Mari Mägi Emerging artist
The digital illustrator, Mari Mägi, was born in 1991, Tartu. The first time she played around with a graphic tablet was when her then best friend agreed to relinquish her then exceedingly expensive nnew toy, after which Mari tested her fledging digital wings in her father’s pirated Photoshop. Between the years 2011_2014, Mari completed her education in Tartu University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, after which she decided to try her hand in Pallas University of Applied Sciences, in leatherwork. She decided on Pallas’ media design after a while – handcrafting is an expensive endeavour, but one can suck art of of a digital device for years, until it breaks. This makes the author a ‘double Bachelor’, which the former literature and English language student finds hysterical. Mari has helped to organise and set up Pallas’ students’ yearly exposition; ours was “Sõlm” (2022), a collection of Pallas’ students’ traditional graphic artworks. She was also a part of a group exposition “On the other side of Võru” (2022). Mari prefers deep contrasts and mild, gentle palettes, which she then spices up with texture layering. Vast, stern landscapes, the human form and face, grotesque and tension in soft milieus define her artwork and have been a throughline in a freelance art career spanning some fifteen years. She has been inspired by growing up in the swamp forests between drumlins, and in the unpaved urban slums pockmarked with unfinished Soviet era construction projects, where exploring without supervision, sometimes many miles from home, clued Mari in early on how empty spaces and the unknown become the crucible for a restless and hungry soul.