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Mobile Art – APPart Interview with Eliza Badoiu

Eliza Badoiu’s art is beautiful beyond measure, her field of vision is limitless. I have long been a fan of her work, her ravishing vision is reunited with earlier decades of her life, climaxing with overwhelming virtue.  Sultry, secretive, knotted and sometimes eerie, her images are almost hypnotic. I am delighted to present this wonderful interview by our AppArt Editor, Bobbi McMurry with Badoiu, enjoy… (foreword by Joanne Carter).

To view her earlier TrueView Video Interviews – please go here.

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“Captivating. Mysterious. Intriguing. Moving. Emotive. If you aren’t familiar with AppArtist Eliza Badoiu, you need to be. I think there are but a few whose work just seems to flow from within. Complete abandon captured on a two-dimensional surface, Eliza is one of those rare artists and I feel she’s only just beginning to scratch the surface of her talent. I’m certain you’ll enjoy getting acquainted; her dialog is as enigmatic as her art. I’m very happy to present, Eliza…


Eliza Badoiu

Image of Eliza Badoiu ©Carolyn Hall Young



Would you tell us more about your art background and transition (if appropriate) to working with mobile hardware, i.e. iPhone, iPad, tablets.

If I were to simply give a short answer to this one I would have to admit that I have absolutely no official, legal, scientific nor formative connection to art. My full time job is that of teaching foreign languages in a secondary school in this wonderful city down by the Black Sea shore coast, in Constanta- Romania. Nevertheless, going back in the 90s, that is the period that I best like to remember, as it projects my teenage years, I can easily explain so many of the things I’m creating now in the musical terms of the alternative, almost grunge scenario that I’ve preserved over the years. I have always been tuned to the power of images and above all interested in the semiotics, the meaning and impact an image acquire and can also transmit to the viewer. After attending the university of Philology, studying Italian major and English as a secondary choice, here follows a period filled with the concept of school, education, teaching.

I came to discover the great instrument of the mobile phone photography once my husband decided to buy a new device for me- as the previous one was almost torn into pieces. As you see, I have this tendency of becoming fond of things once they become part of my routine and of never wanting to leave them just because I am afraid of the unfamiliar of what technological devices may bring. I consequently told my lovely other half that I would only accept a smartphone if it were a good one in terms of camera functions and photography issues. Being a humanist by formation, technology comes in opposition with my former cultural background. This explains the fact that to any fancy technologies I may have to use I respond with an initial rejection. So, ironically enough, here I was, all of a sudden immersed in this fascinating path that I somehow always wanted to walk on, but which was being left behind back in the 90’s. I always loved and enjoyed a certain sense of aesthetics whether related to images, clothes and general appearance.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Please describe your style of art and your portrayals.

I am not sure at this point whether I have a style of my own, because if I had one it would surely not be mine-not entirely, as it would include all the apps and processing I’m undertaking while working on an image. I would rather not go into the sui generis debate as for photography.I think that in order to achieve a unique style one has to come with something new, reinvent previous concepts and I don’t think that is or could be my case, at least not just yet.

If I were to talk to the tendency I mostly enjoy using while creating new images, that would be to always introspectively render a certain mood, mostly and strongly connected to the female psyche and inner consciousness. But that would be a major theme to which my own style can apply to and best intermingle with. I am not even aware of the existing multi possible styles in photography, as I have never instructed myself in that direction. I base all my photographic activities relying on intuition, feelings and my own experiences. In my portraits I am always fascinated by all kinds of distortions, playing around the infinite possibilities of the primal meaning itself, and the structuralism of the ego that can achieve multiple perspectives.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


How are you inspired, motivated and nourished in your work?

Well, inspiration is nothing that can be defined, as it comes and vanishes away just like the moments we breathe and never fully grasp, nor completely enjoy. So I find inspiration from so many different directions. Sometimes I just have to look to the closest of myself and within my very person. Some other times inspiration can appear from simply watching a sequence of a video, or some common activity and my mind expands to the limits of that particular idea. It sometimes simply happens that ideas and inspiration mysteriously follow and find me, and I have nothing to do with it whatsoever. It comes in such a natural form and ways I can’t even explain or realize that this is inspiration itself we’re talking about. I am always motivated to keep on doing this by this multitude of words that still remain untold at the end of the day, or by the concrete actions we fail to complete. I am motivated and nourished by my very own language I use in order to make statements into the frame of any of my dear photos. And last but certainly not least I am not motivated by anything in particular at all. I just came to breathe and inhale this so naturally, that I simply cannot, neither want, nor conceive not doing it. It can be explained as pure pleasure, almost to the point of a so needed addiction. At the end of the day, mobile phone photography is all the things I was, I tried to be, I failed to be, or wished to have been.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


How often do you create images? Do you feel under pressure to produce more and more or do you not subscribe to this? If yes, does this sense of urgency help you in your creation process?

I believe I somehow explained myself while answering the third question when it seemed kind of obvious the natural addiction I have for this lovely experience of mobile phone photography. I create almost daily without feeling under any type of specific pressure. I can only sense just a necessity of finding and reinterpreting the many selves that lay inside of me. This isn’t a job for me, so it has no limits, knows no deadlines and manifests no pressure. However, if I were to admit and refer to any sense of urgency, those would be related to the urgency of the editing process itself, while struggling to clearly explain the mood and words that go with the picture and can’t be heard but must surely be seen as a final concept. I always feel the necessity of being satisfied myself with the result of my attempts and that can lead to innumerable hours of processing until I get to be completely pleased with the result itself. Sometimes I am in control, some other times it just happens to fail but I am always patient as I know sincere feelings come to find their right place and interpretation into the frame of my editing eventually.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Do you adapt a similar ‘routine’ to creating your images or do you change and vary your process depending on the piece?

If we are talking of preserving one single style while creating our photos, then we automatically have to process the photo a certain way each time as a fixed formula. I am bored enough with the educational system that isn’t so much fun lately that I am here only to play, experimenting always new ways of approaching  a certain stylistic routine where I could say I belong to and feel in peace with. I do photography to get out of imposed patterns of routine and everyday life norms, so I would certainly not accept going always on the same way while editing, it would be boring and so unattractive for me, and I would probably not do it at all if it ever comes to that. I desperately want to get out of common habits, not creating a secure pattern inside my photos that would be synonymous to slavery. Art has the ability to set you free not to restrain and give birth to automatisms. Each photo has to acquire its own story, growth and unique birth.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Do you have a particular methodology in your work? Do you allow a specific time frame to complete an image?Do you need to work in a certain creative environment?

I have never, ever read, nor followed the formalism of self-instruction and documentation on mobile phone photography. I do it instinctively as it sincerely comes from my need to survive and overpass certain issues in my life. Nor am I aware of a certain methodology. I think that once you start getting too documented you may easily loose the essential part that is the feeling you are trying to achieve inside the frame, and that can’t be done by studying, but in my opinion, by following your own intuition and inner mood. I always edit my photos while taking a time off from the activities during the day. That happens usually after I put my son to bed or when I find a quick, brief moment of relief in between washing dishes, having meals ready, finishing homework with my eternal magical wonder, that is my son. Almost 90% of all photos I stored are shot in my apartment. I am focused on getting to explore female psyche and consciousness in her attempt to find an identity and defying her own space, reintegrated in today’s external conditions of the society. So, my house would do for my creative environmental artistic cage while the Id, the very Ego and some parts of my Super Ego all join hands and come together in order to express and externalise the emotions.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Do photographic images feature in your work, what form do these take?

I do not incorporate distinct images into my own but I often use distortions or motion in photos in order to modify aspects whenever I wish to achieve a particular meaning to its message. I rarely do drawings; I am kind of poor in painting or doing a drawing on my own. I still sometimes blend two or images that I have shot, adding them for layers and experimenting this way. Sometimes I am close and satisfied with the final result, some other times I have to keep on trying until I’m there.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Do you use any additional hardware to help you create your art, such as a stylus? Can you also tell us about any other hardware you use including, software, accessories including batteries, chargers, lenses, and storage? Do you have a favorite tool?

Unfortunately, I am so poor in giving an answer to this, as I am ironically not very fond of technology and all it’s additional stuff. Until not so long ago, I used an Android with no special lenses, or specific hardware but still was satisfied with the final results of my works in terms of the mood but not the technical aspects. What I would have expected from my final editing was a better-defined quality of the image, that is why I have moved on to the quality supplied images of the Iphone 6S.

I have three favorite apps that I overused and explored available on Android system such as Snapseed, whenever keeping the image as close as the original shot and just changing lights, contrasts and basic filtering. PicsArt, Pixlr or Adobe Photoshop touch for the more artsy and digitised images. It is only now, that I have recently moved to the iPhone journey, that I’ve discovered Mextures for better textures and lights ,Filterstorm, and Blend Pro. So I didn’t invest a lot in any fabulous apps, software or accessories so far. I was simply lucky by the fact I love and enjoy so much this natural passion, and it really almost magically helped me succeed without spending great amounts of cash.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Where do you share your images within social media channels? How do you manage social media, sharing, learning, competitions etc vs creating art?

I first came to share my images within social media channels as Facebook. EyeEm was great for me because it has led me to some weekly competitions with Iphone Photography School. That introduced me to the great NEM artistic movement, which led me to people and curators that automatically opened the road to TheAppWhisperer. I started sharing my images on Flickr in order to be included in the beautifully curated weekly showcases Joanne puts together, this is one fabulous adventure for me. I am sharing my images as I still believe it can be helpful to see what we all create and learn from each other’s photographic experiences. Sometimes using too much of the social media becomes a bit tiring and overwhelming, we have to find own level of handling it to inner balance and equilibrium.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


Are you motivated by competitions/competitiveness or does your satisfaction come from within? How do you involve yourself in competitions, shows, challenges and what are your reasons for doing so?

I have attended a couple of competitions as well and I was ok with the final results. I have been included in; The Top 100 Best Pictures of 2014 by the IPhone Photography School, The 3rd quarter winner in the Digital Art category for the Android Photography Awards in 2015, The PhotoBook “Streets of the World” Mira Mobile Prize competition, and 3rd place winner in the mDAC 2015. I’ve also been featured on many online publications related to mobile phone photography such as New Era Museum, Platform 58, P1xels or Iphoneography Central.

I didn’t always manage to sign up for competitions as I found out about them after the entries were closed and some of my colleagues were enjoying their prizes or nominations. For the near future I should probably pay more attention and get more informed on this topic as I would like to display my images to a greater audience. I think competitions are important as long as you choose and you wish to get international. I see it as an authorized form of feedback too. Otherwise I guess you can easily be disappointed. So I also believe you have to be somehow aware of the seriousness and professionalism of the people involve in the competitions you are entering. Winning competitions can be motivating for the ego, but they may tend to become destructive when you get to create images only for such specific purpose. I have no urgent goals related to this whatsoever, I’m more of a romantic rather than a challenger. I am always telling myself I have to be more organised and send my work to galleries, but I dreamily postpone that as there is always something to be done or something that beautifully distracts me.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


What causes you to pause and take stock of your existing work? How has mobile technology and connectedness changed the way you see? This can be both literally how you see, and how you see yourself and your work. Creative people were more isolated, in the past, and had to deal with less intuitive tools, digitally and in natural media.

Mobile technology has reconnected me with my musical background and my 90’s teen years and has so beautifully reactivated the roots from my university years. Many of my photos are artistically connected to some literary concepts as the ones I came familiar with while dealing with the stream of consciousness technique in Virginia Woolf’s novels, the symbolic hidden messages of Edgar Allen Poe or the beautiful search for the individual identity in the age of English Literature Enlightenment that I studied in my humanistic period. Some of the series I have self shot deal with the main concepts of appearance VS essence, consisting in the form that lacks to its definition, loosing consistency as it happens in some of Luigi Pirandello’s novels, short stories or plays which I simply adore. I loved literature during my adolescence and formation years as a student. That alongside with music are my roots and my inspiration as well as some kind of mind confusion as I barely understand where I really and truly belong. I felt so fulfilled that I somehow, in my own way, managed to translate my wonders and ambitions, as well as my dreams and uncertainties into this unique language of mobile phone photography. If others find themselves in any of my attempts then I succeeded. If it scarcely leaves any feeling, even an unexpected or unexplainable one, then I made my point with that image. Images are like the moments we live in and the seconds we very breathe. It is a way of reshaping, a time for introspection, and a way we can evolve and change within ourselves while changing others perspective as well. I see my works as the unaltered representation of myself, with all the shades and tones I know or desperately strive to possess.

Image ©Eliza Badoiu


How has helped you with your art?

TheAppWhisperer is such an inspirational place, platform, and community, a place that feels like home. Being accepted by the many talented, kind-hearted people whose friendship I value even though I didn’t get to know any of them in person so far. There is this common feeling of already knowing each other and I guess that comes from the respect we share for each other’s work, projects and especially souls. I have found a great mass of such talented people, Joanne is always there for us supplying extra chances in order for us to develop, grow and express within the community. TheAppWhisperer is so special to me because it unites all our hopes, fears, expressions and my lost words become articulated through images. Everyone is contributing with their own vibe and this makes it so powerful and exquisitely unique. The AppWhisper is a fabulous input for me, as it also embodies an amazing vehicle of communication between its members. I honestly love the images, the people and all emotions shared inside this community.

TheAppWhisperer has always had a dual mission: to promote the most talented mobile artists of the day and to support ambitious, inquisitive viewers the world over. As the years passTheAppWhisperer has gained readers and viewers and found new venues for that exchange.

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Bobbi McMurry received her BFA from Arizona State University where she focused on painting, drawing, and printmaking. After graduating, she spent many years as an Art Director for custom and newsstand magazines. She has recently rekindled her passion for creating personal images and has gravitated to the world of mobile art. Her work has been accepted into numerous juried exhibitions, and has been recognized in mobile art competitions including The Third Wave and the Mobile Photo Awards. Additionaly, her work is part of the current iPhonic Art Exhibit at Markham Vinyards in California. She has been featured on mobile photography blogs, and recently became a columnist for The App Whisperer. Bobbi lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.


  • Pat brown

    An immeasurably enriching interview. Bobbi, your insightful questions elicited from Eliza the most articulate, poetic, honest, and inspiring words about her art, vision, and practice. I am deeply indebted to you both, and to Joanne. Thank you!

  • T Mitchell

    Curious whether you use all self portraits or use models and stock images from other sources.

  • Stef LePape

    Love reading your process. And nice to hear of someone else who was creative with android based devices. Further demonstrates it isn’t about the tools bu the artist.
    Beautiful work