We’re considering ourselves lucky that professional photographer and artist Cristina Viscu has decided to call New Zealand home. This talented illustrator has a style like no other we’ve seen recently – with a bold, graphic vibe yet still a feminine edge. As well as her growing range of art prints, Cristina has just launched a range of gift-wrapping paper and greeting cards. It’s all part of her exciting young brand, Wild Wagon. Definitely one to watch!
You and your partner moved here earlier this year – where are you from? And are we treating you well so far?
We are both from Chisinau, Moldova, however, I have called Nashville, New York and now Auckland home. We have been here a little over 6 months and loving it so far!
You’re also a professional photographer. How do you think your photography practise inspires or influences your painting, and how do you think your painting informs your photography?
I think it is good to have knowledge of both but in my practice one doesn’t really influence the other. I shoot all the images for Wild Wagon’s Instagram as well as our catalogue and I think that it is a good skill to be able to take nice, styled product shots as it is vital in our day and age. It is definitely great when you can use your own resources but it can quickly become an overload of tasks so you really have to prioritise.
Cristina does all her own styling and photography for Wild Wagon
What are you working on at the moment / What’s coming up for WildWagon? (I heard something about stationery?)
Wild Wagon Co is a stationery brand but my vision for our future is not just stationery. I am currently creating and adding new types of products like gift wrap, journals and cards to our product line.
Gift wrapping paper and greeting cards by Wild Wagon (and hello, gorgeous styling!)
Cristina has been hard at work launching the new Wild Wagon website
We love a good recommendation – and creatives give the best ones. Tell us about a few things we should totally check out…
Because Wild Wagon Co is highly influenced by eastern european national patterns and colours, and an appreciation for nomadic cultures, I would definitely recommend watching this movie by Emil Loteanu, a Moldovan director. It is definitely in my top favourites (though I do not vouch for the english translation) and what influenced our branding and vision.
Gypsy babe’n – a screenshot from one of Cristina’s favourite movies
What has been your most exciting/inspiring project to date?
I think there have been many projects professionally speaking that were exciting and interesting, but as a whole they always lacked perspective and a long term vision. Wild Wagon Co is only 6 months old but I already have future collections in mind and a brand vision that I am really excited to share over the months to come. This is the project that I am investing 110% into so I hope that our followers can identify with our vision and our products.
Cristina in her Auckland home. On the wall are two of her new wrapping papers, used as art prints.
What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make a career from being an independent creative?
I think being an independent creative means a lot of discipline and dedication. It means you need to very be self-motivated, eager to learn and not take failure close to heart. I’d say setting goals is very important for an independent creative as well as their character and how they present themselves and interact with others.
My all time favourite quote about artists is by Samuel Butler.
He wrote, “Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”
What’s on your desk?
Never any less than two cups of coffee, piles of never-ending to do lists, painting brushes, sketches, notebooks and my macbook. It’s really never ever tidy, but I think many artist can relate to a short attention span and a need to have everything close at hand.
Cristina at work…
Four of the art prints in Wild Wagon’s tattoo-based series – clockwise from top left: Lover to Lover; Hold Fast; Rabbit Heart; Hold On
Cristina’s work is also inspired by botanics – Jungle One and Flower Bouquet art prints