From childhood wonder to therapeutic oasis – How I got into creating art

I was recently asked what my first memory of wanting to create art is. Ever since early childhood, I have greatly admired my father for his artistic abilities. My dad is not an artist, but somehow art seeps through everything he does. He is a very aesthetic person. In his twenties, he spent quite a bit of time working as a jeweler and then made a, perhaps unexpected, switch to becoming a dental technician. What do these two professions have in common? They both require super meticulous handwork, tons of patience and an eye for beauty. Dentistry turned out to be a bit more practical in the long run, but everything he makes is still a piece of art.

I don’t remember how I came to know that he is also really good at drawing and how I started coming to him with all of my art related questions. Here are 2 of my earliest memories of showing my admiration for his abilities and striving to be like him.

I was probably about 5 or 6 years old at the time. I had a large collection of vinyl records with fairy tales and would play one of them as I was going to bed every night. I still remember that I had 2 versions of Cinderella. One had a single large vinyl record and the other one consisted of two smaller ones. I liked the story on the second set much better for some reason. But the case for the large vinyl had a majestic image of the royal palace (green for some reason) with Cinderella running down the stairs and leaving a crystal slipper behind. It filled me with awe. At some point, I attempted to copy the picture, but failed miserably. So, I called my dad to see if he could do it. With wonder I watched as he systematically broke down what seemed to be a super complex composition into its separate elements and using a ruler, magically recreated the castle in perspective. I wanted to learn how to do it!

In second grade (in Moscow), we were supposed to start taking English lessons in school. One of the very first homework assignments was to draw a picture with many items located in different positions relative to each other. The idea was to use it to start building sentences such as “the ball is under the table”. Guess who helped me create the picture! I still remember how I was sitting next to him and watching how more and more items and animals appeared on the page. He was drawing them without any reference and was perfectly placing them on the page, as if the composition was thought through well ahead of time. I wanted to be like him.

Amazingly, it turned out that my mom has kept this picture for all of these years. As you can tell, it has seen some better days, but it feels so nostalgic to see it again! As far as I remember, the coloring was done by me…

Fast forward 25+ years, and I still draw things only from references…. (sigh…) While I dabbled in painting for a bit during my school years and enjoyed it, 2D art seems not to really be my thing. Just like creating jewelry or making teeth, I prefer to work in three dimensions – it provides more freedom for my imagination.

The Void, 2018

3-dimensional bead work on canvas. Framed. 9″ x 9″

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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Daily writing prompt
Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

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