Thursday, June 24, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Juliya Fedotova

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Juliya's painting "Roses" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

What did you want to be growing up?

When I was little, I loved George Lucas' Star Wars movie very much. And I have always dreamed of other worlds, planets. I thought that when I grow up, I will fly in a spaceship, I will see other Galaxies. As a child, I did not really like to draw, I did it badly and I often asked my brother to draw a spaceship for me. I remember, I always envied that that he managed to draw them, but I did not.

When did your artistic journey begin?

At the age of 13, I realized that I wanted to become an interior designer and enter the University of Architecture and Civil Engineering. When I found out that for admission you need to be able to draw, it was an unpleasant surprise for me! After all, I not only did not know how to draw, but also did not like it. I had to enroll in a local art studio to learn at least the basics of drawing.

After 4 years of study, I was able to understand what perspective is, learn how to mix colors, draw educational performances, still lifes, plaster heads. And fall in love with drawing forever! I could not enter the University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, but my knowledge was enough to successfully pass the exams at the College and get the profession "Fashion Designer", and later enter University for the specialty "History and Theory of Fine Arts."

(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Juliya's interview.

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

After 3 years of study at University, I had to quit it because there was not enough money for education. My life began to resemble a pendulum: life-work (at that time I worked as a layout designer in the editorial office).

I couldn't look at paints and brushes at all, because I didn't understand who needed my paintings, and why draw them at all. I was so lost in my daily routine that I did not even understand how it was possible to live differently.

But after the decree, everything changed! I was finally able to clear my head and remember my dream - to paint and live freely. Free from an eternally disgruntled director, from working overtime, from monotony.

Once I just took out all my paints from the cabinets, bought a bunch of canvases and began to paint portraits to order. At first it was scary - like it or not, will it work out? But I, like Scarlett, said to myself: "I'll think about it tomorrow" and just drew. Oddly enough, my portraits began to enjoy great popularity and orders became more and more. Of course, this fueled my self-confidence and faith in myself as an artist!

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

Of course, my favorite genre is a portrait, I still paint portraits to order. But this year I decided to try new genres and began to draw animals, flowers, still lifes, fruits... whatever I like! And this is such freedom! Every morning I wake up and ask myself only one question: "Julia, what do you want to draw today?" And, usually, over a cup of coffee, the answer emerges.

African Woman
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

It's hard to say how my style developed. I just love bright decorative painting, I try to work on color in my works, I am constantly looking for new techniques to further emphasize their decorativeness. Stained-glass windows and mosaics inspire me; I transfer many techniques from there into my paintings.

I also think that it is very important to go to museums and look at the paintings of great masters. See what canvases they used, how they applied paint strokes, how they worked with texture, and then apply some of this in their paintings. A little from here, a little from there, plus my own vision, and this is how my style developed.

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

My favorite artist is Vrubel, a Russian artist of the Art Nouveau era. He has very deep and soulful pictures with deep meaning. It was his style of painting that led me to the idea that a painting can be both deep and decorative at the same time.

Blue Heron
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self - what would that be?

I would say in the words of the great artist Vincent Van Gogh: "If you hear a voice inside yourself: "You cannot draw," draw at all costs until the voice dies down. "

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

Before, when I worked at home, I was always distracted by household chores. My husband saw how hard it was for me to combine drawing and chores. Now I have my own workshop, and when I come there, I know that I have come to work. At the moment, selling paintings is my only source of income, and I have a clear schedule of what to do and when. I think being organized is the most important thing that an artist should have if he really wants to sell his paintings.

Naked Woman
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I'm not always good at drawing. There are just bad days when nothing comes out. But over the years of drawing, I realized the following: if it didn't work out today, it will definitely work out tomorrow! On such disastrous days, I try to get out into nature, walk in beautiful places, look at the clouds, just get inspired...

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

Now I paint on completely different topics, some are more successful, some are less. And the goal of this year is to understand which genres and themes are worth developing further in my work, and which ones to abandon.

If we talk about long-term goals, then this is participation in art fairs and exhibitions. I want to paint big pictures, do interior work.

Little Tulip
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

For me, success is about being a sought-after artist and, at the same time, painting topics that interest me. Although, even just being able to draw every day is already a great success for me.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

With my dedication and perseverance. Not all paintings come out equally well, but I don’t give up and try to draw them over and over again. With each new painting, I find new techniques, ways to solve this or that problem. And this always leads to moving forward!

Thanks, Juliya!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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