Interview for the Illustrators vol.2 by Paper Cuts

maria portrait– Academic education or self-taught?

I’m a graduate of the Estonian Academy of Arts and I continue to be self-taught as well. It’s best to learn from the masters – by taking courses, browsing books and going to exhibitions.

– What does your dream work space look like?

There are three of them. The first is a small house in the middle of an apple orchard and flower garden. There’s much light in this cottage, a big desk by the window and works and ideas nearing completion are hanging on the walls – this is where I make pictures for children’s books. When my eyes get tired, I gaze at the apple trees or go outside for a quick bite of an apple. Another space is in the middle of a natural area on the second floor of an unfinished timbered house with a transparent roof, it’s spacious and full of light. The only furnishings are an easel, bench and palette. This is a place where paint is allowed to drip and time can stop. It’s a place for oil painting. The third one is a place that is truly my own, year-round. A loft with a spacious skylight, and white, blank walls, abundant light and definitely a door to separate the work area from the rest of the world. This third one is still a dream.

– What are the techniques you like to use for your illus- trations?
I prefer oil paintings, pastel and watercolour. I enjoy working with paint! These techniques allow me enough freedom, too – making a mistake is nothing tragic. It’s nice to find the right stroke among a tangle of mistaken lines.

– Where does your inspiration come from?

New places and meetings, people’s stories, some pleasant moment, or perhaps a poignant moment, memory-pictures and fragments of life. And the word, too – for instance, Viiu-Marie Rummo’s texts and Eva Raup’s poems. The work of the composer Johan Hugosson, too, definitely. Nothing inspires work better than a specific assignment and deadlines.

– Have you already found your own style?

I don’t focus on looking for a style. I do it the way I know how.

– Money or love?

Both of them – and in spades, please!

*Interview by Paper Cuts for the book “Illustrators vol. 2”
Published in June 2015, Tallinn

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