Designer/Illustrator Interview ~ Julia Stanescu
I’ve recently had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing the lovely and talented Julia Stanescu behind The World of Wonderful, and Fashionarium. She’s a handbag designer and a illustrator (as a hobby!) who resides in Romania; a beautiful country in Europe. Her passion clearly shows through her attention to detail in her handbags, and even in her illustrations. She is definitely someone to look up to and gather inspiration from – and I hope you do just that after reading the interview. Enjoy! Oh, and I so need to get me one of her handbags – Christmas gift perhaps?! I think so! They’re all so lovely though – hmmm.
NB: Firstly, please tell us about yourself – what are you all about?
JS:As Natalie mentioned I’m the creator of The World of Wonderful and Fashionarium. I’ll tell you a bit about these two projects below:
The World of Wonderful – is my creative world, the online store where I share, for the moment, the bags I create. This concept is designed to delight women through minimalism, uniqueness and limited edition fashion. All the products are created with a passion by me, to bring each woman specialty and individuality.
Fashionarium – is all about creative people and their uniqueness. The place to go for contemporary fashion design, illustration, beauty, art and photography.
NB: When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion illustrator? And how did you become one?
JS: I’m not a professional fashion illustrator. From time to time I love to illustrate fashion. I had some clients but for me, Fashion Illustration is just one of my passions and I love to maintain it like this; this is the moment when I completely relax my mind, and when I empower it with positive feelings.
NB: If you had not gone with your dream career – what could you see yourself doing?
JS: I think somehow this is what I would have arrived to be doing, though maybe not so fast. I’m really living what I love: creating and sharing my designs with women who love to make a difference in a world full of mass produced fashion. And in the same time have the chance to develop Fashionarium, that helps aspiring fashion illustrators and designers to expand their businesses. I simply love what I live.
NB: When did you realize you wanted to make handbags, and how?
JS: After graduation from the University of Advertising and Communication, I asked myself: ‘What do I love to do the most in life?’ and I realized that I’m mostly attracted by the creative side than the logical one, I’ve been cultivating my mind into visual arts since my childhood. I probably inherited this talent from my mother who inspired me a lot to draw and to learn more about this industry. If I look better into my past, I’ve basically always been drawing and creating clothes or accessories for me in order to be different.
I feel a strong sense of happiness when I design a handbag or when I paint. I’ve realized that creating is how I express myself freely. Then I discovered that various people wanted to wear my work and that was just the beginning.
NB: Did you attend a school for fashion? If so, where at?
JS: Most of the time I’ve been self-taught. I’ve learned a lot by my own about the creative process, about the tools I need to use or how to design the concept of a collection. I’ve also finished an entrepreneurship course here in Romania, “Empretec” which gave me the basics as a fashion entrepreneur; I’ve attended an introductory fashion design course at Adrian Oianu, a Contemporary Romanian Designer, (http://www.adrianoianu.com/) I’ve graduated from an Advertising and Communication University which help me to organize and promote my brand. I’ve also learned from many talented people. Of course, I’m not stopping here with my learning process.
NB: What is your creative process like, when creating?
JS: First, I start by identifying my source of inspiration; I collect photos in a moodboard. For “Blossoms”, my latest collections of handbags, I started building the moodboard last spring, when I became aware that I am mostly inspired by the season, nature and flowers. I kept adding photos until I decided upon the collection concept. The moodboard is essential for me. Not only because it charges me emotionally, but it helps me define the course of the collection, the colour palette and to find its story.
The creative part comes next. I like to mix ideas, and express them through sketches. If I see something that inspires me (flowers, for example), I try to recreate some details from them through drawings. I always carry a sketch notebook with me, so that when I have an idea I take it out and pencil it in.
The concept comes to life when I find the right fabrics. Design and material go hand in hand and they depend on each other, when you create an exclusive product. It comes naturally to me. I play with the leather, I play with the shapes and volumes, until I see a design that I like. This is something a simple drawing cannot give you.
NB: What is your favorite part of the illustrating process?
JS: When I illustrate I work both digitally and traditionally. The feeling is truly different. But on both sides I simply love to draw portraits and fashion illustrations.
NB: What are your favorite techniques in illustration?
JS: I love to play with various techniques: acrylics + oils, watercolor or ink; but mainly I love watercolors and ink effects.
NB: Could you share one of your earliest illustrations/creations?
JS: See below. (The following are circa 2000, 2002, and 2008)
NB: Can you describe your daily routine?
JS: My days are quite different; I hate routines so I try to bring something new into my projects each day. I think for me, this is the secret of not getting bored and learning every day.
NB: What is your favorite fashion quote?
JS: Oh, there are many but most of them have the main idea I truly believe in: I see Fashion as an art of self expression; I believe that fashion it’s not only about beautiful things but it’s about how we put things together and how we express the beauty from inside of us.
I think this quote from Donna Karan expresses better what I said:
“Today, fashion is really about sensuality—how a woman feels on the inside. In the ‘80s women used suits with exaggerated shoulders and waists to make a strong impression. Women are now more comfortable with themselves and their bodies—they no longer feel the need to hide behind their clothes.” Donna Karan.
NB: Which client(s) was your most favorite to work with?
JS: Each one is different this is why all of them are special in my mind.
NB: If you could travel anywhere for inspiration, where would it be, and why?
JS: I’m inspired by Barcelona. Gaudi ’s architecture simply amazes me.
NB: What was your most rewarding experience throughout living your dream career?
JS: Meeting great people.
NB: What fashion magazines and/or catalogs do you subscribe to?
JS: Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Russian online magazines and… a few fashion blogs.
NB: What fashion books inspire you?
JS: Here you can see some of my book recommendations I wrote about on Fashionarium
I’ve also launched a book: Fashion Illustration Exposed, (also pictured above) including guidelines from some of the most talented fashion illustrators around the world that inspired me through their work. It is neither a recipe book, nor a collection of formulas. It’s rather a source of inspiration for those who love to create contemporary fashion illustration. You’ll explore different approaches to finding ideas, coloring, sketching, mixing media and other aspects related to illustrating fashion. It’s all about people and their uniqueness.
NB: Which Canadian and American Illustrator are you inspired by?
JS: Oh… It’s hard to say. I believe that this is one of the reasons I designed Fashionarium. Because during my process of self-learning, I’ve discovered many fashion illustrators whose style I loved and wanted to share their work with my friends and other passionate people. I’ve done some interviews here with my favorites illustrators & designers (and more to come soon!)
NB: Your dreams for the next 10 years include?
JS: Make a difference.
NB: What’s your mantra?
JS: Go beyond the limits!
NB: Any inspiring words for aspiring fashion illustrators/designers/enthusiasts?
JS: Be yourself and express your personality naturally in everything you do. In this way you’ll distinguish yourself from the others. Follow the rules and then break them to create something innovative and unique that comes from the inside of you.
All images supplied by Julia Stanescu
Barcelona Photos via Google Images
Interviewed by Natalie Brooke for Musings Of A Brunette © 2011