Vivi Maidanik - Wrappr

Vivi Maidanik

Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Vivi: Growing up I took up dancing, photography, singing, acting, and painting classes. All of it!

Even though I was a very artistic child, I struggled to find what I wanted to study and do for a living because I liked a lot of my options: architecture, engineering, chemistry, history, literature. I finally decided on graphic design and that’s where I found illustration.

W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now

V: I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a family that always encouraged me to follow my interests and gave me the space to find my passions. Both my grandmothers were and still are a huge inspiration for me. They painted, did ceramics and sculpture. One of them was a fashion designer, so it's safe to say that I was surrounded by art.

While studying Graphic Design, I started taking classes outside the university to nurture my illustration skills and after graduating I spent six months in Barcelona studying illustration, printmaking, and eating lots of papas bravas.

During those months, I decided that illustration was definitely what I wanted to do. When I came back to Buenos Aires, I kept on taking classes, workshops and started to surround myself with fellow illustrators and artists. Having this community is still essential to me and my practice.

I am currently working on a picture book project about grief and healing. Also, I am producing and hosting a podcast about Illustration in Argentina and it will be available in September.

Hopefully, both projects will see the world soon.

W: What type of work do you do for your clients?

V: I do editorial illustrations, children's illustration, surface design, and private commissions.

W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?

V: Honestly, all of them. Before 2020, I was more likely to be stressed and have too many ongoing projects at the same time, which led me to complete burnout. Now, I am trying to be pickier, and find what excites me about each project to make the most of it.

W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?

V: I love personal projects and have an endless list of them and I like to explore new ideas in my many different sketchbooks. Just to name a few, I have a big one for portraits in mixed media, one for practicing storytelling with color pencils and graphite, one for a personal destination postcard project based on photos I take on vacations, one for printmaking, and another for watercolors. Plants and nature are always included.

W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?

V: I would like to be remembered for making people feel at home, whatever that means for them...

For me, that is being at ease with who I am, what I am doing, and who I am surrounded by.

I hope to achieve that through my art, and actions.

W: What is your creative process?

V: My creative process involves studying what I am going to portray and thinking about what is needed for each project.

To do so, I usually start by sketching to understand my preconceived notions of what I have to illustrate. After that I investigate the subject matter more thoroughly, I look for reference photos and sketch again. I choose up to three sketches and refine them. Then I show them to the client. Once sketches are approved, I dive into the final illustration.

Depending on how it's going to be reproduced, I choose how I am going to make it. I do prefer to draw with colored pencils and watercolors until I have almost finished work. Then I scan and polish in Procreate. But if the project has a tight schedule or the printing technique requires it, I work digitally on my iPad after sketches are done.

W: What are you planning to create next?

V: I am looking forward to finishing my first picture book as an author, and after that, I have three more personal book projects I want to work on. These projects take a long time which is why I try to balance them with others that are on my 'smaller projects' to-do list, like stand-alone illustrations, editorial illustrations, or surface design.

W: What is your biggest indulgence?

V: Buying or making sketchbooks, binging on TV series, and trying out new foods and flavors.

W: Where do you find inspiration?

V: I find my inspiration in pictures I have taken, old books, everyday life, and stories I see, read, hear or imagine.

W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?

V: When I saw what Wrappr was doing I knew I had to be a part of it and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I am so excited to be involved in a project that shares my values and makes beautiful everlasting art.

Many of us have been thinking about how we can make a change and help the industry evolve. And this is the right way, I truly hope that this will be the way things get made in the future, with the planet and our loved ones in mind.

W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.

V: The only good thing about the climate crisis getting to this point is that we are finally paying attention and taking some action. It's a topic that brings me to tears every time and I can't believe that it took us so long to wake up.

Luckily, the city I live in has been promoting the separation of waste for at least ten years now, so it is common to see people in their houses separating plastic, cardboard, glass, and paper from the rest of the household waste. Also, plastic bags are almost extinct here, so you have to take your tote or fabric bag to buy almost anything (finally!).

I have just started composting organic waste on my balcony and I walk or bike every time I have the chance. Alimentation-wise, I have been getting my fruits and vegetables from a local farmer's organized group that delivers agro toxic-free goods every week to a local shop. And I try to have a vegetarian diet at home and introduce vegan meals whenever I can.

Also, regarding personal hygiene products, I have been using a menstrual cup for five years, fabric pads, and solid shampoo and conditioner to avoid the unnecessary use of plastic.

I know it is not enough, but I am getting there.

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