Illustrator and graphic designer Nina Stajner is known for her tender, whimsical, and cute animal characters – mainly woodland critters – drawn in a soft and delicate manner. Her work mostly employs traditional tools like watercolors, gouache, and colored pencils, with finishing touches sometimes added digitally.
“Most of my work is drawn by hand the old-school way, and painted patiently with watercolors and gouache,” she further relayed in an interview with Society6’s blog. “First layers are quite relaxed, but at the end I somehow find the patience to make all the tiny details and make my characters come to life. I do all the repeat patterns digitally in Photoshop or Illustrator.”
“I love creating animal characters,” she adds. “In my body of work, they are mostly coming from a woodland environment—that is because I draw things that are close to me and I can see in person if I am lucky,” she notes.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, her artwork is featured on products like enamel pins, notebooks, coloring books, notepads, and greeting cards, with her clients including brands like Papyrus, Little Blue Nest, Craft Consortium, Lilipinso, and Lake Coloring. Besides commercial work, Stajner enjoys self-initiating projects where she collaborates with other artists, experiments, and challenge herself further.
“The world around me inspires me very much,” says Stajner. “While I work, I love to stylize them, make them more simple and less realistic. But then I want to add so many details that they appear alive again. Like they actually exist somewhere in the world. Oh, what a happy place that would be.”
A happy place it is.