Sunday, 13 May 2012

Interview with Maria

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have a total love affair with the work of Artist and Writer Maria (Mandartania). She is a breathtaking artist and the sweetest, nicest, most creative person you could wish to meet.

Maria's art is everywhere in this blog so go on a meander and find it. You won't be sorry. Without further do I introduce you to... Maria

·         Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you consider yourself to be a writer? An Artist? A generally creative person?

I consider myself to be a storyteller. I create worlds and people in my head and I want to tell their stories through art. I believe drawing and painting is as much storytelling as writing is. I used to write – a lot – before my art project took life. Now I feel I get to channel my inner world better without words.

·         Tell us about your painting project… what was intended

I started drawing and painting my muse (androgynous male supermodel Andrej Pejic) in late January. I originally planned to do at least one drawing a day of him for 12 months. I wanted to see what happens both to my skills and to my inspiration if I focus on one subject this intensively. 

·         And how it turned out

Expensive! I have bought art supplies with every penny I got extra. I want to learn and try out new things. I want to share my project and get feedback. So I started posting my stuff anonymously in different forums online and – in Facebook with my real identity.

The project x quickly turned out to be a weird, self-feeding obsession. I kept pushing out art three-four times more than I planned. The manic phase lasted two months during which I think I did improve, I could draw Andrej’s face eyes closed. I tried out different techniques and mediums, I had a blast! Then… then I started to struggle. I got sad and mad and lost faith in what I was doing. I wasn’t sure if I was bored with my muse or if I was projecting my inner misery at the art project. My colourful works went black and white, my muse stopped smiling.

Now, he’s smiling again, I have started painting other people too on the side to keep things interesting and I don’t push myself to draw daily if I’m tired.

I also found out I really am drawing more out of me than of the real person behind my muse. It really has become a form of self-treatment to me.

·         Apart from Andrej who is your favourite subject to draw/paint (living person)

I also love to paint Edu Beber, Stav Strashko and Jaco Van Den Hoven. They all have so interesting facial features. Yet they all fit in the Androgynous category that intrigues me to no end.

·         What is your favourite medium (you can choose more than one)

Inktense pencils, watercolour, charcoal

·         How long does it take you to complete a painting/drawing?

I always work on A3 sheets, I’m fairly fast, one painting or charcoal drawing takes about one hour, max 2. Pencil drawing is like a punishment to me, those can take up to 3-4 hours if I aim for high resemblance.

·         What is it you love most about painting/drawing?

Expressing emotions, creating connection between myself and my muse. The fluttery feeling inside my chest as I draw.

·         Do you think you form a connection while you are painting someone between yourself, the actual painting and the person you’re painting

Absolutely! I believe all living things are connected through some spirit. I think I put part of my spirit inside my art; I do believe the process creates something more abstract too. Maybe that will reach my muse too, somehow. I hope. 

·         What are your favourite paintings and why?

Of my own art or of my inspirations? In my own work I can’t pick a favourite. It changes every day. I’m a huge fan of Gustav Klimt and Frida Kahlo. Also this artist called Ourattrition is a huge influence to me.

·         Where would you like to see your art going in the future.

I want to keep doing what I love. I want to improve. I want to strengthen my signature style, right now it is in her baby shoes.

·         What about your writing? Any thoughts on producing an illustrated book

Yes! I do have plans, but I know I need to improve a lot and find a suitable medium to combine with the story idea. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say.
                Thank you for your support and encouragement!


  1. Lovely interview. Maria is the best.

  2. I love Maria's art. Thanks for posting up this interview Nephy. It's awesome to hear about Mandy's plans :))