Illustrated by Cristian Blanaru 

I was in my last year of high-school of arts in Romania when I typed illustration for the first time on my computer keyboard. I have studied drawing, painting and sculpting in a classical manner for several years but by the time I graduated high-school I was looking for something else, a new challenge perhaps.

I quickly found myself immersed in the beautiful images created by illustrators around the world and I decided I want to join that community and learn their craft. There was no illustration degree at any university in my country at that time, so I decided to leave home and study in England. I graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Fine Art and Illustration three years later. I took a year off after that and now I am studying MA Illustration at the Arts University Bournemouth with the goal to become a freelance illustrator and to quit having unfulfilling part-time jobs.

When I started working digitally I was simply making clumsy brush strokes on top of scanned drawings with the computer mouse. I do now have a digital tablet, thankfully and I am still using Photoshop ever since. My work is mainly digital, I am using pencil and paper in the early stages as this helps me get the images out of my head in a more efficient way.

The subject of my illustrations concentrates around the human figure. I am fascinated by psychology, the mind and interpretation of dreams and I always try to convey a picture of the subconscious. I love to draw and look at portraits and to observe the glare of the eyes, which feels like an invitation to connect with the artwork. 

I am also inspired by symbolism, things that I read from books or magazines and another artists’ work. I am writing to acknowledge the impact they had on me and to mention names such as James Jean, Owen Gent, Pat Perry, Sainer Etam, Thomas Cian, Rene Magritte and Egon Schiele.

Check out more of Cristian on Instagram