Historically, fashion has rarely been elevated to the same stature as art, photography, music, sculpture or architecture. But fashion is one of the purest expressions of art because it is art lived on a daily basis. … Fashion only exists as long as there is an actor to incarnate it. In that way, it is performance art.

The convergence of art and fashion is symbiotic. Everything that exists and surrounds us is a product of the society we live in. Who we are, what we see, and what we experience is interconnected and interrelated. There is no place we can point to and say that this or that object does not belong to the sphere of art.

Malina Catoiu, originally from Romania, now living in Luxembourg, can tell us much about a photography culture as ethical lifestyle through her dresses and clothing articles as individual and collective expression. By combining different mediums to make art, she is able to transcend our lives and in the process connect to the essence and universality of who we are.

The name of RaluFineArt comes from her first name, Raluca, as her parents used to call her ‘Ralu’ and since childhood she had a passion for music and art.



RaluFineArt is about photography combined with fine art + design products for accessories, lifestyle, home decor, wall art and more. The brand is committed to raise awareness about the endangered species and deforestation. A percentage of the sales will go as donations to different organizations to contribute to planting trees, save endangered species and other actions trying to make a better world. For more, visit + shop RaluFineArt here: https://www.ralufineart.com

We were more than excited to have an exclusive interview with Ralu x 33 Magazine:

Describe yourself as a creative and how RALUFINEART was born? 

Well I think I will start first by defining what it means for me to be creative and I would start by saying that I consider myself being creative because I have the ability to use my imagination and skills to create and play with ideas in different ways and produce something new and unique. You don’t need to be a genius to be creative. 

I’ve always loved to think outside the box and have no limits and I’ve been attracted to areas of activity that involved creativity. Rigid structures suffocate me as I need to feel the freedom to create and play conceptually with ideas and then to have the freedom to implement them. Even if I worked in banking system for 27 years I tried to find those jobs that gave me the element of creativity. I changed often the area of activity as I wanted to know more and try things and have that feeling of newness and excitement in my life. 

The best time in banking was during the years I was in a huge program to create online banks from scratch. Years of creative process, creating my part from A to Z and that required a huge part of me to be creative and think for new solutions, new business models. So yes I’ve been all my live a creative but I realized my call in life only late in my career. 

Since childhood I had a passion for music and the field of art.Since I was 24 y.o. I wanted to have my own company. Other offers came from banking system and I decided at that time to pursue with my banking career. In 2018 I felt is the time for me to take seriously my ideas and make my dreams become a reality. I’ve always admired my grandma who almost all her life loved to create clothes and designed new models. I looked at her many years how many beautiful things came out of her creative mind and hands: exquisite wedding dresses, luxury costumes, classy dresses, purses, blouses and so on. I wanted to bring the history and present together and inspired by my grandma work to continue with my own story in my own style. 

It took me several months to brainstorm together with my husband and launch my shop in June 2019. However only from October 2019 I started to be fully engaged and take it in my hands as full time activity. 

How do you manage the creativity process exactly as it’s really challenging to create fine art?

I believe that the creative process is an outside expression of who we really are inside. All my creations at this moment in time start from my own photographs. Are my photos fine art? I think my photos can be anything I want them to be. Fine art photography in my view can be a multitude of things; it can create feelings of joy, nostalgia, sadness, happiness, surrealism. How I manage the creativity process exactly? 

Allow me to take as an example my last collection of scarves. I replicate my scarves designs from my original photos by translating the essence of nature and urban impressions into the delightful fashion accessory gifts. Each pattern starts its life as a copy of the original photo that I refine and transform it through the magic of the digital tools to produce a first mock up. First steps in this process are for the design. I select the themes and the range of colors. I put a lot of thought and consideration when creating the drafts and the topics are set on seasons, artistic nature inspired, urban and street style. I use my own photos to create patterns and it takes up to several weeks to work on an initial draft; selecting the perfect one is not always easy. 

Fine art photos do not have to be realistic. I am looking at the lighting, patterns, playing with colors, correcting and editing the photos. Beauty stays in the details and once in a while I turn a gray sky into a surprising yellow gold experimenting with unnatural tones. Imagination and freedom of creation are the designer’s best friends right? 

The inspiration of my urban patterns comes from my travels from the Cycladic layout, the medieval era, Venetian mansions, Neoclassical and modern architecture. While my inspiration of her summer models comes from the seaside showcasing deep blue sea waters, beach features and sea shells.

Once I have the digital patterns done I think of the type of material that best fits to the pattern and model. I prefer to work with natural silk however you may find some items in modal textile too.

For each scarf there is a lot of care and attention given from the start of the design to the finish in production, quality checks are performed along all the process. Creative imagination and designs, skillful hands and craft-work, all these complex processes have to be in harmony to create these wonderful products. 

What makes photography art is in my view the imagination, commitment and time that I put into the patterns and designs. I use my camera as a tool to create art work and it always reflects my vision in respect to the world beauty. For me photography is a visual form of art, is a language that uses visual elements instead of words and it must express feelings and my own vision. The goal is to express an idea, a message or an emotion. 

Read more on:  https://33magazine.com/2021/01/29/ralufineart-interview-special-feature/












February 17, 2021 — malina catoiu