Follow Jovana Ilic’s recent work, as a fashion professional and multi-disciplinary artist that intersects photography, video, music and art. She has spent her life dedicating her artistic vision to the world of Art and fashion. She worked long time as the global Image Director for a luxury fashion house, she also expresses her creativity via music, drawings and photography.
Today, Jovana’s creativity has found a new form under the musical project JO.VANA. Her debut album EGO MANIA was published few weeks ago and discusses elements of the human condition and emotions surrounding her beyond safety and conventions. The music takes you through emotional extremes as JO.VANA draws influences from various musical genres. In the same time a limited edition of her drawings is published and available on Artsy.
EGO MANIA ALBUM COVER
I believe music and art have always been part of your life, how do you relay to it in your multitasking days ?
Music, drawing or photography are for me just different tools of expression, but the essence is always similar: talking about human nature and emotions enveloped in ambiguity. We can have multiple ways of reading them or understanding them, it often depends on our experiences or capacity of perception. I love to play with contrasts, put the object/subject out of the context and challenge stereotypes in a poetical way. Art and Music are magic that connects people on a deeper unconscious level regardless their background, gender or skin color.
You’ve been working on music for several years, how did you conclude to release your first album now?
The Album “Ego Mania by JO.VANA” was released few weeks ago by The State51 Conspiracy label in UK & Mascom Records and is available on all digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon etc… (links below)
Music is the best way to decompress, experiment and share emotions. The most interesting part is the creative process by itself and playing. Most of the eight songs on this album, have been created few years ago while I was working at Givenchy. I used to spend all of my free time playing around in that studio. I had no particular intention to publish an album or think commercially but just to play good music and have loads of fun, this feeling was shared with all musicians and this can be felt in the album. I would like to thank them all for their contribution. It was the unexpected encounter with the label owner, who fell in love with the music and proposed to publish it.
What messages are you passing on your songs?
The Album is weaved in core of strong meaningful lyrics. It’s a scream for life. Lived out emotions that takes you on a trip highlighting major questions on the world and society we live in. The songs are interlocked in like a string of a story telling pieces, each one of them being a part of a broader picture, that guide you deep into double and hidden meanings of the lyrics, spelled out through a rebellious, fearless voice.
Who directed you to realize this body of work?
All videos and visuals are self-made. I wanted them to be raw, authentic, focusing on the power of the words, face expressions and the music. I decided to film myself a bit like Cindy Sherman did, with just an IPad on an easel and edited it all alone without any budget. The album covers have been done by my man, painter and artist Mihael Milunovic during the confinement , we came up with ideas and final art works in few days. www.mihaelmilunovic.com
What about your drawings? You’ve been producing actively for the past months what triggered it?
I did not draw for years and share my life with an excellent painter and artist, so I would have never had the pretension or even imagined that Sobering Gallery will reach out to me, organize a virtual solo show of my drawings and now sell a limited edition of prints on Artsy.
During the first confinement in France, my husband decided to make one small painting per day at home. It was a great way to relax, stay active and positive. I experimented with digital drawings on the iPad.
But I am not an absolute new comer. I passed my childhood with pencils and paper; I loved to draw and had a vivid imagination. As a kid, I reproduced paintings from my parent’s art books and took drawing lessons.
What are you trying to express in your drawings?
I tried to revisit the masterpieces of classical sculpture, reshaping them and introducing within a new content that is questioning the human grandeur, our own personal natures; our presumed identities and our place in memory and time. The digital drawing series talks about time, longevity, decadence and rebirth, crafts and knowledge of ancient artists, legends, mythology and dreams. It was important for me to bring in meaning and old-style technique in to the artworks made on a digital device.
Why black and white? Do you have color drawings?
I love color but feel more comfortable with black and white, its somehow timeless and linked to my photographic work. I feel that via black and white color, the portraits of people and drawings are unveiling stronger the deeper and more essential human nature, the fine, the fragile, and the true self. It helps me to cast humility and empathy, but in the same time to emphasises the true force and almost animal strength. I used color, or more precisely mixing black and white drawings with color touches in this series. But it’s a good idea for a new drawing experiment. Thank you!
What came first music or art in your work?
The process of creation and what I am expressing whatever tool it is. Depends on the mood and encounters.
In the past we’ve seen you directing image in fashion houses would it be something you’d like to pursue as well?
What makes me vibrate in the fashion world: the product integrity, craftsmanship, the worship of beautiful garments simply made to last and the impetus to create unceasingly. In Fashion teamwork is the key to excellence, where fine-tuning is the magic word and where the rational meets ambiguity.
Working with a team and promoting beautiful products, brand heritage in line with a business strategy is what I love and know to do. If any interesting opportunity arises in line with my competences and aspirations, I am more than open to join a brand. This creative break gave me air to renew myself. Fashion is like a sunshine, lighter than my personal work. Ying and Yang.
Where do you well your references?
I always liked to learn and explore music, art, photography, cinema, architecture, design but also was also interested in science, nature, history, movement and psychology. Its somehow instinctively my life experience and emotions mixed with all this influences that impact my work. In any case it has to have a meaning, emotion, be honest and have a technique.
How did you get to this conclusion of a new rhythm with your work?
The rhythm is dictated by these confinement periods. I try to live in the moment and make the best within the circumstances we all go through and the opportunities that arise. I miss working with people especially in Fashion but this digital era allows us all to create in a different way.
What arises for you through these creative activities?
I enjoy creating, improving myself, sharing with others emotions or visions on various levels.I feel that we should stay free and open, it’s all about honesty and enjoying the process of creation whatever the outcome is. I feel that I am just in the beginning. But also promoting knowledge, curiosity of mind, honesty, empathy, respect, consciousness for nature and living beings, courage to jump in to unknown, crafts, transmission of knowledge, curiosity to explore and innovate, timeless creativity and giving time for dreams and joy.
How could you bridge all? Being an artist is full time. What do you prefer? Why? What’s on your next list?
I love everything! I feel confident as a fashion professional, due to my education IFM, work experience and achievements. I like the intensive creative rhythm in the industry. It’s my first love! Where I can use other intellectual skills, in order to be in line with the designer’s vison and the brands business strategy. Music, photography and drawing are always in continues process.
I think that the artist is often instinctive and that his role is to raise awareness, but in the Fashion the role of a creative is to heighten the sensory experience. Combining them is very enriching process.
I believe that emotional and social intelligence, deep knowledge mixed with instinct and dreams, understanding of the past and present can stimulate us in creating something innovative for the future in all disciplines.
Works on View at Sobering Gallery Paris
More Works on www.jovanailic.fr
Paris, January 6th 2021