I have been admiring Mădălina Andronic via Instagram since forever. Her universe is simply shaping the essence of life through the exquisite art of illustration.

Her work is a beautiful Mediterranean daydream with a dolce far niente mood that never goes away. Her illustrations are more than just drawings; they are portals into enchanted places where dreams come true and stories become cherished memories.

With every stroke of her pen, she breathes life into her creations, infusing them with the essence of dreams and emotions. Her artwork is a symphony of hues and shapes.

Therefore, I invite you to delve into Mădălina's world and enhance your home and life with her artwork.

PS: For all aficionados of the finest things in life, I have a surprise: Use the Raluca10 code to get a 10% discount on madiandronic.com purchases, a gift that will be available to you until the end of 2023.

Who is Mădălina Andronic as a woman and as an artist?

The line between „the woman” and „the artist” is rather thin and sometimes downright invisible in my situation. It might not be ideal, but because there’s a lot of me in my art—my memories, my emotions, my thoughts, and my experiences—I find it hard to separate these two.

And I’m constantly learning (and unlearning) things about myself. I’m currently 35 years old, yet I feel like I’ve only started living consciously during the last 5 years. I was born in a city by the seaside in Romania, yet I’ve only learned to swim during my honeymoon.

I studied in the greyest London, yet my art is colourful, feminine, and sunny. I’m pragmatic, direct, and have a lot of unpopular opinions, yet I paint dreamy, sweet, and hopeful illustrations. I love dancing, singing, and making people laugh, yet I’m a raging introvert.

Kind of like salted caramel, a balance between contrasting flavours 😊

Bottling emotions and memories in Mediterranean-infused prints and accessories is the description of the work you do. Why draw inspiration from the Mediterranean?

To be precise, this is the current description of my Instagram profile, which I use as a business tool. So this is not necessarily a description of all my work, but rather a simplified way to quickly tell users about the most popular products in my shop.

Because Instagram profiles are limited to 150 characters, my attention span on social media is low, and I am thus forced to turn every little detail of my online presence into a business decision.

A more poetic way in which I think about my art is reflected by this quote from Daphe du Maurier’s „Rebecca”: “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

Now, going back to your question about inspiration, living in Southern Italy and drawing inspiration from Mediterranean life really is a big part of my work, which clients and customers are very interested in. And it’s obvious why: we’re all fascinated with the sweetness of doing nothing, with lazy mornings and long afternoons, with the feeling you’re living in a permanent state of vacation.

Then again, there’s the other big chunk of my work, inspired by childhood memories, Romanian traditions, customs, distinctive garments, tales, and folklore. I find them fascinating and crucial for a better understanding of who we are. Therefore, I do my best to keep them alive and translate them into a modern language for future generations.

So I would say that my inspiration is split in half: glimpses of my personal „dolce vita” and the magic of where I come from.

Silk scarves, art prints, wedding stationery, books, puzzles, phone wallpapers, and wearables are all available on madiandronic.com/shop. Please explain how you choose items for your website. There are so many different categories and types of items.

Yes, I’m so glad you noticed! We are continuously adding new categories of products to the shop, as my goal is to make everyday life a little more beautiful by turning mundane objects or moments into delightful, meaningful experiences. Each one of our items does that, whether you wear or use it yourself or offer it as a gift.

My wheels are always turning, so to speak, I’m constantly writing ideas in my journal and phone, noticing needs, opportunities, or simply indulging in personal dreams (for example, the scarves have been a dream of mine since college; I had no idea if they would sell or not; I just wanted to create them for my own pleasure).

I’m also dedicated to staying in touch with both existing and potential customers, listening to their wishes and feedback, and keeping track of what they need in order to have the loveliest experience with our brand. The main criteria for each product launched is that we have to love it first, before anyone else.

Quality is another criteria on which we base our offer. If we are not able to create high-quality items in a responsible way, we’ll postpone and try again.

We have a lot of plans and can’t wait to make them happen, but sometimes things prove way more difficult than expected.

Please tell me more about the illustrated encyclopaedia Cămăși Nemuritoare and the work you have done for it.

CămășiNemuritoare (or „Timeless Shirts”) is such a pivotal project for me! It started in 2020 as a social media challenge: during the month of October, I painted every day an illustration inspired by a different traditional Romanian shirt, aiming to „cover” the entire country. I painted using the same brush and black ink, and I filmed myself while doing it.

And every day of October, I would upload a little painting video on my Instagram and Facebook pages. The reactions were amazing; hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world watched the videos, asked questions, and encouraged me to keep going.

A Romanian shirt is like a fingerprint; there are no two alike. Its stitches are like an alphabet that speaks about the Romanian people—its beliefs, its sorrows, and its losses—belonging to no one and everyone at the same time. Women used to sew them as part of the Romanian folk costume, and each shirt was embellished with a distinctive sequence of patterns depending on the geographic area they came from. Sometimes, even shirts sewn only 5 km apart were completely different. So the research was quite a lot of work too!

Turning these illustrations into the book #CămășiNemuritoare was the best decision ever. I teamed up with Ioana Corduneanu, who brought in her knowledge and passion for the art of embroidery and Romanian heritage, resulting in the perfect mix of educational, inspirational, recreational, and beautiful content.

Technically, it could be a colouring book. But in reality, we think that it’s more than a book you can colour in; it’s a collection of intricate illustrations, very old patterns deconstructed on graph paper, and precious information for each shirt, in both Romanian and English.

It’s a book like a meditation, an invitation to dig into 80 pages of illustrated stories about our traditional Romanian shirts (ie) from all corners of the country, with wisdom and girl power—because we need more of that.

It’s a book dedicated to daughters, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers who deserve all the beauty in the world.

Both volumes cover pretty much the entire country; the first volume focuses on the north-east + southern areas, while the second explores Transylvania and the western part of Romania. It’s a must-have book for those who value the women who raised us and the women we plan on raising.

I'm particularly fond of your prints featuring women, such as Escape to Amalfi and Girl from Argeş. What are your consumers' top picks?

Indeed, there’s a category in my art prints section called "Girls & Dreams," which is probably the most popular. I paint women who don’t feel the need to go to extraordinary lengths to prove who they are, who are at ease with themselves, who dream, drink, laugh, play, run, drive, eat, read, or sit still, celebrating the simple pleasures in life. ESCAPE TO AMALFI, DAYDREAMING, THE APRICOT TREE, LA FOCACCIA, POEM, MIMOSA & MIMOSA have been everyone’s favourites for a while.

Another category that has always been very popular is „Love&Couples”. I will never get tired of people celebrating their love by hanging one of my paintings in their home, their sanctuary, or their most sacred space. Or gifting LECTIA DE DANS, PERSEIDE, PICNIC IN A POPPY FIELD, or ENOUGH as wedding or anniversary gifts to their friends.

When it comes to your customers, what kind of people are they?

Honestly, most of my customers are women – and I think they’re exactly the women mentioned above 😊

They love life, find pleasure in beautiful things, and allow themselves to feel all their feelings.

They’re honest and sometimes get things wrong, but they’re gracious and kind. They are an incredible bunch, and I am grateful to have been able to gather them around me. Over time, I realised that my paintings are either an inspiration or a mirror for those who buy them.

You currently call Puglia, Italy, home. When you think about your life before moving here and after, how do you think it has changed?

I think I’ve changed tremendously since moving to Puglia. Or, better said, since moving out of Bucharest. I stopped chasing goals that weren’t even mine; I stopped comparing myself to others; and I quit toxic or superfluous friendships.

I don’t wake up with an alarm clock anymore; I don’t always feel the need to plan every minute of my day, and time has a totally different meaning to me now.

I actually do a lot more things now, even though I shamelessly indulge in doing nothing as often as I can.

The pandemic in Italy was hell, but also a blessing in disguise; it allowed me to stay still and think, something I am a bit embarrassed to admit I didn’t do a lot while rushing through Bucharest.

All in all, moving was like a big declutter for me.

What female role models do you look up to?

I generally appreciate women who are courageous enough to follow their hearts in whatever aspect of their lives, despite what others might think or say.

What does being happy mean to you?

Being grateful, thankful, and content with what I have, while acknowledging that there might be moments when I might not be this way, and that’s ok.

Photos: Mădălina's personal archive