Lost and found – on passions and the sense of personal identity

I have been trying to think back to the first time I felt prompted to create art.  While definitely not proportional to the number of years, my life seems to be split into 2 parts – before and after moving from Russia to the United States. I believe I became more serious about creating art after the move, which happened at the age of 9.  Perhaps it was because it took me a while to adapt to the new environment, get the hang of the language and take my time with making new friends.  Art was always there to keep me both occupied and entertained.  I would regularly think up of new projects and spend days on end working on them.  I remember one year, probably during middle school, I spent the entire summer lying in front of the TV watching only arts/crafts and interior decorating shows and constantly having my own creative projects in my hands.  I would paint, crochet, make lace and macrame among others.

Around the time of 7th grade, I started getting more and more interested in biology and in high school I got fantastic biology teacher, who also happened to create all sorts of art in his spare time.  We became artistic soulmates.  During recess, I would come to his class and we would discuss what novel techniques each one of us was learning.  When I got into making lace, he constructed a loom for me to take home.  At one point, he xeroxed a whole book worth of macrame instructions so I could have a copy.  I had a tendency to go home and start with the most difficult project on the very last page.  My final macrame creation still hangs in my parents’ living room.

Around the same time, I came across some books on French beaded flowers.  Again, instead of starting with some simpler projects, I went straight for the gold.  I decided to make an entire composition of lilies for my grandma’s birthday.  Given the fact that my grandma was living with us, I had to cover my work in progress while in school.  The flowers were quite large and I did not have the option to hide them in a drawer or a closet.  Funnily enough, I ended up creating a box of sorts out of an old science project board (coincidence?) and made my grandma promise not to open it when I was not home.  That is when I fell in love with beadwork.

When I finished high school and went off to college, I did not have as much time for artwork anymore.  It started to slowly slip away.  Things got even busier when I started graduate school where I met my now husband.  My time was divided between getting everything done in the lab and spending all of my free time with him.  At some point, I made a weak attempt to bring my beading supplies to my dorm room, but they ended up never leaving the basket.

Fast forward several more years.  I got married, found a job and became a mother.  Life was going as planned, but it also left less and less time for me and my passions.  I began to feel like I was losing my sense of self.  In 2016, I joined my husband on a trip where he attended a conference and I enjoyed a mini vacation.  It gave me some time to think and I returned home determined to bring art back into my life.  And what could serve as a better source of inspiration than the ever present science in my life!

“Lost in Manhattan”, 2018

Art is my emotional outlet and my oasis.  I use art to express my feelings and work through life issues.  Come join me on this journey of letting go of control and letting the creative process take over.  You will get access to all of the behind the scenes footage and see the major breakthroughs that translate into new artwork.

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