Here is a post I have been looking forward to sharing for weeks now. I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to sit and chat with one of my favorite artists and favorite people, Maria Danil.

An Introduction to Maria

Maria Danil is a Romanian artist born in the Republic of Moldova in 1984. She obtained her Licentiate in Fine Arts Design “Fashion Design” (2002-2007) and her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts (2007-2008) from the “Ion Creanga” State Pedagogial University in Chisinau, Moldova.

Maria and I met at work and quickly became friends. It didn’t take me long to learn Maria was a talented artist. Being a transplant to the United States as I was, Maria kind of kept her art and talents to herself for a while and is just beginning to introduce herself as an artist within our community. I am so happy she’s doing so.

I knew I wanted to talk to her about her work and I knew I wanted to share that conversation with you.  One afternoon Maria, her charming husband Pavel and adorable son who is just a bit younger than my own came over for a dinner and a chat. Here is what we learned as we spoke.

What inspired you to get started in art and at what age?

My inspiration was probably my family. My father was an art lover. In his family he had someone who studied art and then he discovered when I was five years old I had skills in art. Since then I have always been drawing something. Later my grandfather also got involved. I was lucky to have a family that unconditionally supported me morally and financially.

Which artists inspire you?

My favorite artists are Gerda Wegener, Danish illustrator and painter. Claude Monet the founder of Impressionist painting. Edouard Manet the french painter. The Romanian painter Stefan Luchian. Nicolae Grigorescu, one of the founders of modern Romanian painting and Glebus Sainciuc, the Romanian portraitist known for his mask collection.

Where do you go to see art here?

In the area where I live, I haven’t had a chance to see much art but I was traveling the U.S., for example the Chicago Museum, Washington and New York. I have seen many beautiful art pieces. It impressed me. I had the opportunity to see the original art of many artists I studied at college. Edouard Manet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and many others.

What media do you like to work in?

I work with pencil, watercolor, oil on canvas, tapestry, jewelry, fashion illustration and photography.

Quite a list! What themes do you like best in your artwork?

My artwork contains images of fashionable women. I like to express emotions and I love the eyes.

Why didn’t you choose to continue fashion Design?

There are just some sketches that lie on the shelf. I would like to make art I can hang on the wall and it can be admired by a bigger audience. I think this represents me now.

What themes do you like to explore in your photography?

The photo makes me very fascinated. It gives me the opportunity to see the world from another angle. I like to photograph nature because there is nothing false. Everything is as it should be, nothing is fake and doesn’t claim to be something it’s not. I can not say this about portrait photography where the human being is trying to create a character that’s false. Although I like to do that too. Unfortunately I do not have many models. My only model is my son right now.

Do you do commissioned work and where can people see your work?

Yes, I do commissioned work. Those who want to see my art can see it on facebook. The Michigan Library has an exhibit of my work up currently. I will also have an exhibit at the Lakota library soon.

Illustration by Maria Danil

Maria, you are a mom, wife and work full time! When do you find time to work on your art?

The time I can use for my art is at night. I like to create in peace without being disturbed.

Do you aspire to be an artist full time?

Yes! Who doesn’t dream of working in a field where he/she feels comfortable, and happy. It’s one of my greatest dreams. I hope that day will become a reality.

Are there any big projects you aspire to do someday? A Dream Project?

The Great Project is personal exhibitions for the bigger audience. This is so important to me. I want my family to be proud of me, especially my son. Coming from another country with another culture and language, to start from zero and to learn from the beginning step by step is not easy or simple. It’s a struggle with yourself. Every morning I say to myself ” you can”. I was lucky to meet wonderful people who helped us to acclimate to society more easily. I hope the future will bring me beautiful projects and many more friends.

Maria, what advice do you have for younger upcoming artists?

At college I was taught that one percent is talent and ninety-nine percent is work. This motivated me more toward on my skills and to achieve the desired result. My advice is not to give up. Dreams become reality if you work towards your ambitions.

Thanks so much Maria for letting me pick your brain for this blog.

I hope to post more content of this sort, highlighting the best thing about North Dakota – the people who live here. Their diversity and warmth and talents. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Maria who aside from being so talented is a good person and great friend.

With Love, Michelle

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