Mediums: painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor, acrylic on glass), drawing (ink, pencil, charcoal), sculpture
Style: Varies, Mostly representational
I cannot say that art has came into my life one day and I've embraced it, there was no one day when it came to me, it was always with me. It defines my life as much as I define it myself. It is an inner feeling that is impossible to ignore since before I could remember.
Can you remember creating art as a child?
I can only say that I have been creating even before I could remember. It all started out with some chalk on the every corner of sidewalk and a piece of paper I always had to have with me to be able to draw something.
What music do you like to have playing while creating art?
Something calm, relaxing, and inspiring. Usually that includes instrumental music or piano, but also includes songs that have a deep meaning to them and touches one's heart and soul.
Do you have a job besides being an artist?
I sometimes teach at Halyna's Art and Design Academy as well as have organized workshops, especially around Easter Egg painting in a traditional style of 'pysanky'.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
I've recently mentioned this in my blog. My main purpose, the way I see it, is to open the mind of the viewers to their inner self, to be able to interact with the work and relate to it and not be afraid to feel whatever it is they try to suppress looking at the work.
Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion:
The image usually comes to me at unexpected times, and then it stays in my head developing to the detail, and it stays there until I can finally set it free. It will not leave me at peace unless I finally get to portray it exactly as I envision it, whether it be on paper on canvas or a form of sculpture. I, of course, usually sketch the idea out first, even if it is a very rough sketch, looking at it will set me back in time to when I first thought of it and exactly how I saw it.
What things inspire you to create art?
Sometimes a single word a passing stranger says will set of a series of fairly logical string attached to each other and develop an image that will later have to be portrayed. Recently it was a song I heard that really got to me, and I am not in process of drawing the image I have in my head. There is no one single source of inspiration.
I've had a couple of group exhibitions including an Annual Sheridan Exhibition where my “Difference Within” sculpture was presented. Some group exhibitions were around Toronto, Oakville. Current one is a solo exhibition is a Tik Talk Cafe, downtown Toronto, which will end soon.
Have you sold any of your artworks? How?
I have sold a few. Mainly it would be through exhibitions. For every person there is an art work just for them, and even I may not always understand why exactly this piece got sold and not the other.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
Tell us about influences
I have certainly had many different influences. Not all of them were pleasant but in the end they only gave me an extra nudge that I must continue on my own path and not focus on outside criticism as they are done purposely to drag someone down.
Please recommend another artist you admire, and tell us a little about them:
I do not think I have one particular artist I admire. I follow my own path. I do, however, admire many works of many different artists, from before and today. It is impossible to name all of them, but every artist has their own way of looking at the world and I believe that even if I may not share that view that certainly does not mean that is a wrong view.
Tell us something interesting in your life
I think that most is still to come. I do love travelling, although it is occasional, but travelling places and seeing new things not only broadens one's horizons but I find it is such a strong inspiration and a feeling of freshness that it cannot be ignored.
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
I am sure I have had enough to make up a big list, but I do not address them as a personality modifier, to focus on those moments would not give me anything beneficial, so I just wave at them good-bye.
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
Nothing. Ever. No matter how horrible a situation would have been, it has made me who I am today and if I was not the person I am today then I do not know who I would have been.
What plans do you have for the future of your art
I plan to expand the knowledge of my works of art to the public eye, this is what I am trying to do right now. In the future I am sure to come up with innovative ideas to promote my artwork. Right now, I am entering a few art competitions and see what will happen.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
No matter what sometimes tells you, you cannot give up. If you know this is something you want, do not let anyone tell you otherwise, you cannot predict what may happen.
Ruslana Lev - Open Your Inner Self to Art