You might have seen Irina’s wonderful creations on our Instagram page, but let me tell you about the feelings they bring with. The ones you perceive when opening a scented box of natural beauties, that breathe in peace and serenity – tea, cosmetics or stationary. Yes, little notebooks bring me joy and content, don’t judge! This article was long time in the making, but I guess it just patiently waited its turn for a sunny, chilly day, perfect for exploration, faith, silence and creativity.
Irina was so kind to take the time and tell us beautiful stories about her background and her work, so any editing is useless. You need to read her honest answers, letting it all in, just like a ray of light or a whisper. And as I’m sure the interview will leave you wanting to own something signed by the artist, take a look at her online shop!
5 things to know about the designer
- She loves walking. Walking as a daily dose of quiet time, walking as meditation, walking as sports. Not a single day should start without a morning walk.
- She doesn’t wear high heels, nor sandals, but loves her snickers because her walks are spontaneously split between a trail in the woods and a cold brew downtown.
- She’s into graphite. After so much training for the architecture school, graphite still stands as her favourite technique, most frequently used for sketches and first hand brainstorming. Also, graphite is her favourite colour
- She wears monochromes and sandy washes, always natural fibres. No need to wear out all the colours from the inside.
- She reads. Good old fashioned books, most of them underlined and marked with pencils and ink liners. No tablets, no eBooks, very little affinity to technology, especially as it just can’t replace the smell of paper when opening a new book.
Where did you discover the passion for botanical patterns?
- In a void. My passion came from a point of not having enough. Not having had grandparents in the countryside, not being able to become fed up with meadows, hills, birds and wild flowers, I grew up longing for this, building up a passion for something I knew I’d just love. Later on, I chose walking over car rides, mountain scout’s camps over big group school trips. Step by step, I turned towards nature, silence, and botanical subjects for observation. Eventually, I also studied botanical art and then it was clear, I was completely in love with botanical patterns.
Top 3 favourite items on the shop
- The herbal tea, under the design&wellness section, is amazing. We pick and dry most of the plants, which we know and understand very well in terms of healing properties; therefore, even if I’m a coffee drinker, this tea is a cup of wellbeing, not only a warm beverage.
- The vintage art prints, a variation of our shop’s favourites, are so lovely and easy to fit in any type of interiors. We print them in the studio, on special achievable textured paper, and they look amazing.
- The stationery is just one of my soft spots, since I was a child. I could kill for a nice notebook, and I bet I’m not the only one. So this is a very fun and enthusiastic ongoing project in the studio, pattern making, and further on, printing, cutting and putting together greeting cards, notebooks and wrapping papers.
Proudest professional moment yet
- The exhibition I curated in 2019 at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest, “Wild Flowers in Romania, a botanical history”, which was a very complex project, and my first one on such scale. The exhibition was a success to the public, and a joy to us all. This one stands for the proudest professional moment, because I managed to create an event much bigger that my art, and this was very rewarding.
What are 3 words or sentiments that best describe your work?
- Faith. My work is a leap of faith in all its meanings. Watching plants for so long hours, while drawing them, could easily make one understand the universal geometries and absolute beauty of this natural world; this could work as a meditative gesture of rescaling one’s problems, joys and pride, resetting the mind into a faithful and humble mood. Also, it is about having faith in pursuing my very personal passion for plants, into a career that doesn’t have a consistent, general acknowledged shape, that of a botanical artist.
- Silence. The wonderful silence that fills the whole heart and mind, while painting, while revealing moods that could anyway not be put into words.
- Creativity. As most people believe, creativity is something that comes from within and expresses itself in an artistic gesture, I’s say creativity is the way one learns to unfold the layers of existence, towards the very deep universal understanding. And this is my inner process, while working. Maybe my creativity reveals in the way I’d compose patterns, or I’d formulate a collection, but the real creativity lays in the way I transform energy, observation, drawing and handling colours into my own personal growth.
Irina Neacșu is a designer and botanical artist ASBA. Her work includes various projects, from painting and graphics, to art teaching, applied art and interior design. In the home&décor sector, she became an international brand exhibiting in various fairs and design events across Europe. Her main collections focus on bespoke upholstery and accent seating furniture, crafted with textile collage and digital print. Irina works on both old and new furniture, restoring and personalising items in the specific needs of her clients. Her design collections include home accessories and furniture, from unique to small series.