I present to you today Croatian artist and illustrator Maja Tomljanović, whose work I recently discovered and got so impressed with.
I’m always on the lookout for some interesting artists and illustrators. And especially the ones whose work is inspired by travel and different destinations. Well, Maja’s work ticked all those boxes. So I was thrilled when she agreed to have a conversation with me and give an interview for Culture Tourist readers.
Meet Maja Tomljanović
1/ Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Maja, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Croatia. After I graduate, I worked more than ten years as a graphic designer, when I decided to take the leap and pursue my love for illustration in 2016. I love to illustrate, play with patterns, write with an apple pencil and get messy with brushes and paint. My artistic style is feminine and colourful. I’m inspired by everyday life but especially by women and summer. Alongside my work for clients, I run my own shop where I sell stationery products and art prints.
2/ Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Inspiration is really everywhere, but mostly I’m inspired by females. The female form is a subject I am familiar with, and I love experimenting with poses and shapes. It all started with an interest in fashion illustration and has continued on as my favourite subject to draw. And as I really like to travel, I found inspiration in places I visit or want to go to. So, my work is often inspired by some places or details I see on our travels.
3/ I love your collection of Croatian islands maps. Can you tell me more about it?
Thanks! I really wanted to do some maps, but I was terrified they are too hard to make, so I postponed this personal project for so long. And one day, I decided to take the leap and jump in my first map – Brač. After I finished it, I realise they are so fun to make, and people really liked this first one. So I got the push I needed to make a few more.
4/ Some of your illustrations are inspired by cities worldwide, like Amsterdam, Barcelona or Paris. Are you painting only the places you visited? Or the ones you especially liked?
Most of the places I illustrated, I visited and fell in love with. Like Amsterdam, it was love at first sight. And Paris, who doesn’t love Paris 🙂 Some places are more inspirational than others, but in general, I love illustrating cities. Even the ones I didn’t visit, like Boston, NYC, Chicago… Cause then I need to google it, search for some interesting building, see sights, etc. And then travel bug starts to work, and I immediately want to go there.
5/ What’s the destination you visited that inspired you the most?
I think that’s Portugal. I really like their vibe, weather, streets, language. It’s the most common scene in my illustration, I think.
6/ Do you have any exciting projects planned for the future?
Yes, I have a few that needs to be published in the upcoming months, so I can’t wait to share them with you. In the meantime, I started painting with gouache and really want to draw the traditional way more often. I’m also working on some personal stuff, like introducing new cards and prints to my Etsy shop.
7/ Where can Culture Tourist’s readers find & buy your work?
Photos copyright: Maja Tomljanović