When did you start painting and why did you start?
I was always interested in Art, especially during school as Art was always a main subject for me. However, I never thought of pursuing it as a career and considered it just a hobby. I became quite serious about Art at the age of 15, when my teachers acknowledged that I could paint well. They encouraged me to participate in several major Art Competitions and helped me realise that Art is something that I could gain a lot from. A couple of years later, I started taking Art lessons once a week at a local studio and this was the time when I became really committed to it. My teacher taught me how to use oil on a canvas (as I was only familiar with using acrylic paints and water colours until this point) and she taught me some new tricks and techniques. For me painting is a way to escape reality for a while. I find it very relaxing and it helps me regain calmness and balance.
How would you describe your painting style and what are the themes of your collections?
I still consider myself a ‘young’ artist who is still experimenting, so it’s difficult to answer. I would say the majority of my paintings have an ethereal style, they have mysterious vibe and romantic tone, they focus on movement and they show intense emotions like sadness, loneliness, shyness.
My collections consist of female figures, nature, and animals and they are mainly made up of oil paintings. When I use oil, it is a lot easier for me to correct mistakes and blend-in colours, but also to start from the beginning by painting over the same canvas if I need to. I often use several different oils in the same painting, depending on specific pigments and desired effects, and I really love this flexibility. My paintings are made of high-quality materials, intense colours and anyone can see that I am very generous with the amounts of paint I apply onto each canvas. I put my heart and soul into every creation and I think it shows through the final results.
Where do you source your materials from?
I mainly buy my oil paints, canvases, brushes, and spatulas from local art shops. Every canvas I use is hand-made and also bought locally from a someone who makes them especially for me. I tend to buy expensive materials, but I find that it is completely worth it as you can really see a difference when applying the paint.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from anywhere but usually my paintings reflect my mood or the specific phase that I am in at a specific point in my life. Sometimes I take pictures of things that catch my eye and then take them back to the studio to try and recreate. Generally speaking, I would only paint something that I myself, would hang up on the walls of my own house. Having that in mind, this usually results in me selecting happy or pretty things to paint. I am a little bit of an idealist and a perfectionist, so I generally have the tendency to want to paint everything and anything beautiful. Idealists are those who represent things as they might or should be rather than as they are. As a visionary person, I will choose to paint the most beautiful lady, the most perfect golf course, the most magnificent swan. I avoid painting sadness and if I do choose to paint sadness, it will still be done ‘beautifully’.
What is the role of Art in the community in your opinion?
Art conveys ideas and perspectives to share, enjoy, discuss. It can be uncomfortable, it can be compelling or confrontational, but great art is always memorable. Always uplifting.
Do you use different application techniques within the same work?
Yes, for sure. Especially now. In terms of traditional oil painting techniques, I’m using washes, wet into wet, palette knives, etc. And sometimes I just use my fingers. It’s fun to let the paint get really built up and to get lost in it. Sometimes I think “Oh god, what am I doing? This is a total mess!” but if I didn’t give up the desire to control everything then it would get really stiff and nothing would happen. You have to let your intuition do a lot of the driving and that can be difficult, but it leads to some great results that you would never get any other way.
Any new projects coming up?
Well, I don’t want to reveal too much about my plans, but I am planning on trying something new in the upcoming months. Believe it or not, I am I want to try a different style of art and I am ready to create some work that is a little more abstract and contemporary. I will simultaneously continue to work with oil paints, as I am also planning on working on my new collection of Architecture and Landscapes.
Tell us about your long-term goals?
For me, painting is a way of life. It is an opportunity for me to express myself, to show the world what I am feeling and send out important messages about specific cultures and ways of life. I definitely do not plan to stop painting any time soon. In the future, I would love to have my own studio, in order to have my own space to paint. Perhaps I could even have a gallery to exhibit my artwork, or a space that would be more inviting for the public to stop by for a coffee and a nose-around. One of my favourite quotes is by Shepard Fairey, who explains that ‘Creating is about sharing ideas, sharing aesthetics, sharing what you believe in with other people’. For me being able to work with other like-minded individuals is a dream come true, whether this means to collaborate with other artists or to share my art with people who care and are interested.
Another one of my aims for the future is to start cooperating with several charitable foundations where part of my sales proceeds will go towards those in need. This will also be a great opportunity for more people to connect with Art and learn how it can be a form of therapy for the mind and soul.
What is your advice to other young artists?
Whatever it is that you love, you need to give it a try. We all owe it to ourselves and it is so liberating and heart-warming to be able to practice an art or a skill that you are good at. For those thinking about starting up a business of some kind, they need to be sure that they have a genuine interest in what they want to do. If they are willing to put in the work and effort, then they have much higher chances of being very successful in all the things they pursue. What we say as Artists….Experiment, it’s the only way to learn and move forward.