Jarona Ilo, Estonia
Jarõna Ilo is undoubtedly one of the most proficient illustrators in Europe. Some critics call her a drawing virtuoso. At first glance one assumes her preferred style is realism. But, panning her work, one discovers that she wonders into surrealism like a poet reaching another dimension. Her works are illuminated with light as if it comes from within. Her art breathes and lives. There is no beginning or end as Jarona manages to immerse her art viewer into an eternal moment of life where the stationary artwork seemingly moves with luminescent energy. Jarona, as once described by Honore de Balsac in The Hidden Masterpiece, “force[s] Nature to lie bare in her divine integrity” unveiling for us “the infinite poesy of being”.
Advice to students: “Absorb like a sponge Jarona’s teachings and once you feel like you can draw with your heart, simply start trusting your hand”.
Jarona Ilo was born in Kiev in 1955 and received her art education at the Kiev School of Industrial Design, Prague Film Academy and the Estonian Academy of Arts (graduated in 1981). She has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 1988. She is a professor and teaches drawing at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and taught drawing at the Old Town Educational College, the Euroacademy in Tallinn and at the Australian National University in Canberra (2004). She has illustrated numerous books. From 1991–1997 she helped create children’s programs for ETV. She is currently working as a freelance artist and gardener / landscaper.