Tijana Lukovic

Tijana Lukovic is a Belgium based illustrator whose artworks contain traces of folklore, mythology and a love for nature. Her images are rooted in the changing seasons and her inner world as she explores the forest of her childhood memories.

Describe the nature around you at this moment?

We have a river and a small park with two big old trees in front of our balcony – a maple tree and an ash tree. It’s a beautiful view that brings peace, calm and evidence of the seasonal changes. The river and trees are also home to many birds, so it’s perfect for birdwatching.

How would you describe your nature connection?

My connection to nature is interwoven with my love of folklore and mythology - everything is related, connected and works as a whole. As a child I was told many stories by my grandmother and they stayed within me, influencing my view of nature and the magic I feel in its presence. I experience all the elements as if they have a consciousness of their own; as if I am in a constant conversation with the wind that plays with my hair, takes my worries away and listens to my innermost reflections. I always try to find a connection between my inner landscape and the nature around me.

Where do you feel most at ease?

I love sitting on a river bank and watching the water. It calms me.

Nature and folklore are deeply intertwined in your work. How can storytelling help us rewild ourselves?

In a folktale, everything can have a consciousness of its own - even a mountain, a stone or a gentle flower. We get to meet ‘the other side’, beyond the veil of our everyday busy lives, where we have lost our connection to everything non-human. We are encouraged to see magic in nature and the elements around us. We get to meet and know more about the nature spirits and other magical beings living uninhibited lives in forests, rivers and seas and we wish to be more like them, experiencing nature and life as they do, at one with our Mother.

Is there anything you’re curious about right now?

I’m reading a lot about Slavic mythology at the moment and I am particularly drawn to beings living in the forest, the protectors of it, like Baba Yaga. I am very interested in her ambivalent nature – a fearless wild woman both helpful and malevolent. She holds great power and wisdom and connects me with my Slavic roots, teaching me how to be myself in relation to the world.

What’s your top tip?

If you like living in your own world, stay there.

What kind of ancestor do you want to be?

One who conveys the message of our inner world being of equal importance to our outer worlds.

What inspires you every day?

It might sound funny, but thinking of the mysteries of the universe and our relation to it.

What are you reading, watching or listening to?

At the moment I am reading The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance by Elizabeth Wayland Barber and listening to the podcast Mythoslavic hosted by Karmen.

What question would you like to ask a future guest of #TheNatureKind?

What do you do in order to rewild yourself?

Could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind series?

My friend and talented poet Victoria Pettella. Her Instagram is @victoriapettella.

You can find out more about Tijana and her work on her website and Instagram.

Share this article

Explore Related Stories