Underneath the reflection

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he magic of the north is hidden in the dazzling night light, which mysteriously adorns the sky, shattering the darkness away. Sometime ago, for some unknown reason, it has stopped visiting the northern sky. Now many people are looking for that mystical, fast moving appearance, staring at the sky at night and hoping they will be the ones to see the sparkling aurora in all its brilliance and beauty.

Two little dreamers, a girl and a boy, decided to go in search of the northern light. Every evening they were wandering around, holding each other’s hands and seeking aurora. One very special night, while walking through the forest, a strange sight appeared in front of their eyes: a flying blue reindeer was pulling a silver sleigh with a baby inside. At the same time, both the reindeer and the baby turned their heads towards the little couple and said: “The reflection is underneath!” Right after these words, in a blink of an eye, they disappeared without a trace. The girl and the boy hugged each other and started to run, trembling with fear.  After a while they were not sure if that happened for real as they were not prepared to encounter something so marvelous and frightening.

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hey did not want to give up their quest, so they decided to look for aurora the next night even though they were overwhelmed with inner fear and insecurity. “I don’t want to go to the forest again. Let’s go somewhere where it’s not dark’’, said the girl. The boy wanted to obey the little girl’s wish, but he heard a voice from within which was telling him that they should go to the forest. He started to persuade the girl to run through the forest as fast as they could because that was the shortcut to the frozen lake where people claimed to have seen aurora the last time before it vanished. The girl unwillingly agreed to go there; her eyes were wide open and her hands cold and sweaty from anxiety. They started to walk through the same wood where the strange encounter happened the night before. Everything looked quiet for a while; they were looking at the sky, expecting to see the light, but the night was clear and aurora was not there. They were at the end of the forest when the wind started to whirl around them, and the reindeer appeared once again, spreading its wings and pulling the sleigh. This time, long silver hair waved from the sleigh. Suddenly the head from the sleigh rose up, and the children saw a face of an old woman, who slowly started to open her mouth. At the same moment, the reindeer turned its head towards the children and together with the old woman mumbled: “The reflection is underneath!” And with the speed of light, they disappeared.  This time they started to ask themselves what the message meant and why this strange sight appeared twice.

The children got out of the woods and decided to continue walking towards the lake. For a moment they completely forgot about aurora and its disappearance, but shortly after, they remembered what they should have been searching for, and started to stare at the sky again. When they came closer to the lake, something quietly started to crackle, but they stayed fearless. They knew that if they wanted to discover something, they would have to be brave.

Finally, the frozen lake was in front of the children. It was a little bit foggy and quiet, but, after a while, they spotted something moving on the lake. It slowly started to move towards them faster and faster, and it was becoming bigger and bigger until they could finally see what it was: the blue reindeer with an empty sleigh. The children froze completely, but they did not try to escape; this time they were prepared for this odd encounter. The reindeer stopped its sleigh in front of them, waiting for the children to enter. But they decided not to. Then, the reindeer turned its empty sleigh and started to skate on the ice of the lake, and the children started to chase it. They were following the reindeer through two forests, crossed five roads and then approached the biggest lake they had ever seen. When they stepped on the frozen lake, the reindeer spread its fluorescent wings and blasted off high in the sky. Suddenly, from within the sleigh jumped out the baby and the long-haired old woman, and followed by the strong rustling of the wind, they landed on the ice right in front of the amazed shivering couple.

At the moment when they touched the ice, their swaying wings started to grow and when they grew really big, they wrapped and totally covered the bodies of the baby and the old woman. Right then and there, the sky started to change its color, and the magnificent dazzling aurora appeared, shining so strongly that it blinded the children for a moment. All of a sudden, under their feet they noticed an enchanting kingdom of all sorts of creatures, colored with the same hues and intensity as aurora. They were all dancing and swirling in their magical world under the ice of the frozen lake.

In the moment of the glaring light, the children closed their eyes and when they opened them, they found themselves in front of their home, surrounded only by the whispering silence of the night.

Illustrations by the great Vladimir Stankovic

Impression № 013: Portraits

About the power of creativity, Vladimir Stankovic says, “Drawing, or any other creative activity, is a process through which a person can get to know a lot about his/her own personality, it is a constant journey that can help us to get closer to the “truth”; and even though the task seems hard, the process of trying itself is very rewarding and enriching.”

Impression № 009: Spellbound

Vladimir Stankovic tells us about his process:

“As a designer, I know that the use of modern “tools” and software applications is a necessity, but what I find most rewarding while developing concepts and ideas is the combination of traditional media with the digital ones. In my work, the hand drawn shapes are built with rich patterns and give the work an unexpected depth; the characters, different creatures and animals are “pushed” up against one another and overlap in surprising ways with many symbolic and allegorical aspects. Sometimes some images appear consistently without any clear reason and explanation, which makes the creation even more tantalizing and addictive.”

Impression № 007: You can stay my Darling, but not for long!

Graphic Designer Vladimir Stankovic tell us about his art:

I’m a graphic designer from Serbia currently working on my Master’s degree in Finland. Although I’m studying graphic design, which is a very commercial discipline, I find it hard not to develop my other side which is more inclined towards fine arts and illustration on a personal, darker, level. As long as I can remember I used to draw, whenever I had a chance and on whatever I could get my hands on: old books and notebooks, wood pieces etc. Mysteries of any kind, human imperfections, sexuality, life and of course death are the subjects that have fundamentally influenced my interests and artistic expression. The dark side is always there, some shy away from it and some accept it and explore its realms without fear.

You can stay my Darling, but not for long!


The illustrations that I’ve been working on lately
have been influenced by my childhood memories, stories I used to listen to, fairy tales and old myths. I started researching the meanings of fairytales and discovered a lot of interesting facts about them, their hidden messages and symbolism, which, once discovered, make the story more mesmerizing and magical.

Stay tuned for some more wonderful work by Vladimir Stankovic coming up soon.

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