1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hello, I’m an illustrator from Bucharest, Romania. I’m almost 28 years old, I live with my boyfriend, who’s a calligrapher, and with our two black cats.
I’ve been drawing all my childhood, like most kids do, basically reproducing the illustrations from my story books.
Somewhere along the way I lost touch with this fairytale world and I focused on studying architecture. After a few years, it became clear that I’m not that much into architecture, so I shifted my attention to graphic design and later on, to web design. I worked for three years in a small but fun graphic studio here, in Bucharest, where I’ve learned a lot.
Slowly, my desire to draw again grew bigger so I started doodling randomly again, just for myself. This made me incredibly happy so I quickly and strongly felt it’s the right decision to start a journey on this path. I’m now a freelance illustrator for a year and there are moments I still can’t believe how things worked out.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Mostly simple shapes overwhelmed by delicate details. I love to hide small surprises in my illustrations, mostly hidden cats.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I love the feeling of the brush strokes on paper. I tried drawing digitally but it just doesn’t work for me. I guess after so many years while working only in a digital medium for my architecture and graphic design projects, I really appreciate traditional drawings and the connection between my hand and the paper in front of me. It was kinda funny at the beginning, I learned the hard way there’s no undo button, but now that’s one of the things I love about it. It makes me more focused and I respect traditional work much more because of this.
4. What is your artistic process like?
It starts with a lot of sketching, at first really small and then getting bigger. I usually work on sketches until I’m happy with the result and then I use watercolours and gouache for the final piece. I also dive right in for personal projects and I skip the whole sketching process because I’m impatient and curious to see what I’ll come up with. I usually like to illustrate around an idea or a concept but I also draw random animals just for fun (and because I love them).
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I’m inspired mostly by my own experiences, my dreams, my illustrated childhood books, my kittens and the things I love, such as coffee, chocolate, magic, forest, stars, the Moon, tiny plans, succulents, all kinds of pots and vintage teapots, flowers, daschund dogs and all dogs really, actually all animals, nature, delicate embroidery, scandinavian design, soft colours, anatomy, books and fairytales, and of course, other artists that are more talented and greater than me. I also tried to find inspiration in the things I am scared of or hate, such as bugs, animal skulls, death, loneliness and made a few illustrations inspired by these things.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Since I decided to be an illustrator, I can wholeheartedly say that it changed my life for the better. I enjoy getting up in the morning, taking my time, drinking my coffee and then organise my day. I’m a much happier person. I couldn’t say that I see the world differently because of it, but I do feel more empowered to bring more joy into my world and to those who appreciate my work.
7. Where did you study?
I studied at Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
I guess I see myself doing exactly the same thing, being better at it and with a little more self confidence.
9. What about in ten?
Basically the same thing ^_^ And I would love to have a bigger studio, where I could bring people over and have a really good cup of coffee together.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Happiness, both for me and the ones appreciating my work. I know how this sounds, but over time I learned to appreciate the small things.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I really love pasta. With lots, lots, lots of parmesan cheese.
12. Favourite book?
Well, my favourite book will always be the one that light a spark in my heart towards drawing. It’s a really old book, it belonged to my mother, she drew on it as a child, gave it to me, and I also drew on it’s pages as a child. It’s an illustrated version of Grimm Brothers’ stories.
As for reading, I enjoyed “The Collector” by John Fowles. I also went through an Agatha Christie phase for a few months, my favourite was “Endless Night”. And also read each Harry Potter book a few times, but who doesn’t love Harry Potter?
13. Favourite genre of music?
Oh, I couldn’t say. It depends on my mood, really. Sometimes, when I draw and I feel joyful, I love listening to Django Reinhardt. I also love indie folky tunes with lyrics about the deep dark forest. I used to dance tango for a little while, so I enjoy tango music as well.
14. What are your hobbies?
Netflix, baking cookies, drinking coffee and adopting kittens.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would love to take care of animals so maybe a vet (realistically) or a NASA Astronaut (highly unrealistically).