Maria is one of those people that easily get under your skin – with their creative charge, curiosity and interest in various publications. Although she is still quite young (26 years) and just recently graduated from the National Art Academy, she has chosen her career path of graphic design and illustration.

Her first book is already a fact – a pop-up book “Black bears for white days / White bears for rainy days.” On its pages black and white bears come to life with the help of twisted interpretations of 12 popular Bulgarian proverbs and three-dimensional pictures.

The experiment is based on the special printing techniques as well as the stylish but adventurous layout and the short narratives tickling your mind and imagination with humour. “Black and white paper into one. There is no front, nor back. Both covers are beginnings of the book. The meeting is in the center where the turning point is.”

The pop-up book is a work of art in a limited edition of 90 pieces, each made by hand by the author. Several days before the official premiere of the book and amidst feverish preparations for the presentation we catch up with Maria Nalbantova for an invigorating talk.

Tell us about your love for printed editions. What impressed you most and what was that you wanted to do?
Pop-up books and special printed editions are my way for dialogue with the world. Through them I manage to feel a little sharing and sincerity. Typical of pictorial books is the inevitable connection between text and picture. In the spatial books that I especially like, there is another level of understanding, because they combine text, image and space. I’m curious about the invention of  combinations how to tie the three things together and create understanding without repetition.




The full version of the article can be read in our column for Capital LIGHT in print and on-line.