Education: I am quite new to the art world. I recently graduated with a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art Paint from National College of Art and Design, Dublin. As a child, I enjoyed drawing quite a lot, and this lead to me attending a local Art School in my hometown in Estonia. Unfortunately I lost interest in drawing when I was about 12 years old, mainly due to boredom and a lack of interest in what I was being taught. When I initially moved to Ireland 10 years ago, studying art was not in my plans, but over time, my passion for drawing was reignited and I decided to pursue it and study painting.
As far as I’ve come, I still feel that there is still so much I need to learn and understand about art and the life of an artist. There are obviously things that they don’t teach you in school, like how to promote your work, how to write proposals, or how to accurately photograph your work. I feel like I am growing just encountering these everyday components of an artist’s life.
Process, medium: I often vary my painting processes. Initially my strategy was to work on one painting at a time until completion, and move onto the next one. Now I am much more comfortable working on multiple pieces, sometimes four or five at a time. I suppose, with so many projects to work on, it allows me to be more openly creative, and to find what style suits me best. My medium is paint-acrylic and household. I use it as paper is being used to make collages. I apply acrylic or household paint on trays or sheets of acetate, then let it dry and apply additional layers of painting to those dried paint skins.
Paint can be manipulated in many different ways, sometimes I draw into it (when it is still wet), and occasionally I use mass-produced trays with patterns on them or obscure glass to make patterned paint. I am also experienced with knitting and corseting with paint. I am fascinated with the different abilities and flexibilities of paint. With every paint skin I create, I ask, how far can I push paint? What could I do next?
Titles: I was quite recently thinking about naming my artwork. I am a fan of irony in art, especially if the title of the artwork is ironic but also interacts with it. I also like when the title says nothing, like 'Untitled 001'. I have used both forms of naming, but usually the naming process depends on my gut instinct, and I often choose the one I feel is right for that piece. Sometimes the name comes quite easily. Occasionally I already know what the name will be before I begin painting yet other times it takes me days to name the piece. The photos I use as my subject matter usually give me the inspiration to name the piece.
Starting a new piece: I usually begin my piece by searching for an image that I like. When I find the right image, I start to think, how do I reimagine and recycle this image as a painting. I have a list of things that I am interested of doing, but I am trying to focus more on the present. I prefer to leave everything quite loose and let the process of creation control what will and won’t happen with each piece. I do not draw sketches and I don't have a sketchbook. I record all my notes on my Samsung S4, but these notes are not rules, they are merely suggestions.
Time: My time scale of creating a painting varies a lot. It depends on how detailed the original image is, and how much detail I think my painting needs. Surprisingly, it can even depend on the weather. This is the first winter I’ve worked in a studio, and because it is cold and humid, my paint sheets won’t dry as fast as they would in the summertime.
Studio routine: I have just recently realized that I like to sleep till noon. I used to work from 8 to 4 and have always considered myself an early bird. Now, when I can, I prefer to sleep in, allowing myself to feel more comfortable and rested when approaching my art. I try to set myself a daily routine. I schedule my day ahead of time and do everything according to that. I have actually noticed that my days are quite similar. I wake up at noon, have a coffee (love my coffee), shower and then begin work in the studio.
I tend to spend about 6 to 7 hours in the studio and then walk home. My studio is close to my home, so my commute to work is my daily dosage of fresh air and exercise. When I am in the studio I usually work non-stop, so much that I often forget to have lunch (although I am making efforts to stop this trend). My work is very spontaneous and I often rely on my gut feeling. I have my own theory of creating. It is the idea that the creative process is a game, rather than work. A game has no rules and no rights or wrongs. This ideology removes any stress and allows me to comfortably produce new and interesting results.
Influences: Artists who’s work I have found fascinating and who influenced me most are Allison Schulnik, Beatriz Millhazes and Susan Carr. Beatriz Millhazes, because she is also using paint skins to make her paintings and Allison Schulink and Susan Carr were the artists who's work influenced me to make three dimensional work. Recently I have found many interesting artists from Instagram. Some of the new favorites are Devin Troy Strother and Love Dahlstedt. Devin Troy Strother focuses on making mixed media collages (often using paint among other materials) while Love Dahlstedt focuses more on drawing.
Narrative, viewer: I don't need the viewer to find narrative in my work. I think people enjoy art for different reasons, some are purely interested in aesthetics of the artwork, while others look for the concept of the work. I don't really need to tell the viewer what to look for, I want them to find their own reason for liking or disliking it.
Future: After I graduated I realized, an artist never really knows what future holds. I have chosen a very unpredictable job. I do have some exciting news to look forward to though. In March there will be a group show in Dublin with some of the recent graduates of National College of Art and Design. The exhibition will promote a group of eight artists, most of us painters, but there are also few print artists. I am very excited to reunite with my peers, and promote my artwork.
If you would like to see more of the artist's work click here for their website.
Publishing date of this interview 12/01/16