I have always been a creative person, but I was unsure of what kind of creativity should be in my main focus. I equally loved ceramics, interior design, architecture, painting… Of all professions in the world I always consider painting as the best one can do in life. Even though I’m an art historian by profession, I never even dreamed of painting myself, simply because I was convinced that I’m not talented enough.
I also used cooking as a one of the ways to express my creativity. In 2006 I started creating several cooking recipe sites that eventually merged into one food blog called Kitchen Nostalgia. It used to be fun, but with time it turned out that 95% of time I was doing marketing, programming and other boring things and being creative just 5% of time was simply not enough. I desperately needed some change.
It happened so that I wanted to make some unique backboards for my food photography. I had in mind exactly what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to achieve it. So I searched YouTube to find out the techniques. I quickly found what I was looking for. It was so called mixed media painting where you can use all kinds of collages and textures to create your art piece. Working with paints and molding pastes was so satisfying that I thought: “This is far more interesting than cooking and photographing”. I used this new acquired knowledge to make backdrops for photography which I “sneaked” into my food blog. No one noticed them, but I was very happy, nevertheless.
To my amazement, I ran into several other YouTube videos which claimed that anyone could learn how to paint. It was such a shock to me that it completely turned my life upside down. I studied History of Art and I never heard of such a thing. We were thought that every artist needs to work a lot to improve his/her art, but without initial talent he/she is doomed to fail.
I dipped my toe in water. At that time I still believed that making collages was as good as I could go in the “art” world, so in next several months I bought as many craft supplies as I could. Stencils, stamps, chalk paints, wax – you name it. I explored every technique that caught my eye. I enrolled in art courses and tutorials so fast that I didn’t have enough time to finish each of them.
And that was not all. Soon YouTube started to suggest more and more videos of professional artists and art teachers who insisted that they thought even the most untalented people how to paint realistic paintings. I was exhilarated. At this point one would expect of me to say that my dream came true. But it wasn’t even my dream. You see, I was so sure that I was untalented that I never even dared to dream of painting. This what was happening was beyond my dreams.
I broadened my interest in various painting techniques, mostly oil and acrylic painting. I’m still oscillating between realism and expressionism, subtlety and boldness. They say you need to find your own niche, to specialize yourself and invent your unique style. I’m still not prepared to confine myself to a box. Maybe some day soon, maybe not, we’ll see what the future brings. It’s so exciting!