Lidia has been one of our friends for a long time and we are super happy to have her in our Spotlight this week.
Lidia: Hey there! My full name is Ana-Lidia Macovei, I’m a concept artist and illustrator. Until recently I spent most of my life in my hometown Iasi. I love to draw, play around with silly ideas that bounce in my head and telling stories with them.
Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?
Lidia: It was fun when it came to holidays at the countryside, playing with my cousins, climbing trees and making dirt pies, but not so much fun when it came to school. Not that I was a poor student, or struggled with the grades, I just never connected with any of it – until I got into Art Collage, then I liked school again. I grew up with my older brother who initiated me in all things cool like digital art and video games and the internet. I remember the time he brought home an amazing drawing of Freakazoid by one of his colleagues and it impressed me so much, I wanted to be able to do that too.
Subsign: What did you wanted to be as a grown up?
Lidia: A scuba diver (but in my head it was probably more similar to being a mermaid), a teacher or an actress.
Subsign: How does your workstation look like?
Lidia: I really miss having a second monitor.
Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?
Lidia: I’d describe it as exaggerated, expressive, playful, colorful and most importantly, story-driven. I am heavily influenced by my art heroes but I work on finding and refining my own artistic voice as well. I think style emerges from the things we as individuals value most, it tells little truths we say in our drawings without always being aware of it.
Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?
Lidia: I always like to try something new in each piece, be it in technique or subject matter, to keep pushing myself forward, a little bit at a time. From time to time I go back to traditional mediums (watercolor and pencils) for personal work and experimentation. It reminds me why I enjoyed drawing so much and it has an incomparable feel to it. Although these aren’t particular steps I take in making a particular image, I consider them integral parts the process of improving and keeping motivated.
Here are some process examples:
Step by step process of a gladiator alligator character for a monthly character design challenge.
And a process gif:
Aaand some birds (in this one I tried a creative exercise, starting with a page filled with random shapes, then making them look like birds):
It usually goes something like this: sketch, research, more sketching, gathering the right reference, color sketch, silhouette, mood, color, light, materials, details.
Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?
Lidia: So far it’s Paparuda, mostly because it’s a personal piece that got to add a little color in my hometown, Iasi.
Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?
Lidia: I get inspired by passionate people, regardless of their area of expertise (from mycology to psychology). There’s something deeply motivating and hypnotic in listening to a passionate, knowledgeable person talk.
Visually speaking, there are a lot of artists I admire that inspire me, I’ll name just a few here: Sam Nielson, Cory Loftis, Rona Liu, Szymon Biernacki, Yekaterina Bourykina, Lauren D Austin, Jean-Baptiste Monge, Dinara Mirtalipova, Elena and Olivia Ceballos, Albert Uderzo, Walter Everett, J. C. Leyendecker.
Subsign: What advice could you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?
Lidia: Oh, man this is a tough one, because each artistic soul is so different and goes through such different things in life. I found I had to set aside most of the career advice people gave me. I think the best thing a person can do is to know themselves and the world around them as best they can and then do what’s right for them and their situation.
It’s not particular advice, I know, but jobs and opportunities come and go, entire industries come and go and each job has different stress levels, restrictions, teams, projects, paychecks and opportunities, which all come into play when it comes to the overall satisfaction one person can have from their work. All I can say is keep learning and making things around you a little better. Oh, and make personal paintings, projects or products. It’s what keeps the joy alive and the creative juices flowing.
Subsign: If you would have a super power, what would it be?
Lidia: Manipulate time. Freeze it, fast forward it, slow it down, even time travel. Flight would be super cool as well.
Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song and a movie?
Lidia: The book: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The song: Fanfare Ciocarlia – Duj Duj, it’s a delight
And the movie: Black Cat White Cat
Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
Lidia: It would include drinks, drawing and passionate people, mostly the people closest to me. It would be for celebrating life, making fun of the hardships it throws at us and lovingly making fun of ourselves.
Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why?
Lidia: My favorite comedians, or their ghosts. I’d love to hear what they’d have to say and see
how they draw.
Thank you Lidia for being a part of it!
If you know an artist that should be in the spotlight, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .