Artist Interviews 2023

Milena Babic aka Somnambulistika  
By Julia Siedenburg

Milena Babic has a great talent creating a vibrant fantastical world, which she calls Somnambulistika, with the help of intricate collage work. From Flowery heads and Surreal Portraits with humans and animals all the way to acrobatic circus scenes, she makes the wildest day-dreams become reality.

I personally love to get lost in her beautifully artistic world of wonders and I encourage you, dear readers, to do the same! We for one are so happy to have her as part of this issue and loved to learn more about her and her ideas - we hope so do you!

First off, please explain your artist name to us. Where did it come from and what does it mean?

Somnambulistika is a little surreal universe that I created a couple of years ago after I discovered my love for digital collages. The name itself is fairly self-explanatory – it reveals the connection between art and our inner worlds, especially our dreams and our fears that can sometimes turn into nightmares.

Your beautiful surreal collage art is very enchanting to look at. How did you find your surrealism style and how long did it take you to master it?

I’ve always been drawn to surrealism as a movement, both in art and literature. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am a psychologist by trade, and surrealism is all about unconsciousness and symbolism.

One of your two series is called ‘Surreal Portraits’. Where do you take your inspiration for these artworks from?

The series of surreal portraits is mostly inspired by old photos I find online, but also in my family albums. I like to tell visual stories of people I’ve never met – their hopes, their feelings, and their relationship to themselves and the world that surrounds them.

Are you thinking of eventually broadening out from collage art or will you be sticking to this?

For now, I’ll stick to the collages. I would like to try my hand at drawing or painting sometime. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m very talented in these.

I especially love your other series called ‘Flowery Heads ‘. How did you get the idea for it and do you have a favorite piece in this series?

I don’t recall getting an actual idea. I think it happened spontaneously. I like to think of flowers as feelings – sometimes they are colorful and fresh, sometimes they have thorns, many times they wither when we neglect them.

Tell us a bit about your childhood and upbringing. Did art always play a big role in it?

I didn’t grow up in an artistic family, nor do I have a formal art education. But my parents always loved art - we had many custom-made artworks in our house, they always took us to the museums, etc.

Do you think growing up in Serbia influenced your artistic style?

Not much. My work is highly influenced by the music I listened to, my favorite movies, and the books I read. Some of them are written/created by Serbian artists and authors, but most are not.

Your images can be bought printed on metal prints as well as other products such as chairs, trays, etc. What product is the most successful? Are you planning to experiment with other materials in the future?

I sell my work on various POD websites. What always and everywhere sells the most are art prints. I rarely sell anything else. And I agree with the customers – my collages look best on the walls. As for materials, my work is purely digital. I would probably like to make some analog collages in the future.

You have designed an album cover for the artist ChatS. How was that experience and what else would you like to design in the future?

I designed several album covers, some social media posts, and website images. I love doing commissions. It can be challenging at times, but the result is always rewarding. Working with Chats, who is a hip-hop musician, was a great experience, since he knew what he wanted, but also left me enough space to develop my ideas.

What are your plans for the future? Are any new series, shows, or events planned?

I’m preparing a new series of collages inspired by circus artists and street performers. And I’m also trying to rebuild my Instagram account which was hacked a while ago. It takes a lot of work, but I like to connect with fellow artists and people who care about art.

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