When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
It may sound strange, but I remember exactly when I decided to become an artist. I was 17 years old.
In general I have always been drawing since I can remember. I have memories from my earliest childhood, as I attended a children’s art school for 4 years, which my grandmother assigned to me as an additional education. Still everyone in my family, including me, was convinced that I would study medicine and become a doctor.
I studied very well and easily and had the best possible grades. In my last year of school I announced that I wanted to be an artist. Of course everyone was very surprised to say the least. I remember clearly the moment of boundless joy when I drew a wall paper dedicated to a wonderful Russian poet. Alone in the big auditorium of the school I forgot about time and space. I was completely absorbed in the process. Later, I read about something similar, and that it has different names. But at that time I didn’t know anything about it, only that this moment defined my life.
I am very grateful that my family finally allowed me to make my choice in life. That’s when I attended the Faculty of Arts. After graduating from university I taught for 7 years drawing and composition at the Department of Drawing. After meeting my future husband, we both decided to be artists only.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
I studied art history and I am very grateful to my wonderful teachers. When I delved into the subject, I liked certain periods of art history: ancient art, medieval art and the Renaissance. As I developed as an artist, my tastes and preferences also changed. But something has remained the same. The Russian art of the Middle Ages. The geniuses of the Italian Renaissance from Florence-Masaccio over Pietro della Francesca and Giotto. I am very much drawn to the French art after the bourgeois revolutions especially Matisse; the German Expressionists of the 1930s, English illustration. The closest to me is Art Deco from which many of the author’s stylistic choices raise and develop.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
To be honest, I prefer to work alone. Even the company of my husband, whom I trust infinitely, sometimes interferes, confuses and distracts me. In the process of work, there comes such an important moment when one moves into another dimension. Then the course of time changes. You seem to become the co-author of the artwork. Then, as an artist, I have to keep up with what guides me. It requires inner silence and deep immersion. In a sense you are no longer alone.
*the second part will be published next week.