This article originally appeared on the Emily Carr University Alumni Association's website. It is a part of an ongoing interview series called Get To Know. Written by Sára Molčan.
Otilia Spantulescu (BFA, 2013) is a visual artist, born in Bucharest, Romania. Her studio practice pieces together memories, dreams, family stories to form new visual artifacts. The process bridges together both the familiar and unfamiliar aspects of her own history. To see more of Otilia’s work, check out her Instagram and website.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR ART PRACTICE?
Otilia Spantulescu and I am a visual artist living in Vancouver, BC. I work primarily with collage and digital mediums.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IN YOUR PRACTICE RIGHT NOW?
I am interested in experimental, textural manipulation of objects, surfaces and materials. To further this new direction, I am looking forward to learning some computer programming.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT EMILY CARR UNIVERSITY?
I am the International Student Advisor in the Student Commons.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT EMILY CARR UNIVERSITY?
I enjoyed being a part of a community of people who not only work in an art + design university, but are themselves, creative individuals, often, with their own art practice. It’s great coming to work to be among like-minded, creative problem solvers. The university also provides support and encourages the pursuit of creative endeavours among its community members, which is pretty great!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ALUMNI LOOKING TO WORK AT EMILY CARR?
There are often opportunities coming up on the ECU job boards, check often! Also make contacts with staff and faculty!
DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT PRACTICE IN THREE WORDS.
Exploratory, meditative, playful
NAME ONE THING IN YOUR PRACTICE THAT YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT?
A routine. This is something I struggle with, but it’s really important for me. Especially when I’ve had a bad day and I don’t want to do anything in the evening. I am trying to be better about pushing through the negative feelings and engaging with something creative or reading a good book or article.
WHAT’S THE MOST USEFUL PIECE OF CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A PRACTICING ARTIST/DESIGNER?
Always keep working. Keep working on projects even if it’s just for yourself. Welcome the support and advice of colleagues, friends and loved ones.
WHAT LED YOU TO STUDY AT EMILY CARR?
Since moving to Canada in the late 90’s I knew I wanted to pursue a fine art education. Early on I had heard of Emily Carr from school counsellors, and as I approached my last year of high school, I did everything I could to ensure I could attend Emily Carr (at the time, Institute of Art and Design). It was the only school I wanted to go to, and the only one I applied to.
WERE THERE ANY PROFESSORS OR CLASSES THAT INFLUENCED YOU?
A few professors that stand out to me when I was a student were: Magnolia Pauker, Paloma Campbell, Randy Lee Cutler, Celia King, Yunhee Min, and Kathleen Oliver. Taking a creative writing course during undergrad was illuminating. Magnolia’s Intro to Feminist, Gender + Cultural Theory and any Cultural Theory course was invaluable knowledge.
Featured image is Soft Forms, 2019, collage + construction paper. Image courtesy of Otilia Spantulescu.