Humor, love, and a healthy dose of self-irony are essential components in artist CODRUTA LUCA’s creations.

By Daria Trifu

Painter, fashion designer, illustrator, and above all, mother, Codruta Luca, finds herself in a perpetual challenge of thoughts and feelings. Her creations subtly convey the idea that being a parent is not an easy task but it is extremely cool because ‘we rediscover ourselves, we learn to play again, to invent and to dream’.

Romanian designer and illustrator, Codruta Luca, graduated with a Master’s Degree in fashion design from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca in 2004. She impressed the East Company management with her creations and she soon became a designer for David Corral where she enjoyed a ten-year successful career creating entire lingerie and swimsuit collections for the famed brand. 

As one of the lead designers for David Corral, Codruta traveled with the brand’s collections to some of the most coveted fashion trade fairs in Europe such as Italy’s Maredamare in Frorence, France’s MarediModa in Cannes and Germany’s Collection Première Düsseldorf.

Collection David Corral designed by Codruta Luca

When designing a new collection her greatest desire is to create what makes her feel good: “I like to draw things that are pleasing to the eye and bring joy to the viewer. I play and enjoy drawing funny things with a special attention to detail.

Objects have a symbolic meaning attached. My interaction with other people, reaction to the environment or personal circumstances, they all greatly affect my life. This is why I find myself in a perpetual challenge of thoughts and feelings. Each symbol is a microcosm and can be perceived as the expression of a macrocosm. My artistic act is influenced by all that surrounds me.”

My creative process involves the collection of a labyrinth of data, images and impressions from life, and the conclusions I draw materialize in the designs and illustrations I create.

Codruta Luca

Most recently, the artist launched her own business, Kula Design, that encompasses everything that fuels her heart and creativity. Inspired by her daughter and life as a mother, Codruta uses humour and creates illustrations that feature characters that are either real or imaginary friends of her four-year-old daughter, Meda.

She started her business by designing a personal t-shirt collection that features graphic illustrations of her daily life with Meda. Codruta names her characters (Sandu’s Sister, Anisoara, Nolan, Nabuk or Mark) and she even describes her daily routine in her illustrations that are first created on pages ripped-off her yearly agenda notebooks before she transfers them to t-shirts. This proved so popular that she began receiving orders from friends and even mothers she didn’t know, to create illustrations and t-shirts based on their own parenting experiences and ‘imaginary friends’ of their children.

In addition to her own journals, she now creates personalized portraits, illustrations and products for devoted clients all with a dose of irony and humor that characterizes her style. Her creativity mirrors the way her life unfolds, everything around her.

I am always in search of beautiful things that emanate a good energy, and I am always attentive to the details that inspire me and that I transpose and bring to life in my illustrations. My little girl’s toys have become the main characters in my designs.

Codruta Luca

Codruta tries to remain constant in her work because she considers that the most important thing when approaching an artistic concept is to maintain a linear path.

What started as an artistic diary, as her need for personal creative expression, has now become a business that is expanding to include accessories, interior decorating objects and an upcoming collection of clothing items specially designed for mothers and their children labelled Kula & Meda.

In July 2019 Codruta participated in the 25th Anniversary Exhibition of her university’s Fashion Design Gala at the Art Museum in Cluj-Napoca  where she presented her fashion sketches and printing projects for the upcoming Kula & Meda line. “My experience as a mother guided me to choose comfortable and easy-to-wear garments produced from natural fibre and ergonomic materials: organic cotton, linen and hemp fabrics.

In my style of portraying funny characters – from a family of ants or chicken to my daughter’s toys, the drawings expose scenes from a mother’s perspective where everything comes to life.”

The illustrations I feature on these creations subtly convey the idea that being a parent is not an easy task but it is extremely cool because we rediscover ourselves, we learn to play again, to invent and to dream.

Codruta Luca

With a small dose of irony and self-irony, characteristic to her style, Codruta incorporates in her artwork a very common topic in today’s society, namely the slightly exaggerated obsession of mothers with healthy nutrition and parenting courses. At the same time, the prints contain messages that encourage children to enjoy simple pleasures, nature and the possibility to explore and learn from the environment and what it means to be eco-friendly. For the designer, this collection is born out of passion for beauty and love, shared amongst mothers and children who enjoy, smile and play.

The clothes, accessories and interior decorations that Kula Design brings to the market have their own life, tell a story and convey a positive energy because they are created with heart and soul.

Through her creations, Codruta is showing us that youth is not just for the young but living youthfully is a choice of lifestyle that is possible to attain by nourishing a positive outlook on life. “I want my art to remain faithful to my personality, I want to create every-day products that inspire, induce happiness and express my sense of humour, albeit sarcastic at times.” D!