Reflections on 2015

In the spirit of remembering the best moments of 2015, I want to take the time, now in the last day of 2015, to reflect on what the old year proved and what the new year can bring.

2015 started so aggressively dynamic and I feel that only now I have the time and also perspective, to see objectively the beauty and progress of how things eventually unfolded. I started 2015 in a sort of continuation of 2014 with great projects at SCAD, and great desire to delve into what Sculpture can offer and how it can enrich my photographic and artistic practice. Getting acquainted with the expectations of writing a thesis paper for my M.F.A. program seemed perfect synchronized with discovering my passion for Sculpture. Being a peer tutor and teaching assistant helped me extend and apply further my passion, skills and creative energy to this artistic field. The internship with Atlanta Magazine that soon followed inspired and taught me how commercial magazines work and produce content every month, inspiring me later on to take the entrepreneurial leap with launching Florilegium magazine.

In between, I created so many new projects that helped in so many ways to refine my practice and inspiration. Even though time seemed to be my enemy, I feel so strongly that 2015 allowed me greatly to express myself creatively with so much potential in the shortest time frame I had on hand. Here, I can only remember that time when I had only seven days to create for the Huffington Post the video of Welcome to Braggsville and choose between this or going to New York City for a second interview with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for a photography internship position. Showcasing my work at Out to Launch was also an incredible experience, putting me in contact with so many great creative companies that had the chance to see and experience my artwork. With only few days before graduation, opening my thesis exhibition - Life from Light was the most accomplishing feeling an artist can experience. It represented the recognition of an extraordinary journey I started when I joined SCAD with a thesis project that meant so much to me.

The time when I graduated was extraordinary, encapsulating all these amazing experiences. Stepping on the stage to collect my degree, witnessing the inspirational lecture of John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, as the distinguished guest speaker, and experiencing the closing show, made me feel accomplished and extremely proud of myself of graduating a master that I long dreamed for.

Hilton Head Island brought to me equal joy, with new exciting projects related to videography, design and portraiture, and unlimited access to the Atlantic Ocean. Discovering and experiencing the island motivated me to use it as a subject matter in order to further extend my practice. Thus, now in the eve of a new year, you can all still enjoy my time there with these short creative films.

Creating cinematographic motion experiences means so much to me because it is not only encapsulating the memory of a special time, but it also brings with it an excellent subject matter to artistically explore. The island has been the inspirational background where I created and designed my amazing 18-page long project for Up by Forbes and the inception of Florilegium, the magazine. And this brings me closer to today, when recently I launched the art and culture publication Florilegium, available only in print with an amazing interactive design and inspirational artwork. I see Florilegium as a new chapter in my creative practice, which fully reflects my evolution, interests and practice. As a new chapter is closing, other follows and opens, bringing with it new expectations, challenges and accomplishments. We all have to allow ourselves to grow, refine and enjoy each stage through which we pass. And this is my wish for 2016, to continue this exciting exploration and experimentation of art and keep having the courage to risk and always fall in love with the beauty of the simple things around us. Happy New Year!

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Creative Collaboration with Up by Forbes

One of the dream assignments that came my way this year, and for which I am beyond grateful that it happened, is my latest collaboration with Forbes Romania. For the fall issue of Up by Forbes, a quarterly luxury publication published by Forbes Romania, I have designed the concept and layout design of an 18-page long editorial about my artistic journey and shared my photographic portfolio.

Earlier this summer, when Andrei Michailov, Art Director of Forbes Romania and Up by Forbes introduced me to the idea of creating a spread inspired by What Liberty Ate magazine and my photographs, I instantly clicked with the challenge. The entire design of Up by Forbes is exquisite, publishing exclusive interviews, portfolios and creative features into a coffee-table magazine format. I was so enthusiastic to take upon this creative challenge and create an unique spread to represent my design style and complement my photographs, but also symbolize my artistic journey.

This is something that I was aspiring to work on for a long time. The layout that I created marries the sophisticated level of my photography with geometry, featuring an interactive design, that asks for a closer look and presence. While working on the design, my artistic motivation was to bring forward the combination of things that inspired my artistic practice, and that level of emotion and anticipation one has before discovering something new. Being in a constant change, living between three countries and two continents in the past two years got me into the practice of taking more time offline with my creative work. This collaboration gave me the chance of featuring ideas that represent me as a visual artist and touch upon that very large spectrum of what my journey taught me along the way. I am truly thankful to Andrei Michailov and Diana-Florina Cosmin for sharing my story, and giving me the chance to showcase my work in Up by Forbes. I am thankful to all of my professors at SCAD for leading me toward my artistic voice and allowing me to reach and go beyond my own expectations, in such a beautiful way. Thank you all, have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Sweet and Salty Summer Costini for Atlanta Magazine

"The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is." Marcel Proust

Between March and May, between SCAD, my thesis and my exhibition, I was interning for Atlanta Magazine. I have spend a nice time working on the magazine, assisting at photo-shoots and shooting, mapping eventually my interest for food photography with a last assignment. A summer inspiration recipe that one could enjoy at breakfast or served as appetizer at a dinner party. I love crostini because they are quick to make and always tasteful. Paired with tea in the morning or white wine at dinner, they are snack-perfect!

These crostini have the right amount of sweet and salty. The Kalamata olives are a wonderful pairing with the creamy cheese, since their meaty texture is unexpected with every bite. This is a very simple, yet tasteful dish, and a crusty baguette with soft and chewy crumb is ideal to complete this feast of flavors!

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