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5 Minutes With Yuliya Vladkovska

Yuliya Vladvoska is an exciting Ukrainian painter based in Italy whose work has been featured in international exhibitions, publications, and collections. She formally trained as a mathematician before turning to art, where she now concentrates on treading the line between the abstract and the figurative. She experiments with florals, faces, and various other objects to reinterpret our perceptions, resulting in an overall esthetic full of color, luminosity, and surprise.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I never really wanted to. The image of the artist was not attractive to me, I thought I’d rather be doing something more prestigious, more constant, and well-paid. I had to go through different layers on the way to finding myself before I could distinguish my own natural capacities and step into arts. 

I knew I needed time to be on my own and sketch something – the routine that always helped me reflect on the world around me and balanced me from within. 

Today is gonna be fine (2018), Yuliya Vladkovska

I’ve realized the therapeutic effect of art when I started to paint big pieces and with time it became almost an addiction to expressing myself with colors. I discovered a sweet spot when the things I love to do and the things that I am good at came together. This helped me in finding my most authentic and creative self. 

Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists who you are most inspired by?

I remember many years ago while walking in Saint Paul de Vence, I discovered powerful portraits by French female artist Francoise Nielly and I was trying to imitate her brushstrokes when painting my faces. After a while, I understood that by imitating someone I would have never really discovered my own potential. This was a crucial point for my artistic path and I started to experiment heavily with all possible materials and techniques. Well – I still experiment – it’s the main driver in my painting process, that’s why you can rarely see me mixing colors on a palette. Rather I mix colors on the canvas. 

One man (2013), Yuliya Vladkovska

I am inspired by lots of old masters, many Russian painters, and street artists. The first few that come to mind are Valentin Serov, Vincent Van Gogh, Bato Dugarzhapov, Sebas Velasco, and SPY.

I am mostly influenced by creatives that are not necessarily artists. I love people with a variety of skills, with different backgrounds, those who never limited themself to only one discipline, and those who are curious and open-minded.

Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others? 

I am lucky to have a big family and a really fun lifestyle. I grew up in a multicultural and polyglot environment. Now I spend lots of time traveling, so when it comes to my work I prefer to stay on my own. 

London Tourists. Diptych (2013), Yuliya Vladkovska

I find that the creative process is too intimate and requires concentration and analysis in order to reach a genuine depth. 

I pair art with healing, to erase old patterns that don’t belong to me anymore.  I feel that the expressive painting process creates connections. It links happenings from the past and present with future projections. It explores our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps to develop a wider web of self-understanding and a deeper awareness of the meaning we can take from our struggles.

I give all my energy to each piece I create, and loneliness is a particular and sometimes rare state when I can be highly productive. 

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

I am now discovering the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature – the view of life embracing simple esthetics. It teaches one to live modestly, to be satisfied with life as it can be suddenly stripped away in a brief moment. I would love to dedicate a series to this kind of mindset with roots in harmony, tranquillity, and balance. Maybe it’s an opportunity to promote peace and to remind what is it about being humble by choice, simple, and in tune with nature.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I have the privilege to be everything I want while actually being an artist. I don’t see creative work as a full-time job. I need to have a variety of things to do or to learn and my personal well-being depends on balancing all of these things. Tell me to focus on one thing only and you will kill my inspiration and curiosity for everything all at once. It’s called multi-potentiality, a new way to celebrate those who are chaotic and often disorganized 🙂

The funny thing is, if you try teaching us how to be organized, you will kill all creativity and enthusiasm we possess. I grew up in a family of all doctors and medical scientists. That means that for me, deep inside, I have a strong attraction to health and people’s well being. Because of this, I am learning about nutrition and phytomedicine. I am also really interested in biotechnology, neuroscience, AI, and digital marketing. 

I think that if I wasn’t an artist, I would still come up with a mix of different hobbies and activities to fulfill my need for versatility. 

The real evidence of this is in my artworks. I have the freedom to create literary anything while using all possible techniques. If I stop at one topic or material to practice perfection, I will not last as an artist. 

Light Blue (2018), Yuliya Vladkovska

Have you found any other artists on SINGULART whose work you admire?

Definitely Julia Cassia, then a few landscapes by Lilya Guseva, and four seasons collection by Simon Kojin.

What advice could you give to young artists starting out?

Get yourself a real job first before starting out! 🙂

I believe if an artist wants to earn a living as an artist, they should be versatile and really avoid being boxed in.

It’s crucial to embrace your introversion and recognize your strengths. Invest in yourself, make sure that you are putting out the best version of yourself to be prepared for the opportunities that will come your way. 

Now, in our hyper-visual world, art has incredible power and influence. So as an artist, especially if you have a strong religious or political identity, you have responsibility for the messages you spread to avoid violence. 

Click here to view the SINGULART profile of Yuliya Vladkovska.