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Subsign Spotlight #123: Mădălina from pământiu.

Subsign: First, can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Mădălina: Hello, my name is Mădălina Budaca, I am 25 years old and in the autumn of 2020 I created the “pământiu” brand. I was born in Iași, where I also currently live, and I finished university here with a Visual Arts degree, specialising in Photography and Videography. I live with my husband, with whom I share a 12-year love story, in an apartment near the city, with our baby boy Levi and two cats.

Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your childhood experiences have influenced your present creative endeavours?

Mădălina: I had a simple and beautiful childhood, especially because I had my younger sister next to me, with whom I spent most of my time. Many of my artistic projects (both during university and nowadays) start exactly from the nostalgia for my childhood, our parents’ garden, the stories and the play back then.

Subsign: What was Christmas like in your family growing up?

Mădălina: We spent Christmases together at home, with our parents or in gatherings with a larger circle of relatives. We enjoyed going carolling, cooking with our mother, and preparing the home as best as we could. Of course, we loved the presents, but for me that was not the best part, but instead the snow, good spirits and joy in the family.

Subsign: What does your work station look like?

Mădălina: I work from home at the moment, but I’d like in the future to have a small workshop.

Subsign: How do you decorate your home for the winter holidays and what do you usually do around this time?

Mădălina: I like to decorate the home with a winter vibe but I try not to go overboard. We put up the Christmas tree in the living room, we add a few wintery elements throughout the home, and string lights as much as we can. Apart from spending time with the family and gazing at the snow if we get it, I like to bake “sărățele” (homemade crackers), take cute photos around the tree, and listen to and sing carols. (Last year we sang in a choir with an orchestra in a Christmas concert and I loved the experience.) We also like to look back on the last year and make plans for the next one.

Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?

Mădălina: My style is generally minimalist, with occasional natural elements or themes that call back to Nordic folklore, and earthy tones (which the brand is called after).

Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?

Mădălina: When I want to start a new project, I contemplate for days and sometimes even weeks what I want the people to see, which emotions I want to put forward, and from what experiences to draw inspiration. I draw lots of sketches, talk about the ideas with my husband, and then start making some tests. If they turn out okay, I get straight to work, and get very excited about it.

Subsign: How do you balance work with your personal time during busy periods?

Mădălina: Since we had our little boy, balancing family and work is very difficult, even outside busy periods. Around Christmas, for example, I don’t get to have enough time with my family, I work late, get pretty stressed and look forward to a break, but really enjoy the results. During downtime, I can’t sit still, can’t wait to start working because I get new ideas and want to start everything all over again.

Subsign: What is your favourite work you have done so far?

Mădălina: The “Țărmuri Nordice” (“Nordic Shores”) collection is my favourite for now, inspired from our experience in Iceland with its breathtaking landscapes and atmosphere. (Cute fact, a small part of the collection made it back to Iceland when we returned there 4 years after our first visit!)

Subsign: Which artists do you admire and would recommend others to follow?

Mădălina: Cristina Frei, Mădălina Andronic, Tina Sosna, but there are so many others.

Subsign: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?

Mădălina: I would tell them to be sincere in everything they do, put love in their work, take time for introspection, and see which artistic medium is the best to translate their ideas into the real world. They should be brave, because people feel and appreciate each others’ stories.

Subsign: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Mădălina: I would like to go back in time and relive special moments from my childhood, with my parents, and the people I love, and live them to the fullest, in their simplicity, as they were.

Subsign: Can you recommend a book, a song, and a movie, for our readers?

Mădălina: Movie: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (which made us get tickets to Iceland for our honeymoon and now this is our favourite place in the world).

Song: Sam Ock – “silent”

Book: “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”

Subsign: Do you like Christmas movies? Do you have a favourite?

Mădălina: I do like Christmas movies, and the “Home Alone” series remains my favourite because it reminds me of moments in my childhood, with my parents and sister, eating popcorn and oranges in our living room, while staying up late watching these movies.

Subsign: If you could throw a Christmas festive dinner, what would it be like and which famous people would you invite to the table?

Mădălina: It would probably be with lots of “sărățele”, homemade pizza and oranges, board games, and I would invite the cast of “The Office”.

Subsign: If you could get absolutely anything in the world, what would you ask Santa Claus for?

Mădălina: If it were a physical thing, it would be a home in the countryside but close to the city, with a workshop and photo studio, and a yard to take walks in and enjoy time with my husband, our baby, and our cats. Going beyond physical things, I would wish that everyone had their loved ones near and safe, and could spend precious time together.

Thank you, Mădălina, for being a part of our Spotlight!

If you know an artist that should be in the spotlight, contact us at

For more of  Mădălina‘s work, you can follow her work on the links: pământiu on Instagram.


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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki