Water colour artist
with academic research background
Jelena is an illustrator born in Old Yugoslavia but grew up in Germany. She learned art when she was young from a classical Serbian artist, decided to go over to science in her studies, and just recently returned to her passion of drawing and painting.
Jelena lives with her brave, adventurous baby girl and her lovely husband in England nowadays, but she tends to move where the winds of life take her.
How did you get into the creative industry?
I am self taught so feel like I’ve sneaked in to the creative industry. I’ve only recently started to work as an illustrator and started without any live projects or a day job. To explain in more detail — I have an education in science and was working as a researcher. Typically, I was asked to find funding for my own job for the second time. I realised I didn’t actually care at all about the outcome and so I started to think about the type of job that I would feel more passionate about.
This was slightly difficult and a pretty exhausting task. However I couldn’t (and didn’t) see what was staring me in the face: drawing, a hobby that I had and didn't want to share with the world, now made me think I could do it for a living. At the begining, I didn’t trust that I could improve upon my skills, but it was down to my husband who gave me the nudge I needed and convinced me I could do it. I’m now more confident and finding clients to work with and looking forward to making this my long-term career.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
It's defenitely from animation movies and old classic cartoon movies. When I read a manuscript, I see all the pictures moving and the characters reveal their expressions on their faces to me during those dynamic scenes. Sometimes I even feel it's hard to capture the whole action into one single shot for a picture book, but that' at the same time the best part about it, to find that one perfect snapshot!