By Al Gord
Maïa Adrea is a young part-time artist and full-time nursing student from France. Maïa’s mother is an artist whose focus is mostly painting and sculpting. Creativity and self-expression are values that have always been encouraged in her home. As such Maïa’s interest in the arts has always been natural. She has been drawing for as long as she can remember. An introvert by nature Maïa has been somewhat of an anxious person from a young age. While drawing is a passion, it is also been a refuge for Maïa, a place of peace and quiet where she feels free and where the possibilities are endless.
Maïa uses fairly simple materials, a variety of ink pens and some pencils, so that she can draw wherever she goes, without requiring a big set-up. Maïa got back into drawing seriously a few months ago, after years of on-and-off periods where she struggled to really express herself with her art. Recently she has started to find “who she is” in terms of art style. Whereas she used to create what she thought was cool, she has started focusing on the feelings she needs to express. For Maïa, this was her turning point as an artist, one that has allowed her to grow artistically and enjoy herself in the process.
Often, drawing has a real cathartic effect for her. It allows Maïa to express strong feelings; sometimes dark ones. It also helps her clear her head and let her mind wander, where she can process ideas, reflect and find clarity with smaller details. In this way art plays a big part in her mental health, helping to keep her grounded. In the future, mental health is something Maïa would like to advocate more for through her work.
When it comes to her artwork, Maïa continues to determine how to best describe it. She likes to cultivate a dark and dreamy world, often with a touch of sacredness, and strong female figures. Her inspiration, while widespread, comes mostly from nature, folklore, myths and legends. She has always loved all kinds of mythologies and learning about different cultures in various times and from around the world.
Fantasy also plays a big part in Maïa’s creative process. As a child she used to create stories with strong heroines, witches, warriors, and queens. This subject is very dear to her heart – the depiction of powerful female characters is important to Maïa, as representation matters. For Maïa, power can take on many forms, such as the liberation of the body, fighting force, and knowledge, as well as empathy and resiliency among other traits. In some ways her inner wild child is still going strong!
Maïa has always been into illustration, whether it is in children’s books, graphic novels or other forms of literature. She is fascinated by the fact that there are so many possible ways to tell a story and the impact an illustrator’s vision can have on a narrative. Maïa’s fantasy worlds and powerful women can be viewed on her Instagram and Inprnt shop pages where prints of her drawings are available.