Interview Marija Tiurina

The amazing illustrations by Marija Tiurina will have your head spinning. With lovely colour pallets and a great attention to detail she creates whole worlds that fit on a single sheet of paper. Her main focus is on digital illustration and watercolour painting, but she also dabbles in sculpture, photography and other mixed media art works. Her work can be seen in in advertising, children’s books as well as videogames. Marija was born in Lithuania, a country rich with forests and lakes, where the summers are hot and the winters are cold. She has lived in London to make a name for herself where she acquired clients like Apple, Disney and Microsoft, while currently she is based in our flat little country of cheese and windmills.

How did you go about developing your own unique style?

It took years of searching, trying out different styles and looking at a lot of art by other creators.
In fact, I think I am still searching for my unique style as at the moment I am still eager to work in many ways and with various mediums, and can’t quite imagine yet how all that passion is going to be channeled into a singular style. But we’ll see!

I recognise some characters from Japanese animation is that a big inspiration for you and what else inspires you to make your sometimes mind-boggling art works?

Japanese animation, pop culture, vintage illustration and old dutch masters – all of that got combined into one big ball of influence for me. Classical painters like Hieronymus Bosch made me realise that I am not satisfied with simple works and abundance of negative space – I need tons of details to release my ideas. And peculiar things like the movies by David Lynch or Studio Ghibli help me make sure the details in my paintings are not at all boring.

Classical painters like Hieronymus Bosch made me realise that I am not satisfied with simple works and abundance of negative space

© Marija Tiurina
© Marija Tiurina

At what point did you know you could make a living from your illustrative skills?

Most of my childhood I was sure that drawing is just a hobby and in order to pay my bills I would need ‘a real job’, but around 10 years ago I started to realise that the world actually needs illustrators and artists, so I kept polishing my skills and building my portfolio. And now the bills are taken care of! Phew.

What has been the most exciting project that you’ve worked on so far and can you tell us about it?

I have been pretty spoiled recently, and the fact that I try different things all the time probably helps to make sure I occasionally work on really exciting things.
Like that time some young illustrators got together and re-imagined an old Russian fairytale poem, each chapter became a part of an animated digital mural – all for promotion of emerging talent sponsored by Adobe.

What are your plans for the (nearby) future?

I have been scaling up quite a lot, so for instance painting large ten meter walls and with that widening my comfort zone! Other than that, I want to keep creating a lot of works and feeling that I get better with each one of those.

Wil je meer werk zien van Marija? Klik dan hier voor haar website. Mocht je interesse hebben in een print of een van haar andere unieke producten dan vind je die hier.

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