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based in Ljubljana . Slovenia
28 years . illustrator . designer

I am a Visual Communications graduate but an illustrator by heart. I work as a freelance illustrator and I own an Etsy shop at the same time. I am known for my whimsical, tender animal characters and their delicate floral environments. Although I love to paint different kind of things, animals in their natural environment are my biggest passion. I also love to create items with my artwork : such as greeting cards, enamel pins, coloring book, notepads, notebooks... So nowadays I am also a proud Etsy shop owner.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

I love watercolors, gouache and colored pencils. I usually mix - it depends on what I want, or which shade I want. I have everything on my desk and than I just pick something that feels good at the moment. But I prefer water based colors and not acrylics. I have them on little ceramic plates - and when the color dries I just add a bit of water on it and continue painting. I think gouache and watercolors allow a lot of different effects - more/less opaque, light, strong, the line can be loose or detailed. It can be anything you want. I love the freedom of these two mediums. And colored pencils are good for doodling, textures, enhancing details.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

Working on different things would be the answer. I keep it interesting with new challenges. I just feel I have so much to share and I am motivated 90% of the time. I really feel blessed to be doing this. I am grateful every single day. When I am working on something I always have 10 other ideas that need to be executed. So that really keeps me going. The more I draw the more ideas I get.

I get inspired by traveling, taking hiking trips, observe the nature and amazing animal world.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

First I do a lot of sketching and drawing. To get the right idea and to form a composition. After sketching I do a refined drawing and transfer that to a thick watercolor paper. Than I start painting and I have fun with it. I follow my instincts when making an image most of the time. Sometimes it ends up different than the initial idea and a sketch. And that’s okay. Everything is a part of a process.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

Nothing special. I have so many emails and other things I cannot wait to start drawing or painting. Creativity or inspiration has never been a problem for me. Time is my worst enemy. There is simply not enough hours in a day for me to do everything. So I answer emails, pack Etsy orders, go to the post office, go to the printers - so there is very little creative time. When I have time I really cannot wait to put something on paper.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

I guess I like my new Meadow pattern very much. It has my favorite animals : fawn, hedgehog, bunny, birdie and a palette I really like at this moment. But I think this will change quite fast, because I feel like I am improving so quickly and everything I do is not good enough in a couple of days or weeks. I am very critical of my work - so this is actually a hard question. The motive for making this was long winter that is followed by spring. It has a lot of tender floral elements. I also made a notebook with it and a notepad.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// Quais são suas influências, inspirações ou artistas preferidos? Como isso se reflete no seu trabalho?

I guess little by little I collect visual fragments I see somewhere and than I incorporate them in my work. I am inspired by Beatrix Potter and a lot of other artists: Teagan White, Rebecca Green, Liekeland, Kelli Murray, Dinara Mirtalipova, Brigitte May, Julia Sarda, Carson Ellis, Isabelle Arsenault... and many more.

I don't try to draw or paint like them, but I really like their work. I still think you have to find your own visual voice and not copy anyone. Maybe be inspired by one's characters, others palette,...

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

No, not really.

// What makes you happy?

Go hiking, eat good food, do yoga. Spend time with the people that I care about. And being a grateful human being. I am happy to have a creative profession and to improve, grow and create almost every single day.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria
// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

Think about it wisely, and do it only if you really really want it. Because owning your little business is quite time consuming and it you have to be living for it… And when you decide that is it give it all you got. Weekends, evenings… Invest a lot of time and energy and the success will follow.

// Do you have a new project in the works?

I have some spring inspired stationary items in my Etsy shop. But I am developing some new things at this very moment.

My newest items are notepad and notebook.

Nina Štajner por Projeto Curadoria