Miss Maze

This is Madalina, a.k.a. Miss Maze, who is 21-years-old and in her final year studying illustration.

As well as illustration, Madalina also has another slightly more unusual passion. ‘I am very much in love with taxidermy and the art of preservation,’ she says. She’s done some preserving for her project, and her tutor has helped her out. ‘In the past he’s found me a dead fox and a bird – both sadly roadkill. Not many teachers, or people in general, would be eccentric or willing enough to pick up a dead animal and stick it in their freezer to give to someone – he’s amazing!’

Read on to find out more…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I chose Maze for my pseudonym because this is what my initials spell.  I hope to be doing a top up in something similar to Illustration to get a BA(hons) qualification after I’ve completed this year, and I have also done a BTEC in Graphic Design. I’m currently very busy doing my final major project which involves writing my own story book and illustrating it, I am doing this while continuing the long drawn out process of self promoting my work. I find this really difficult as I’m not used to blogging or even showing my work to people, for years I’ve always stayed quite hidden, so now I’m having to show my work and I think its quite scary. It’s probably because I have no idea what to expect, I’m just hoping people like my work and want commissions by me!

A lot of my illustrations mainly have girls in them, I seem to find this a favourite of mine. I think my work is quite dark and pretty. I like to go for old and Victorian-esque feel to a lot of my work, but I feel I am still experimenting and discovering a personal style.

What are your inspirations?

A lot of my inspirations come from other artists like Arthur Rackham or Jessica Galbreth , fairy-tales, dark romance novels and Victorian culture which spurs off into interests like taxidermy and preservation. I think my interest for this comes from a slight fear and fascination with death and mortality that I have, I always want to think up and find ways of remembering or holding onto things, like pets that pass away – I have 5 pet mice but I used to have 22! It is very sad when they have to go. I also get a lot of inspiration from illustrated books, children’s books, graphic novels, art books etc. I love books! Especially the old worn ones or ones that have sneaky things you can pull out, they’re the best. Ultimately, I get inspiration from anywhere, if I see something I like I’ll remember what I’ve seen or note it down so I can develop it into an idea later on.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

Well, if I’m being honest I don’t really have a favourite piece of work at the moment, although I do have a book I made a few years ago called Once Upon A Time... It’s filled with photographs that I took and then manipulated with ink , tea and a lighter. Each image represented a fairytale that had a sinister twist. That was my favourite at the time. I am very much a perfectionist so it’s difficult for me to be really happy with a piece of work I produce. If I truly had to pick a favourite it would possibly be my last taxidermy piece or my Femme Fighters poster which was for a feminist project, simply because I put a lot of time into them and think they turned out quite good when I thought they wouldn’t.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

This is a really hard question because there are just too many favourites! one of my favourite illustrators goes by the name Nati (Natalia Pierandrei). Her work is beautiful and she is a great inspiration. I love her use of dark simple colours with few brighter colours, her work is slightly Gothic fantasy looking and based around fairy-tales and art nouveau which is my favourite art movement. However, my favourite taxidermist is Sarina Brewer, she does all sorts of taxidermy and can make some magical and some quite creepy creatures! The main thing I love about her, is her love for animals in life and in death, and how she follows a strict ‘waste not, want not’ policy. I can only wish that someday I will have similar talents.

Visit Madalina’s blog, and view some of her work on her DeviantArt page. She’s new to Twitter, so follow her here: @_MissMaze.

All images © Madalina Edlund. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.

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