Strikingly beautiful and with a very powerful yet feminine presence, Eglantina isn’t like anyone else I ever met in the world of art. True, we are all unique, but her uniqueness as an artist is carving a new path, in terms of individual value and lifestyle of what COULD mean being an artist in 2020’s Romania, and forward.
We met on a chilly but sunny first day of March, on the Romanian Martisor, and had a coffee together at Qreator by IQOS, one of the most vibrant places of creative expression, for creative people in Bucharest, near Piata Victoriei.
Eglantina has a mission, and by the end of our conversation, I am fully aware she is embodying, for other women artists to learn from and model, a way of life and a way of thinking about her art that, until recently, didn’t seem possible. Gen X-ers never dreamed of this if they were in the arts, but Millennials, it seems, are all about living their life as a whole person, not one of multiple (and different) identities, one at work, one at home, and another one for other social roles we might have.
Prior to becoming Philip Morris International’s Media, Messaging & Consumer Engagement Lead, Eglantina used to teach painting/art for two Bucharest-based after-schools. She had been painting for years and had already collaborated with various brands as an artist.
When Philip Morris launched IQOS, 4 years ago, they chose 5 key people whom, they thought, could understand the importance of community in art, business, contemporary dance, theatre and film. Eglantina became their art representative. Three months after they offered her a permanent job, the IQOS global creative team asked her to join them in Switzerland to work on experience design.
She became engaged and captivated with experience design and has recently (at the end of 2019) created Artgitators, a thinking and perception challenge (not your conventional art exhibition) on six topics with social impact, which took place at Qreator in Bucharest. The exhibition showcased a collection of six paintings, the discovery of which was an experience in itself. The concept Eglantina designed was an experiential fragment of the world in which Surrealism is the official language.
She is an independent artist, a painter, who also works as a creative mind, engaging communities around a brand. What comes through from our conversation is the fact that, unlike most people, and especially young people looking for their vocation, Eglantina is able to practice hers all day long – at work and in her private life, both of which she sees as a natural continuation of one another.
She works with a team and is able to see her vision carried through in projects which engage hundreds of people through various experiences.
DTT: When did you discover you’re an artist, and were you born with an innate talent for art?
EvB: I come from a family or artists, painters and carpenters. I had a natural inclination towards painting ever since I was a little girl. I graduated from the Communication and Public Relations Faculty and I have a Master’s Degree in Film. After my Master’s, I constantly tried to improve through design thinking/experience design learning, to submerge myself into art without limiting myself.
DTT: What is the experience younger art consumers are looking for? What does art mean to them?
EvB: Art is emotion. Someone once told me: “Don’t underestimate the power of beauty.” People are looking for beauty and want to find beauty in art. It is a door to escape the problems of daily life, but it’s also a return to yourself. Art is a unifier – it can appeal to people of all backgrounds. I, for one, enjoy going to the museum for hours, but I also love interactive artistic experiences.
Beauty is a fully immersive experience: it’s beautiful because you see it, you hear it, you smell it, you touch it. This is why I prefer designing experiences for people, so that they can truly experience art.