Illustrator & Fine Artist Felicia Atanasiu
Felicia Atanasiu was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania but after graduating from high school she moved to Toronto. Soon after arriving there, she enrolled in her first life drawing class, which she had always dreamed of doing. In that class she found out about illustration so she enrolled into an illustration program at Ontario College of Art and Design. While in her last year and soon after graduation her work started to get awards and recognitions so she began freelancing and is enjoying ever bit of it. She has worked on a variety of online and print marketing, promotional and publishing assignments, including CD covers, magazine editorials, packaging, greeting cards and fashion illustration. Her working technique involves hand tinting photos, pencil, watercolor, graphic design and adding textures to her pieces. The subtle qualities of Felicia's crafted illustrations can be described as humanistic, decorative and imaginative. What inspires you? I think my cultural background inspires me the most. The constant battle of being a Romanian and a Canadian is definitely something that I draw inspiration from. Within this transition I find constant meaning in the old and the new, such as the fresh ideas of the 60’s and 70’s in music, fashion, art and politics to the glorified “me” North American present culture; and clashing this the post-communist Romania and the whole Eastern European block. This combination of history and culture past and present influence my way of thinking and my visual perceptions. Thus the whole transparencies and layers in my work, combined with an ornamental drawing in order to define a contemporary collage of mixed feelings and subtle expressive perceptions. I also find a lot of inspiration in avant-garde fashion as a way of expressing a thought and concept as oppose to a glossy runway show. I mean I love fashion, but I think I love the place it comes from and not the obvious result that most people understand. To me fashion is a way of being, a confident state of existing as a woman.
Plans for 2009 I think this year I want to expand my fine art projects a bit more and focus on illustration as well. I am also planning on launching my own t-shirt line and I would also love to travel a bit more.
Favorite projects you have worked on? Personal projects are always the most rewarding because they come from a very honest place. I think I enjoy my career a lot, but I always get very happy when I get to illustrate difficult and emotional content. I think one of my favorite assignments was a piece I did for Playgirl Magazine. The article was based on the story of a non-for profit organization that took on the cause of ending female genital mutilation in Africa. As an illustrator my job is to communicate messages that can sometimes be delicate in matter, but I think with such assignments I try to make a positive ending, yet vulnerable and profound.
- I don’t look at that many websites but I enjoy Dazed and Confused Digital www.dazeddigital.com because they always have great music selection, and of course fashion and art features.
- I also like to look at Prada www.prada.com for their fashion animations and well-crafted clothes
- and shoes and www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk for their art selection.
Fashion projects? I get commissioned to illustrate fashion related articles, for magazines, and one such project that I really enjoyed was a collaboration with a local fashion e-zine, where I got to illustrate fashion trends in hair, make-up, clothes, shoes and vintage stores. I got a lot of creative freedom and I am looking forward in getting more of such projects. I think that part of why I like this kind of work is because I can bring a certain unexpected personal flare and humanize the concept of fashion illustration. Today artists and illustrators take this generic fashion illustration idea and transform it into personal style of expression, which is what I really like. What would be some dream projects for you? I feel that any project I get is a dream, but I think I would really love to do the kind of collaborations that James Jean has done for Prada or Toledo for Nordstrom adds. Every day I try to make the impossible possible by believing in what I do.