Meet Egija Zirapa – artist, illustrator and the winner of MÁDARA design competition, whose work is featured on our festive set this year. 

Having studied in London, where in 2010 she graduated from University of The Arts London (LCC), Egija works in collage and shares her work on her inspiring Instagram profile @egija_zirapa – take a look! It is captivating, seeing how the paper cuttings, free color dashes and fragments of photos become arranged, orchestrated by Egija’s hands, merging different worlds and starting to tell new and sensual stories. 

The beauty of the unexpected – this comes to mind when looking at Egija’s work. As well as while trying to define the feeling, we wanted to pass down with this year’s festive set’s hidden surprise – it can be transformed into a real bird feeder to bring some warmth both into our hearts and to the small feathered friends.

«PEOPLE LIVE WHILE THEY ARE WILLING TO DO SOMETHING.»

Tell us, how did you begin working in collage?
During studies the end results of projects were important, but the sketchbooks were of equal significance – they showed the whole process. The sketchbooks often were more interesting than the final work – I loved expressing myself in them! I can’t recall when and how I began working in collage. I think it was during my last 2 years in the university. There was a time when I was collecting old magazines, newspapers, papers. I asked mom to bring anything that was not needed in the archive – the older, the better. There was also a time when I was copying everything, gathering all the excess and scraps at the screen printing workshop. I cut them and glued them together. Now I have become very minimalistic in my work – only the picture, unobtrusive colors. It’s cool to see yourself constantly changing.

What fascinates you in this technique?
The freedom – when I work in collage I can be myself. Plus, you can never know and plan what the outcome will look like.

The collage by Egija for this year’s MÁDARA festive set. Model: Madara Malmane.

How did your work for the HAPPY SKIN ESSENTIALS SET package come about?
After winning the MÁDARA design competition I received photos to work with. Printing, copying, cutting, gluing. I tried putting it together with everything that I had on the spot. It was a very natural process. I wanted my touch to be sensed in the final version of the package, so the whole process was organic. The pictures of the beautiful girl were also a big inspiration; they were so easy to work with.

What inspires you?
Art books, other artists. While studying in London I often visited gallery bookstores, I leafed through the books and immediately desired to get to work, to create and to shape. If I was asked this question several years ago, I could mention the saying I have no inspiration today. That meant the same thing as today I can do nothing! But now I realize that you don’t have to wait or look for inspiration. If you wish to work in the arts, you simply have to have it. This thought disciplines me while working. Sometimes you have to force yourself, but, as soon as you begin, the process itself becomes inspiring. People live while they want to do something. MÁDARA has also been a big inspiration during recent months. Winning the competition was a huge push to resume working and realize that I can do it. To realize that collage is my thing and my calling.

How long does one collage take?
It can be either 5–10 minutes, or several hours – putting together 5 pieces of paper the way I want it and the way I like it. Sometimes the pieces scatter or get pushed around during the process and in the end this mistake or accident may lead to the desired result.

What is the best gift for Christmas?
Happiness, peace and good health for loved ones. I ask everyone to think about people who need the holiday feeling more, as well, and perhaps try to bring it to them. This year I’m taking part in the campaign Star in the East.

What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty is genuine if you are happy.

Finally, (as per public request!) when can we expect your solo show?
Starting in December, I finally have my own workshop where I can develop and grow because so far my workspace has been fairly limited. I was rushing from one room to the other, which was troublesome for the creative process. I think that this will not only be a valuable stage for my growth, but also a time full of work, where I can realize my long-dreamt ideas. And I really hope to invite you to my first solo show very soon!

While we’re waiting, visit Egija's online gallery @egija_zirapa, where she shares her beautiful collages. And check out the project #100daysofCOLLAGEbyEgija.

Find the limited editionAmazing product with  two beloved and award-winning MÁDARA products – Exfoliating Oil-to-Milk Scrub and Micellar Water – at a supercool price and, of course, with the collage by Egija on the packaging in our online store