Zorana Živić is one of our beloved artists who have been with Art Picks 4 Kids for more than a year. Her arts combine everyday objects with the vivid imagination of young children, set with soft, dreamy brushstrokes to make light, soothing and relaxing visuals, perfect for both us adults and our little ones.
We recently interviewed Zorana through email. We are now sharing the (lightly edited) transcript with you, so you can connect with her story, her love for art, and the little things that inspire her every day to make the artworks we all cherish.
A short introduction
My name is Zorana or Zoki for short. I am an artist, and wife and mother of 3. I am an art teacher by profession but found love in illustration. I enjoy finer things in life, especially food, chocolate and coffee.
How did you discover your interest in arts?
As a child, I was inspired by my grandmother, who was an architect and a painter and who offered me my first canvas to experiment with. In high school I used to paint my friends’ rooms. I took real interests in arts and when to college to study Arts in Education. I was lucky to be inspired by a few of my professors.
Interests and hobbies
Besides arts, I like to cook. I love to bake and travel, especially with my husband. I also like spending time with kids and the elderly.
What is your favourite creative play or art & craft activity with your young family members such as your kids, nieces, or nephews?
As mentioned, I have 3 kids. All three of them love to draw and I love watching them while they do it. Sometimes I give them some advice about what to observe, but don’t get involved in the shapes and process. They always have all the necessary materials within reach and they are free to create when they feel like it. I don’t usually organize activities for them. They are early risers and often start drawing while my husband and I are still asleep.
Here are some photos of my kids playing and drawing
In your own words, how do you describe your artwork?
I like watercolour and light pastel tones, also dark indigo blue. My characters are usually playful, warm and dreamy. I often put them in a surreal world with a lot of white space around as I think it adds tranquillity to them and lets them breathe. I like to create certain emotional sensation for the viewer. Subjects are usually childlike, whimsy and floral.
What inspired you to start creating artwork for kids?
It was my love of drawing, my love for kids, and the educational value which can be found in art. I prefer painting to being a school teacher, but still want to stay connected to kids and education. I find that combination in illustration.
Who is a big fan of your artwork?
I think mostly young mothers, because my work reminds them of their feelings towards their children. And my family of course.
Please describe a favourite piece, or pieces, of art that you created?
Currently my favourite piece is a Boy in a floating chariot which was painted for the boys’ nursery. I’m satisfied with the composition, colours and dreamy mood.
How would you like young children to perceive your artwork?
I’d like them to be intrigued and start asking questions e.g. “why is this meadow floating?”, “why is this grass not green?”, “how come her skin is blue?” etc... I’d like to provoke their imagination. I’d like them to notice little things, different things that are put together in unordinary way. And maybe through them gain affection towards art generally.
How would you like adults to perceive your artwork?
I wish for them to rediscover the pure feelings they had when they were young.
Interviewed by Art Picks 4 Kids