Recently we had the opportunity to speak with Ana Markovic (@ana.mar). Ana has one of the most distinct, mystifying and beautiful styles that we’ve found. Her pieces are often blurred and mysterious and seem to be more like intricate paintings than iPhone creations. Below you’ll find the highlights of our conversation with her offering insight into her editing approach and other things she truly enjoys. My name is Ana Markovic. I'm 30-years-old, married and also have a Jack Russell Terrier. We’re currently living in the city of Belgrade in Serbia. My hobbies and my passions include photography, art and music. For a living I'm working a boring job. But I’ve just started selling my photos so maybe I will quit that boring job soon!
How did you first get started on Instagram?
I got started on Instagram a few years ago just for fun. But then I began to fall in love with it. I started to discover so many talented people and they become my inspiration. Now Instagram is the only social media network that I use with pleasure!
When did you first become interested in art and in photography?
I found my interest in art many years ago at a very early age. I learned with my mother who paints. About three years ago I started using a professional camera to take pictures. Before that I simply enjoyed observing other people's art or taking photos with my phone. Now I'm enjoying creating art of my own and it makes me genuinely happy when I see that people enjoy it as well.
It’s interesting to hear you talk about your photography because I’ve always thought of your Instagram work as more creation than photography. Do you tend to take pictures that will set you up for your artwork or do you just take pictures and then find a way to blend them together?
Well I usually know exactly what I will need for editing so when I’m shooting I try to get as many pictures as I can. Photos that I really like. I actually prefer to shoot landscapes because I love being alone with my camera.
What would you call your style of art?
I’m not entirely sure what you’d call it. It’s a little dark, a little mystic and a little abstract. Perhaps it’s a combination of many different styles.
How do you typically go about creating a piece?
Creating a piece is generally a long process for me. Sometimes I'm editing one photo for 10-20 days! I usually blend two or three images together and then I paint over it with different types of brushes. Occasionally I use photoshop but often I'm editing using my iPhone with the ArtStudio app and of course with Mextures and VSCO as well.
Walk us through your process with the picture above.
This piece is made up of two different photos. One picture of a girl (my best friend) that I often shoot in a studio and also a nature landscape. With this piece I remember using Mextures Landscape Enhance (Neutral Density) to create the black shadows. I believe that I blended this in Burn mode. And from there I just follow my senses. In order for it to look natural - like she is really there in that scene - and to sort of cover my tracks after blending photos together, I really enjoy digital painting with ArtStudio. When I feel like the image is done I leave it for a day. Then the next day I revisit it to see if I need to add or remove something. I know that when I get that special feeling in my stomach - a feeling of happiness and satisfaction - I know that the image is finished.
Can you tell us about how you typically use Mextures to help create or polish your artwork?
I use mextures to create texture on top of the photo. I love the effects that I can achieve with this wonderful app! I particularly love what I can achieve using the Grit and Grain and Grunge packs. My favorites overlays would have to be 120MM, Window Wash, Papyrus, Franklin and Tesla and I love blending with Difference and Screen modes. Mextures is always my final touch in editing and my favorite part of my editing process.
Are your pieces emotive in some manner or do you just start creating something with no final product in mind?
I have no idea how it will look when I’m finished editing. Whenever I get inspired to create something I just start editing a photo with no particular plan in mind. I just go with the flow of the process. My style sort of just came along by itself. It just happened. I make photos for my own taste and I don’t really worry about whether other people will like them or not. The most important thing to me is that I feel happy with the final piece. So in that sense I guess they are emotive in away.
I’ve always considered your feed to be a bit mysterious. I think a lot of other people do as well. The grain and the blurring and the painterly style. Is that intentional?
Yes. I'm doing that intentionally to create a mysterious sense surrounding the picture. I’ve always loved mysterious movies and mysterious music so now I make mysterious images. I think that some things in art cannot be explained - they just happen. There are elements that come out of the person creating the art as a product of his or her emotions, fears, dreams and desires. So there will always be aspects of the art that are a mystery to the observer.
Who/what are your biggest influences for your artwork?
My biggest supporters are my husband @nmsuba, my godmother @hylaaa, my mother and my good friend @coj3. I also find so many inspirations in the world around me. In nature, music, movie scenes, and of course in other artists, painters and photographers.
My favorite artists on Instagram are @eljacker_, @oveck, @quiet.riot, @eliciaedijanto, @leahminium and @huseyintaskin. There are many more talented people on Instagram, but those 6 are very special in my mind.
Ana’s feed is something truly special! Follow along at @ana.mar!