Maria Stoian on creating the SQIFF 2021 Artwork

Maria Stoian, the designer of this year’s SQIFF artwork, tells us more about her illustration practice and the process behind this year’s design. 

Tell us a bit about your illustration practice and your work to date.

My illustration practice is a mix, with a focus on non-fiction comics. My first graphic novel, Take it as a Compliment, is a real-life collection of anonymous stories of sexual violence. I’ve also produced comics for The New Yorker, The Nib, and anthologies like Drawing Power. I also enjoy making prints and zines as part of my personal work. Most recently, I collaborated with writer Heather Parry to make The Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide, a free resource available via Creative Scotland.

Can you tell us more about the inspiration for your designs for SQIFF 2021?

I liked the idea of drawing something behind the scenes, all the team members running around getting ready before the director shouts Action! I wanted to give myself space to draw a lot of different characters, as well as make an adaptable design so the elements could work on their own as illustrations in the brochure.

Do you have a favourite character from the team of people you’ve drawn? 

Hm, it’s hard to choose! The little dog made me giggle the most, so I think it has to be him. I did also sneak in a little self-portrait, I’m the clumsy intern, haha!

What are you working on next? 

I’m spinning a few plates at the moment, but the project I’m most excited about (and have the least time for) is my next graphic novel. It’s more personal than my usual work, but I’m looking forward to getting it to a stage where I can share it.

You can buy t-shirts, totes, stickers and more with Maria’s awesome designs on in the SQIFF shop, or in person at our stall at the CCA until Sunday 10th October. 

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