Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Rialda: Almost always :) first thing I remember I wanted to be is a pharmacist like my mom. Then, when I was six I started going to a little school of drawing and painting at the studio of our local artists. That’s when I realized I wanted to be an artist.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
R: I used to live in three Serbian cities throughout my childhood and adolescence. I was born and raised in a small city of Novi Pazar in Serbia, attended High School of Arts in Nis and then moved to Belgrade where I graduated from University of Arts. I lived in Belgrade for nearly seven years prior to moving to Canada.
Also, I was working in film and theatre industry for some time during my studies and after graduation. I believe that this background influenced my work as an illustrator in a great manner.
W: What type of work do you do for your clients?
R: I create various types of digital illustration for commissioned projects. Sometimes I create editorial pieces for printed or online magazines and other times I design music cover artworks. I also illustrate promotional social media posts and/or ads and draw custom pieces for independent brands.
W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
R: I have to say I don’t have a favourite type of project right now. Usually I like editorials but lately I have been enjoying the wide span of work I have been doing. It is quite exciting to constantly have new challenges and the dynamics of changing approach to different projects make me enjoy my job even more.
W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
R: In my personal work I experiment a lot with digital illustration and its possibilities. I find it rather exciting to constantly learn new things. My personal projects mostly explore the relations between people as well as quirky and often funny moments of everyday life. I enjoy taking simple, repetitive everyday tasks out of their daily context and try to give them a new meaning by putting these moments in spotlight through illustrations.
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
R: This is a tough one :) I don’t think I would like to be remembered by one project. I believe I would prefer to be known by the way my work found its way to the audience as well as how my projects approached to and explored various themes.
W: What is your creative process?
R: Usually, when working on a commissioned project, I thoroughly discuss the idea with my client. After we outline the initial directions that illustrations will take I commit several days to creating mood boards and doing research on the topic. Then, using the inspiration and content I have gathered during the previous phase, I draft several sketches and send them for approval. When the client picks the design that works best for them I start the digital painting process. After the illustration is finished I send out the file for one final stamp of approval.
This process looks a bit different when I am working on my personal projects. Usually I sketch a lot. I always have my iPad or a sketchbook and pen on hand and just try to draw everything that catches my eye. Then, when I am at my desk I take these roughs and start experimenting with techniques, colours and textures until I reach a final stage of the piece that I am happy with.
W: What are you planning to create next?
R: Probably some personal illustrations. I would love to start a new series of illustrated outdoor activities that I would like to do in between client projects.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
R: I believe TV Shows. Once I start I cannot stop bingeing until the whole series is finished!
W: Where do you find inspiration?
R: Mostly in other creative contents and quite often everyday life. I try to frequently do creative things that would help me going. Usually, I would read an interesting book, watch a great movie, go to a museum or an exhibition or simply talk to fellow artists. Connecting with other creatives and exploring new themes and techniques reminds me how much fun your job can be and keeps my creative levels high.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
R: So excited! Ever since I found out about its ideas and goals I knew I wanted to be associated with Wrappr. It is truly a pleasure working with a brand with such a beautiful story and strong ethics. Simply cannot wait to see the products in action once they are printed!
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you're doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
R: I personally started small several years ago and am slowly replacing my daily products with eco friendly alternatives. For instance, I always carry tote bags for shopping instead of taking plastic bags from the store, reuse empty jars, bring my containers to stores and use lunchboxes, my own utensils and reusable steel straws. I strongly believe that we need to commit to changing some everyday habits and start doing things that will lead us towards a much needed change.