Subsign: First, can you tell us a few things about yourself?
Daniela: My name is Daniela Corciovă, I am 24 years old, and I currently live in Bucharest. Like many other artists, I feel like painting is such a big part of who I am that I can’t imagine my life without it. So I use pencils, ink, watercolor, whatever I can find to make illustrations, simply because I don’t know how not to.
Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?
Daniela: I was a very introverted and sensitive child, which made it harder for me to make friends. This, however, made me entertain myself with stories and art. I can’t recall a time when I was not drawing, there are some pieces of furniture and a stuffed monkey that remember a five-year-old with artistic inclinations and a green pencil.
As far as influence goes, I grew up with a pretty big garden, which probably planted this love I have for nature that continues to grow to this day. Also, I used to read a lot, watch cartoons, and makeup characters and stories with my childhood best friend. I’d say that this is how the tendency I have to build worlds started.
Subsign: What did you want to be as a grown-up?
Daniela: I was always terrified of adults asking me this question, and I used to make stuff up on the spot. I didn’t really know what I would like to do or where my place in the world could be. I am honestly still looking.
Until recent years I didn’t seriously consider art as a career possibility, probably because of the advice I received along the way (you know, the usual “starving artist” speech).
Subsign: How does your workstation look like?
Daniela: My “ideal self” paints at the desk set up specifically for this purpose. It has all my art supplies in one place, so it makes it easier to start painting. However, it’s tiny, has bad lighting, and a less than ideal Ikea chair, which means that I usually end up painting on the floor or on my bed. Whatever works in the name of art!
Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?
Daniela: I’m not sure I have a cohesive art style, but I’ll say semi-realistic, detailed, as clean as I can get it. I usually paint pretty ladies, plants, and the occasional cat. When I am drawing a character, I like to imagine who they are and why they look the way they do. This makes it easier to create more interesting illustrations and to stay motivated.
Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?
Daniela: I like how the inspiration for artworks starts in the weirdest of places: a flower, a YouTube video, a funny cloud. If I don’t already have an idea, I go searching for something to spark my imagination. Usually, that means Instagram, the pictures on my phone, or my (ever-growing) Pinterest boards. I also love prompt lists like the ones that float around the art community during October.
After I know more or less what I want to draw, I make a quick doodle in my sketchbook to figure out the composition and sometimes values. If that works out, I make a nicer, cleaner sketch on the actual fancy paper or on my tablet. Then it all depends on the medium I choose to use. Tea and something nice to listen to is a must.
Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?
Daniela: I don’t have a particular piece I like the most, but I really love looking back on the Inktober illustrations I’ve made these past years. There’s something particularly satisfying about holding 31 tiny, finished illustrations. Also, I recently sold my first painting. That was pretty neat too, let me tell you.
Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?
Daniela: Oh, so many wonderful people! Among the artists, I frequently go to for inspiration are @cosmicspectrum, @audraauclair, @septemberwildflowers, @loputyn, @kelseyjbeckett, @madalina_andronic, @pancake_planet, @alexiaudriste.
Subsign: What advice could you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?
Daniela: I’ve come to believe that people respond to feelings and stories first, and to skill second. So pour your ideas and emotions on the page, create backstories that the viewers might never fully see, and most importantly, share your art! We tend to be our worst critics, but others might see the beauty we are blind to. You might be surprised which paintings people resonate with the most and for what reasons.
Subsign: If you would a superpower, what would it be?
Daniela: Sometimes I wish I could manipulate time, to slow down some moments that seem to go by way too fast.
Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song, and a movie?
Daniela: A book: As the spooky season is upon us, Lovecraft is a must! I recommend At the Mountains of Madness.
A song: Finneas – I Lost a Friend. Or anything from him, really.
A movie: For the few of you who haven’t seen it already, I recommend Howl’s, Moving Castle. It’s a gem of a movie!
Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
Daniela: I must admit that I am the suburban grandmother, Pinterest-board-maker, lover-of-dinner-parties kind of person. Ever since the slightest sign of yellow on leaves, I’ve been dreaming of a chill Halloween dinner party. I’d have decorations, cute bat cookies, olive-spiders pizza, and ghosts board games (I recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill).
Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why?
Daniela: Hm, the first people that come to mind are: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, I simply love watching her interviews. She’s so witty and charming. Serj Tankian, his music and messages really stuck with me since my teenage years. And of course, Cătălin Bordea. I just think he’d be such a fun person to talk to.
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Thank you Daniela for being a part of our Spotlight!