Instagram: @nina_illust

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

Hi! My Name is Nina Vidovic. I was born in Mostar Ex Yugoslavia, today’s Bosnia & Hercegovina . 

My dad started a silk-printing and printing company when i was 10 so you could say I was influenced by graphics at early childhood. Our hallway was forever covered with posters, and our pets at the time had their paws covered in paint. My mom is a free artist, a painter and she did a lot of furniture restoration. At the age of 10, my interest in graphics was non-existing, a mere poster laid on our hallway. I hoped to be a writer, journalist better yet. I studied journalism. My favourite subjects were philosophy and politics, apart from always being visual, miles away from type, doodles and strokes. 

Sometime in 2015, I moved to London to live with my boyfriend at the time I believed it was impossible for me to get hired and work as a journalist. It was a silly disbelief, but it led me to discover what else there is for me. I took a two year course of Graphic Design, not thinking too much i just went for it. In 2020 I tried procreate, ditched Illustrator and started my Instagram. 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

It’s digital based. I mainly use procreate, some Illustrator, but i have a soft spot for InDesign. I draw a lot of girls and patterns. My style is atmospheric. I like to see emotion when i finish a piece. Although I enjoy a nice clean design when I look at it, on my own screen, I somehow always opt in for a textured version, I add a tile or a pattern. 

In the future, I would like to experiment more, go back to InDesign, mako more posters, focus on branding. 

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Right now, Procreate. It gives a whole lot of freedom, and is easy to use. I love playing with colours, making patterns. The brush assortment is buildable which makes it easy to develop and change your style. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

I get a lot of ideas just before I fall asleep, I write these down and try to think of them in the same spirit in the morning, regularly they seemed better the night before. 

If I’m lucky and in highly inspired mood I will get an idea while finishing the current illustration. After I am done with social media, I will look for more inspiration to develop the concept. I don’t sketch a lot but I do write down my ideas. I have “to do” lists, and I’ll be honest I don’t always stick to them. Sometimes I will add more items as i go. I am working on my systematic approach too, I have a busy mind.  Some illustrations took longer than the others. 

When I get stuck in the process I allow myself to step aside and do something else, before resume drawing. I try not to rush it, or judge myself. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

People. But mainly girls, I grew up surrounded by women. We have a big family and I can only say I am so lucky because the majority are girls. This is why I have a fair amount of girls in my illustrations and I imagine a story behind each. I draw a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest, photography, interior design, old books, as well as Instagram. Being quite visual, sometimes I’ll get in a creative mood just from noticing pretty things. I love seeing artists like Sara Ricciardi, Baiardiny to name a few. Seeing other people’s work makes me experiment and develop my style too. Sometimes i will spend my time just watching their work, reading about the journey and noticing a shift in their own style. 

This is important for me as I don’t come from art background, and I feel I have missed a lot of influence. If an artist I like mentions the name of another artist who influenced their work, I will immerse myself in finding the connection between the two. I will notice the colours, edges or strokes. I like to understand how something become. 

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

Art is inevitable. Art IS a change and ever-changing. Nothing would exist without that change. The world as we know it came out of number of modifications. The way I see it, a human desire to express, explain or justify its existence is deeply rooted in our genetic code. It’s only a question of what form of art will you trade on. You can be art. And your whole life can be art. I believe we all carry our own art internally, thats why, not all of us are moved by the same stories. 

7. Where did you study?

I studied Journalism at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Mostar, my hometown. Later in 2015 I did a two year course in Graphic Design on City Lit. College in London. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years I work in a small design studio, I have developed my skills I work in branding. I have illustration projects as a freelancer-perhaps for a magazine I like reading. I am able to work from both: office and home, I am waking up somewhere warm, I am able to spend time with people I care about. I keep learning. Life is good.

9. What about in ten?

Maybe now i have my own studio. This part is unclear to me, but I must have people working with me closely-because I am highly disorganised. I’m a team player, so we co own the studio. Maybe we focus more on fashion, I love fashion. Maybe we collab with museums, galleries, whatever survives the New Now. And maybe I go all out, and start a lingerie line with a friend, I’ve been thinking about this for long. We need more underwear in the future. Life is still good.

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

Right now I am focused on developing my skills and style. Getting somewhere with what I do is important to me, but in the meantime, I do want to be able to make people think, smile or believe in themselves. I think in a world where individuality is so easily crushed, it’s important to make people believe again, make them know that they should voice anything they have problem with. I believe communication is answer to almost anything.

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

I am curious and i love coffee, I like to understand things and i like the words I can’t understand. Potatoes. I love potatoes, anything with potatoes is my favourite dish. I also enjoy Vietnamese pho, Japanese Miso, Thai food, Taiwanese. When I like some food, I try to make it at home, sometimes I will prepare Pad Thai or Pho, hoarding spices is my other passion.  

12. Favourite book?

I love books, but I have phases when I read, and then I’ll go through time when I pile books around the bed just to dust them off every so often. I am on a good terms with myself right now and books hardly get dusty around me. I will name a few books because it’s impossible for me to chose one Mesa Selimovic- Death and the Dervish, Ivo Andric- The Bridge on the Drina, Miroslav Krleza- Leda.

I appreciate  the struggle of common man in all of the Russian classics. I love Murakami and his take on Magical Realism. I was impressed with Palahniuks Fight Club, and I would like to read more stuff like Ray Kurzweils How to Create a Mind. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Like most people, I too chose music depending on my mood. I can go from Black Keys to ZHU to Ty Burhoe Presence to Miley Cyrus Mother’s Daughter in a matter of minutes. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

I do a lot of yoga, I will probably put everything aside for a good yoga class. This keeps me grounded, puts me in a good place, makes me see things from different perspectives even- I think is the inversions. I like sleeping, I miss a lot of good coffees for this.

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

A war correspondent. But hypothetically speaking, an art dealer- I would love this, magazine editor, a Yoga teacher.