An intro to multidisciplinary artist Tadi
by - Geralda Cela

If you’re based in Prishtina chances are you’ve seen Tadi’s work somewhere. Whether it be her illustrations on flyers for nights at Klubi M or Bahnhof, photographs capturing the energy of underground events or putting on nights alongside her sister Matale – Tadi is pretty entrenched in everything creative in the capital.

The self-taught artist’s seemingly minimalistic illustrations often portray a complex fluid narrative, through simply drawn subjects that are open to the viewers interpretations. Tadi creates these open-ended narratives through subtle detailing of characters facial expression, clothes and other surrounding objects that entice the viewer to interact with the illustration and character.

There is also an underlying humour that runs through Tadi’s work that may go unnoticed at just a quick glance. The jagged appearance of her subjects adds a human reality to her illustrations, something which she’s developed herself. As although Tadi attended art school, she found the institutional setting and teachers obsession with ‘realism’ creatively stunting.

Here we meet Tadi to talk about academic art, animals and astrology.

What do you do and where are you based?

I draw, I paint, I take pictures, I do graphic design and all the in betweens, In Prishtina.

What’s the art/ creative scene there like?  

People in Kosovo are very creative, there are so many good artists, but we need more shows, more galleries, more curators. The scene needs more money invested in it. Much much more money.

Are you into astrology? If so what’s your sign?  

I’m a Capricorn with a Scorpio as a rising sign. I think I do justice to my sign haha, its funny how accurate it sometimes is. I learned a lot about the other signs from the memes tho lol.

Did you enjoy art in school ?  

I enjoyed my time as an art student, I moved to Prishtina and I was living with my sister but there were so many big problems with the university. That place needs to be completely shut down, and be reopened again, with new people and a new space.

When did you get into drawing and how has it developed?  

All my family liked drawing, my dad used to draw, my mom would design her own outfits and dresses (she taught me how to draw the human body), and also my two sisters so it was a pretty natural thing around the house. Most of the time as a kid I spent drawing and watching cartoons.   

Are you self-taught?

I was self taught yeah. We tried having lessons but it didn’t work because it was so boring and forced. Teachers were obsessed with realism and ‘academic’ way of learning.  But I was always very appreciative of the advices I got from great artists like Nysret Salihamixhiqi and Arian Berisha, who was a family friend that used to visit us often. He always checked on me and my sisters work, gave us books and some of his work as gifts.

Is there anyone you admire artistically?

So many, but if I have to pick a name for now then Hieronymus Bosch.

What do you think of social media in general?  

We all know the pros n cons. I’m creative and I like sharing, but I have my Instagram on a limit. I’m allowed 1h a day. I really don’t like dwelling on it.

And for art and inspiration – is it good?  

Of course it can be, one of the pros of it is that you can use it however you want.

Where do you work? Do you have a studio or space you feel most comfortable when creating in?   

I have an appartament which has a small cute studio in it.

Animals seem to be a common theme in your illustrations – are you an animal lover?  

Animals are my piece of mind.

What’s your favourite animal?  

I don’t have a favorite, animals are like moods, today I feel like an albino lioness ya feel me?

Although minimalistic, your illustrations often tell stories or allow the viewer to make up their own minds about what going on in pieces – is this ambiguity intentional?  

Yes definitely. That’s why I don’t like to call them illustrations, its very restraining. There are many works I did as an illustrator but most of them are just my drawings.

Are there any themes you’re conscious of covering through your work or do you create more on what you feel/ how you feel in the moment?  

There’s always a theme and there are always these little random drawings now and then.

Where would be your dream showcase for you art?

I would really love to draw something huge on a big building sometime. I get the butterflies just thinking of it. But people have to love it, or hate it for the right reasons, otherwise theres no point to have it there in the public.