Celebrating Romanian Illustrators
It’s December and the days of Christmas are upon us. There will be a myriad of free resources mainly because this is the month of giving. What better way to celebrate than giving a little something to everyone.
But, this year, I want to do something more. On December 1st, my fellow countrymen and I celebrate the Romanian National Day. We’ve been a communist country until recently. Therefore, the events all seem a copycat of what we see in other European countries that never knew the regime or the USA. That’s not to say we don’t have plenty of our own patriotic festivities. My endeavour is one such “patriotic festivity”.
The entire month of December I will feature some of my favorite successful Romanian artists, who are mainly illustrators. They have both national and international recognition for their creativity and spirit. I want you all to see that and get a feeling of what Romanians bring to the graphic design industry.
The first to be featured in the series is Maria Surducan.
Given That I’ve been raising a little dragon, I have also become acquainted with the wonderful publishing house Usborne. And that is how I discovered Maria Surducan from Cluj Napoca (Romania). Sadly, it was through a foreign publisher and not one of our own. We’re not very good at promoting our values, it seems. But I was psyched to see that she is a regular Usborne collaborator, having created illustrations for a collection of stories from Shakespeare’s plays, written and edited by Anna Milbourne. The other picture book is The Canterbury Tales, retold for children.
Apart from children’s books, she draws unique illustration for graphic novels, posters and comics. She also contributed to an extremely playful project for a deck of cards, called Mascarici. She regularly updates her blog with events and sketches and her skills’progress.
What is more, she also has a sister, Ileana Surducan, following on her footsteps. Both parents are physicians, so the girls are truly doing it for the arts, encouraged by open minded people. Their passion was never met with opposition, so much so that they never considered doing anything else.
Maria created Praslea cel Voinic based on three common Romanian fairy tales and crowd-funded the project through crestemidei.ro, an online platform similar to Kiskstarter. It was her dream to turn these traditional stories into a graphic novel and she beautifully succeeded. That’s because, beyond her drawing skills she also has the gift of story-telling.