Gina Mei
June 11, 2015 3:20 pm

Oana Voitovici’s art is happy-making. The Romania-born and Sweden-based illustrator has perfected an adorable, whimsical style that has us totally charmed. Oana is a strong supporter of women’s rights and equality, and is all about practicing kindness, something that totally comes through in her work. While she studied advertising and communication in school, she feels very lucky to get to illustrate for work — something she loves. From woodland creatures in sweaters to sweet family portraits, Oana’s art is our cuteness break for the day — and that’s why she’s our Illustrator of the Week!

Find out more about Dora and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.

No pressure, but describe your art: My illustrations can be described as #cute. I always enjoyed looking at artists that draw the cutest, funniest illustrations in the simplest ways, and I felt that I wanted to do the same thing and make people smile. So, I can say that if my art brings you a smile, a warm fuzzy feeling, and maybe gets an aww from you, then I am a very, very happy illustrator.

What inspires you to make things: I get inspired by all the cute animal stories that I read (mostly on HelloGiggles); by all the Studio Ghibli’s movies; Adventure Time awesomeness; my gremlin of a cat, Teto; and wonderful children’s books. I absolutely love looking at kids’ literature in libraries and admiring the magic of the illustrations and the storytelling. Also, I currently live in Scandinavia, where I am surrounded by amazing forests, lakes, and breathtaking nature, as well as illustrators like Tove Jansson, the Moomins’ creator, or Elsa Beskow.

Your favorite thing(s) to draw: I’ve always enjoyed drawing animals — giving them little outfits and funny lines! Recently, I’ve been designing custom-made portraits for people all over the world. It’s so different, and it brings you closer to other human beings on the other side of the planet in a very weird and beautiful way. Being an illustrator can get lonely sometimes — working from home and not socializing enough or meeting new people — but I’ve found a way to meet all these cool people, hear about their stories, their families, and their special days. There is something great about discovering someone’s favourite colour or football team, and how much they love their partners. I feel grateful to be able to help all these awesome people make someone a bit happier with something I’ve made.

Medium of choice: I usually hand draw all my illustrations and then use a digital coloring process for adding different hues, layers, and text.

The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: I think I always loved drawing, and especially drawing for other people. I remember that when I was in kindergarden I discovered how to draw princesses and they all looked pretty similar to begin with: small waist, long hair, and puffy dresses. All the kids wanted me to draw princesses for them and I loved doing it. I used to spend hours personalizing their outfits and making them special for each of my friends. I guess that would be one of my first memories of drawing for other people.

Proudest achievement so far: My proudest achievement was opening my online shop and getting my illustrations out there for other people to enjoy them. I was always, and still am, very modest about my work. I used to feel overwhelmed by all the amazing artists who are out there and creating such wonderful art, that somehow I felt like I couldn’t find my identity in the market. As a New Year’s resolution I decided to finally open an Etsy online shop and do what I love no matter what!

Music you listen to while you work: This is a tough question because my Spotify list is very, very long, but at the moment I have been listening to A LOT of Wild Beasts, Low Roar (love all Icelandic bands!), Beach House, Craft Spells, Lower Dens, Alt J, War on Drugs, and FKA twigs. I love discovering new bands that inspire me somehow in my work, whether it’s through their music or their album artwork.

Your most prized possession: I really don’t have any material object that I “prize,” but I do own a cat (or, rather, she owns me), whom I love a lot — though she is certainly more of a free-spirit-ninja-feline than a possession.

Your personal hero: I think it would have to be LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) [Editor’s note: A character from ‘Adventure Time’!] because she is free-spirited, loves her lumps, and is an inspiration for all of us out there looking for a more natural kind of hero.

The last thing to make you giggle: The last thing that made me giggle was this article about a mildly angry dad whose daughter bought a very small top from a website, and he posted a review with his cat wearing the top to show how small it actually was. Still giggling.

Current project(s): At the moment, I am focusing on developing my online business and doing more custom made illustrations for people around the world. I would really love to start designing some t-shirts and tote bags, and maybe in the future to write and illustrate my own children’s book.

Check out Oana’s amazing phone cases via Casetify — they’re an exclusive partnership with HelloGiggles! And for more of her work, check out her Facebook and Etsy.

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