Marija Stojisavljevic (known to us as Marrieta) is a passionate printmaker, painter and designer whose soft, graphite illustrations have earned her rave client reviews. An art enthusiast from an early age, she earned a degree in book design and an MA in illustration before gaining professional experience at a publishing house focused on children’s magazines and books—an industry she still loves working in today.

Marrieta joined 99designs in 2012 to broaden her client base and showcase her work on a more global scale. We spoke with her about her advice for designers looking to improve their skills, her favorite artists and her plans for the future.

Name: Marija Stojisavljevic
99designs handle: Marrieta
Location: Serbia
Specialty: Illustration

Tell us a little about yourself

Hello, I am Marrieta. I’m passionate about the world of art and illustration. Throughout my life and education I had the opportunity to express myself in various art techniques, so I consider myself also a painter, printmaker and designer. Most of all, I prefer drawing and painting.

Did you go to school for design?

Since early childhood I was interested in art and drawing. I went to The Secondary Design School where I got basic knowledge in design and art. I also graduated at Faculty of Applied Art in Belgrade (Serbia), in the department of book design, and fulfilled my education with an MA degree in illustration.

I gained the most experience in the field of illustration while working in the publishing house dealing with children’s magazines and books.

fall illustration by Marrieta
Autumn leaves illustration
Do you have a favorite industry or topic you enjoy illustrating for? Why?

I am passionate about the world of illustration and I’m always searching for an opportunity to maximize my skills and to learn more.

The main area of my interests includes children’s and editorial illustration. I am a great fan of nature and I try to incorporate it into my illustrations.

Fairy tale illustration by Marrieta
How did you develop your style? Who are your biggest influences?

I passed through many phases in my artistic expression and all of them have some influence on my art style. But what determines it the most is my sensibility. It’s hardly changeable and I think that’s what makes us, artists, unique.

When we talk about great artists I’m inspired by many of them, such as Michelangelo, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Henry Moore, Picasso. And also art movements: Symbolism, Post Impressionism, Expressionism, Art Nouveau and Surrealism.

What’s the one design tool you can’t live without?

I can’t live without a graphite pencil!!!

You’ve been a member of 99designs for a long time. What do you enjoy most about being part of our community?

I’m glad that a designer or an illustrator does not need to search for people who will see and appreciate their work. As a part of this community, it’s much easier to introduce your artwork and skills to clients and people who are interested in art all over the world.

The great benefit is that by working on the same team we draw more attention, so our work is more valued. Also, this forces us to improve the quality of our artworks and skills.

Illustration by Marrieta
Digital wallpaper influenced by Japanese art
Is there one project you’re especially proud of?

I’m very proud of illustration of a whale that I made for the contest “Creative Inspired Magical Illustration, ” as well as a project that I’m still working on. It’s a fantasy novel where I illustrate a goddess from a child to adult woman. These illustrations represent myself and my art sensibility in the best way.

Do you have any tips for artists looking to improve their illustration skills?

I think that they should focus on what they like to illustrate the most and really enjoy working on, to explore it inside themselves and work on it every day. If they search for topics and contests that suit their art skills and sensibilities, they will improve their artwork as well.

What are your plans for the future? Any exciting personal projects coming up?

My plan is to dedicate time to my hand-drawn surrealist illustrations, a project that I’ve started few years ago. I want to further my imagination and continue to improve my art.

And just for fun…
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee, tea…
  • Favorite music to design to? Instrumental, classic and jazz music.
  • Morning or nighttime? Both.
  • Favorite place to relax? The Mediterranean seashore.

See more of Marrieta’s work here.