Anna Gragert
November 15, 2015 6:51 am

The word comfort can mean many different things to many different people. This arrangement of seven letters can manifest itself in the form of a cashmere scarf that you came across while casually browsing through a new store. It can be synonymous with the smell of a great book: well-worn paper, bookshelf dust, pungent ink, an accidental tea stain. The word comfort can, essentially, transform itself into anything a person needs at any given time in their life. The same can be said about a work of art that leaves diverse impressions on its viewers.

Ontario-based artist Yuliya has managed to instill a creativity-comfort combo into her art utensils. This sense of ease and expression then flows out of her tools and seeps into her workspace. In the end, the artist’s work contains an impressive amount of depth that’s simply waiting to be explored.

While interviewing her, Yuliya kindly allowed us to delve into her artistic world. Come along for the ride…

HelloGiggles (HG): Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Yuliya (Y): I love spending time with my talented husband and our pet rabbit, love animals and taking care of plants, long morning walks in the summer, smell of ocean air, smiling and, of course, painting. I strongly believe that each person is unique and has a talent in something.

HG: Each piece you create evokes so many different adjectives. How would you, personally, describe your work?

Y: I see my work as a kind of personal diary, as a reflection of my thoughts and inspirations at the moment.

HG: Who or what inspires you?

Y: I am lucky to be married to a talented and very creative person, so we have plenty of inspiration in our house just through sharing with each other our thoughts and projects. I am easily impressed and inspired by many simple daily things like nature and weather, a song, a word, colors and shapes I notice around.

HG: I love it when you incorporate animals and insects into your work. Do these creatures symbolize anything specific?

Y: Good question, I love painting the animal world! I always feel work comes alive with the addition of animals in it. I like to imagine a little story about each animal, its character, habits, how naughty or nice it is, and what it is up to.

HG: I see that you dabble in many different forms of art. Which is your favorite?

Y: That is very true – it is tough not to try my hand on different techniques I stumble upon, as they allow me to realize ideas in a completely different way from each other. But as much as I loved photography, making jewelry and playing with threads and needles, painting was and always will be my one and only true passion.

HG: When did you first realize that you wanted to become an artist?

Y: Becoming an artist was never an option, it was a fact – sometimes I feel I was born with pencil and brush in my hands as I remember myself always drawing. The first of my works were painted on my parent’s walls. Thanks to the support of my parents, I was able to study painting from early childhood and finished by getting my Master of Fine Arts degree.

HG: There’s something quite homey and comforting about your artwork. I find myself wishing I could be a part of the scenes you produce. Is this warm and welcoming effect important to you when you’re coming up with a new design?

Y: I am very happy you see the comfort in my work, it is a true pleasure when something I created makes someone feel good. As much as this effect makes me happy, I am afraid there is nothing I can really plan ahead – I usually create for the sake of bringing to life my idea, but I am not able to anticipate the effect it will have on other people. Moreover, I often get quite the opposite reaction from what I imagined. It depends I guess on each viewer’s personal experience, individual likes and dislikes.

HG: What is your creative process like?

Y: My creative process reminds me of a flow, one work transitions to another, the same way days change to nights. I am not able to stay without creating, thus there is always something in the works on my table. It is like hunger for food, I have to keep feeding my creative hunger the same way as I do my stomach. Sometimes it feels the more I create the more I crave it.

HG: If you met someone who wanted to pursue a similar artistic path in life, what advice would you give them?

Y: I have met people in my life wanting to pursue a creative path and found myself giving the same advice again and again: not to be scared. Not to be scared of the white, clean piece of paper in front of you, of drawing the wrong line, of other people’s reactions, of making a mistake or failing. Other than that, I feel it is all about practice.

HG: What is your favorite work of art you’ve created? Why?

Y: I always like my latest works. Probably because it is the most current reflection of my mood, thoughts, and feelings. Old works are something I already lived through and moved on.

HG: And just for fun, what’s your favorite color?

Love this question and love how the answer changes throughout my life. I was consistently in love with yellow color all through my childhood and only after becoming an adult it started changing. Currently, I love all neutral colors like off-white, beige, brown and grey, touches of pastel or hot pinks and muted greens here and there. Sometimes I crave a particular color, like this happened recently with bright aqua, deep dark violet, and orange.

All artwork reprinted with permission from the artist. Connect with Yuliya on her website, FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Society6

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