thinking about at first. But who knows, really? Maybe I would’ve been a chef who specialized in pasta with pesto recipes, I wouldn’t mind that at all for my other life.

@lolita.calistru