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An interview with: Nataša Ilinčić

Introducing the folk-lore inspired illustrations of: @natasailincic


Nataša's dreamy artworks will instantly transport you into a world of fairytales and magic. A profoundly talented illustrator, she has a gift for portraying all sorts of mystical and wonderful beings conjured up from her imagination and the annals of mythology and history...


"Nataša’s art explores the spiritual relationship between humans and wilderness with a new voice, but one that echoes the wisdom of ancient ways." - Natasailincic.com


Currently residing in Scotland, Nataša Ilinčić has worked on numerous book covers, as well as releasing her own individual books, A Compendium Of Witches & Tarot of the Witch's Garden. She is one of our favourite fantasy artists working today, and we would describe her artworks as shining lights of joy and magic that connect you to an ancient lore of mysticism.


Read on below for our new interview with Natasa Ilinčič in which we discuss her origins, inspirations, motivations, spirituality & more...

Where are you from and when did you first start creating art?

I like to say that I’m a bit from everywhere. My family is from the coastal region of Croatia, I grew up in northern Italy at the foot of the Alps, and I now live in the Scottish countryside. I’ve always lived in places that were full of history and had an easy access to nature, and that shaped my passions, values, and what I pour into my art. I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of pen and paper, I always found them to be comforting and satisfying tools of expression.

Until my mid-twenties art was relegated to the spare scraps of spare time I had. It was only after that that I was able to dedicate my full attention to it, and when my style really started taking shape. I didn’t attend art school, my academic path took me in a completely different direction: first Archaeology, then Cultural Anthropology. Despite not being art related, these fields informed and influenced my art deeply.

How long did it take you to develop your signature style? 

I first started creating art professionally in my early / mid-twenties. It took several years to develop my signature style, it happened gradually and organically. Looking back at my early art, the themes were similar, but the style was different (heavier on the lines, more influenced by Art Nouveau). As my skill and confidence with watercolour grew, so did my capability to express myself effectively with it. Style is and should be fluid, I expect it to keep changing in line with my interests, skill, experiments.

What are the key ideas and themes that inspire you the most and why?

The concepts of interconnection and immanence are very dear to me, and often fuel my work. The idea that sacredness is all around us, present in the smallest of things and our everyday lives, is something that I keep coming back to in my art and writing.

Are there any artists / books that have had a strong impact on you and why?

Growing up there were many artists that inspired me and shaped my aesthetic taste, to name a few: the Pre-Raphaelites (especially Waterhouse), Symbolist painters, and more recent artists like Brian Froud and Alan Lee. Literature played a strong part too, especially decadent authors (like Baudelaire), fantasy books, and perhaps more importantly collections of folklore passed through generations. These days some of the artists that inspire me the most are my friends and peers, not just for their creations but for their ethos and tenacity.

What does spirituality mean to you?

For me spirituality is a way of connecting with the world on a deeper level, of opening ourselves to the nature surrounding us. I like to think of it as a way of removing barriers to let the world pour into us and in turn let ourselves pour into it. It’s an opening of the senses that puts what’s truly important into perspective, and often a comforting way of connecting with those who came before us through folklore and myth, and see what wisdom we can gather from them.

How was last year for you?

Last year felt like a purposeful journey, taken at a sensible pace. By this I mean I was able to take it slow when I needed it. It felt decisive but never rushed. I watched my garden grow, I didn’t overwork myself, I set clear goals for the future, and said “let’s do it!” to many things that felt out of my comfort zone but ultimately expanded it. I hope to take some of that into this new year!

How do you feel about the future?

I feel uncertain about the future, understandably. I think many people my age feel the same, like we passed a crossroads where we had the option to choose a brighter path, but were dragged onto the darker one. Now the road is slippery, and there is no easy way to turn back. All we can do is make the best out of a bad situation and keep fighting, in the hopes that there will be something left for those who come after us. On the days when darkness feels overwhelming, I try to remind myself of what are the small things I can do to help, and find comfort in my community.

What lights the flame of passion inside of you?

People. Those who don’t shy away from speaking up against injustice, who pick the hardest fights, who stand with the most vulnerable in society. Those who fight for inclusivity, climate justice, and a world where the needs of all outweigh the greed of the few.

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You can discover more of her work and find links to purchase her various books of art via her website: www.natasailincic.com


- ASTRAL MAGAZINE

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