"I hope that my artworks can create a connection between me and the viewers, and between them and themselves."

Anamaria (known also as Annamaria) is a painter based in Oradea, Romania.

Her artworks left me utterly spellbound. Eager to delve deeper into the mind behind the magic, I reached out for a chat with the creator herself for an insightful conversation. While her antithetic paintings and drawings initially drew me in with their blend of cosmogony, the grotesque, and enchantment, I soon realized that they were more than that; they were a reflection of her personal journey and a profound desire to reexperience life.

Themes of rebirth pervade her art, while undertones of strength and stoicism resonate powerfully, even if they aren’t overtly highlighted. Through her exploration of various techniques and motifs, Anamaria showcases not only her self-taught prowess but also offers lessons in self-discovery and the luminous beauty that can be found even in the darkest places. Dive into our candid conversation with this exceptional artist below.

CVLTARTES: Can you tell me a bit about your artistic journey? Do you recall a particular moment that marked your path as a painter?

Anamaria: First of all, I want to thank you for your kind words and interest in my art. My art journey began in 2018, after I had a brain surgery that changed my life. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that threatened to take everything away from me. My vision, my memories, my identity, and my life. Would I be the same? Would I be able to do anything? Would I survive?

After the surgery, I woke up with a new sense of wonder, appreciation, and gratitude for life. I had to relearn how to use my right side, which was paralyzed from head to toe. It was a difficult but motivating process because I had to relearn to walk and speak again.

I was always drawn to art, but I never thought I had the talent or the skill to be an artist. I used to doodle for fun, but nothing serious. The surgery woke up in me the desire to see the world in a different way. I wanted to express the emotions, thoughts, and joy that I felt. I wanted to capture the beauty and make art. From my gratitude towards the man who saved my life, my first painting was born.

What hooked me personally was the pagan and cosmic, vivid imagery, but also the depth that your themes generally evoke (for example, the beauty and grotesqueness seen in your most recent WIP). How would you characterize your style? Are there specific, constant influences throughout your work?

I don’t have a fixed style, but I like to experiment with different elements and influences. I would characterize my style, maybe, as a mix between fantasy and realism. I try to convey my vision of the world through my paintings, which often reflect the contrast and harmony between the beauty and the grotesque, the light and the dark, the sacred and the profane. I like to incorporate different motifs and symbols, such as skulls, flowers, stars, planets, etc., because I’m fascinated and inspired by the beauty and diversity of nature and the universe and how they reflect our inner world.

I see the beauty in everything, even in the things that are considered scary by some people. I think that beauty is not only a matter of appearance but also a matter of perspective and attitude.  I believe that everything is connected, even if some may doubt or ignore it. Life has a rhythm of death and rebirth, of ugliness and beauty, of love and hate; all of these are separated by a thin line. It is essential for humans to be positive and try to cherish every moment.

Where do you draw inspiration from, and how does it translate to visuals on your canvas?

Since I don’t have art training or a mentor, I draw inspiration from many sources. Nature, the universe, artists, friends, the internet, my own life, experiences, and emotions. I’m curious and interested in everything that surrounds me, and I try to learn as much as I can from different fields and disciplines. Being an introvert helps. I can observe things that others can’t. I don’t follow any guidelines.

Depending on my mood, I use certain colors, shapes, and textures and follow my intuition. I let the painting evolve organically. I try to create a balance between fantasy and realism, between simplicity and complexity, and between order and chaos.

Art is not about perfection but about expression.


If you were to use a single word to describe the essence of your work, what would that word be and why?

If I had to choose one single word to describe the essence of my work, it would be transformation. I think that transformation is the core theme of my work because it represents the change and growth that I have experienced in the last years of my life. It also represents the change and growth I hope to inspire in others through my art. Transformation is what makes us evolve as individuals and as a society. It is what makes art alive and meaningful.

I’ve noticed you have delved into various mediums—acrylics, pencils, maybe more. How do you navigate between several techniques, and do you favor any of them?

It depends on the mood, really. Sometimes I just want to doodle. When I want to get more detailed, I switch to painting. I use acrylics for now, but in the future I want to switch to oils.

Some (maybe all) artists have a piece of their work that holds a special place in their hearts. Do you have such a piece, and could you share its story?

My first painting was a gift for my neurosurgeon. In an interview, he stated that for him, the human brain is a universe. That painting was the turning point in my art journey. It was maybe a bit clumsy in execution, but it made me realize that art is not about perfection but about expression; it’s about connecting with yourself and with the world around you. It is about healing and growing as a person.

Being an artist is, beyond everything, about showing vulnerability. There surely are moments of self-doubt as well. How do you experience and navigate these moments? Do you believe this vulnerability shows in your work?

I do believe that vulnerability shows in my works because I put a lot of myself into them. I don’t hide or censor my emotions, my opinions, or my experiences. I share them openly and sincerely with the world. I think that vulnerability can be a strength. It makes us human and beautiful.

How do you wish your artworks to be perceived?

I wish that my artworks could be perceived as honest and meaningful. I hope that they can touch the hearts and minds of the viewers and make them feel something—to inspire them to think, to wonder, to question, to imagine. And I hope that they can create a connection between me and them, and between them and themselves.

Your Instagram bio has a No NFT disclaimer or warning. In today’s digital age, how do you navigate the business side of being an artist, such as sales and marketing, while maintaining artistic integrity?

I sold artworks to people even without a professional website or NTFs. I’ve made illustrations for a children’s book in the UK. The truth is that even if you have a million followers, only a small percentage of them will actually buy your artworks. It started as art therapy, and it made me happy. I put them on Instagram so I could make others happy, and people reacted.

Where do you see your artistic journey heading? Are there any new mediums or specific themes you would like to explore?

My artistic journey is an ongoing process, and I don’t have a fixed destination in mind. I’m always open to new challenges and opportunities, and I’m always eager to learn and improve.

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Romanian writer based in Cyprus. Co-founder CVLTARTES. Author of "Hailbringer: A Romanian Folktale"