Monika Lang, our BB artist who celebrated BB Partners
BIG BERRY is based on a close collaboration between tourism and artists, and so, BB Art colony project was created. During two years 17 international artists created 373 m2 of murals and a street full of art along the Kolpa river. Monika Lang came to Bela krajina from Serbia. Her mural represents partners, local creators and farmers, who make sure guests receive the most authentic experience during their stay at BIG BERRY.
Who is Monika Lang?
Monika Lang, freelance illustrator and graphic designer, is in love with real and cultural projects. She is a versatile and award-winning artist who has also worked internationally. At the end of May 2019, she won the award for best illustration in the category of digital and print media for her cover at the international illustration festival - Ilustrofest in Belgrade, to which more than 220 authors from all over the world have applied with over 2000 works. She says that she was always a curious perfectionist, who is interested in many different things, but persistently always finishes what she starts.
She came to us from Serbia to share her vision of a community working together. Not only did she draw it, she also found one in the Bela krajina in BB Art colony and the BIG BERRY people.
You can read more about her BB Partners mural.
What is she influenced by the most?
Simple - the task itself. She has made many covers for various books in recent years and says that when she reads a book she gets the inspiration for the cover itself. This is also one of her favorite parts of the job, as she loves to read: “This way, I can not only read something new, but also create a cover that remains for future generations. Books are still something you keep, as many of my works are on display for just a week. People keep books, though."
Although it is difficult to accurately describe her style, she also noticed that her works are usually very colorful, which is unusual since she mostly dresses in non-striking colors and is not the most extroverted.
She also likes to hide faces and people, especially women that she draws. "The idea is that if you hide the part, it can be easier for people to connect with the work, because they can complement the missing parts in their imagination than they like best," she explained.
How did she develop as an artist?
“When I was a kid, I first naively wanted to become a veterinarian because I really love animals and I wanted to help cats and dogs. But then those dreams turned into not so dreamy reality when I learned about other aspects of the profession,” she said laughing.
However, she realized her interest in design quite early. First of all, fashion design, which she saw in magazines, but this was not it yet… Later she learned about graphic design and realized: “That there are really jobs where you can draw, because that was something that I always did but I didn't realize I could build a career out of that."
Her talent was first noticed in school by her art teachers, giving her the courage to pursue her dreams. Nevertheless, in the late 1990s, when she was enrolling in college, she succumbed to the pressures and stereotypes and did not even attempt to enroll in the Faculty of Applied Arts, believing that she could not get there without connections and acquaintances - every year only 8 people are enrolled.
Considering the fact that her father is an architect and her mother an art historian, and that Monika "really sucks at math," as she put it, she followed her mother's path and went to study art history, but after three years she realized that it's not for her. Her decision, of course, was a shock to the family, but as Monika says nicely, “Better to waste three years than a lifetime.” She finally recovered and enrolled in the Academy of Applied Arts, where she was accepted.
After that, things were going in a good way - she worked on various projects, taught illustration at a private college, now works occasionally in a colleague's studio, and opened her own company and making her dream come true. She is eager to work and live abroad, as she believes this would inspire her creation.
About the BB Art colony project
"It's great that an individual entrepreneur has the idea of investing money and organizing such a project through which everyone gets something," she said, adding: "I felt welcomed and completely relaxed here."
“The food is great, I hear birds and cows all the time. The grass is so green... It's really a great experience for me, even after the last couple of really hard-working months in Belgrade, I can relax my head a little while staying here," she concluded.
The Luxury of Freedom
This BIG BERRY slogan means something different to everyone, depending on where they are in life, what they do… It may change, but at a given moment, it means something to everyone.
For Monika, the Luxury of Freedom at the moment is: "Being able to travel wherever I want, whenever I want. That I can use my time for whatever I want. Which is a big luxury compared to previous time in my life.”
Photo by: João Sousa