#sparkchamber 031819 — Arina
Another beautiful day in the #sparkchamber as we welcome a truly creative soul. Born in post-Soviet Ukraine, where conformity was still quite pervasive, Arina felt that creativity represented freedom of the human spirit, both on an individual level as well as for the nation.
Inspired as a child by her grandfather’s carved wooden sculptures, she found her own passion for writing; then a move to the United States at 16, studying painting and drawing; and then psychology; and ultimately costume design [at the Conservatory for Theatre Arts in Saint Louis, MO].
In 2016, she undertook a 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain on foot, a revealing journey of heart-opening and self-discovery. She recently moved to Dallas, where she continues to experiment with her own art-making process, as well as being a co-director of Inner Space A Chamber Gallery, a local contemporary exhibition space that she runs with her husband in West Love.
In her own words:
“In the past twenty years, I have had many creative endeavors, from publishing a book of short stories and poems, and working on my visual art practice to becoming a costume designer for theatre, opera, and dance, and co-running an art gallery.
I was born in Ukraine and moved to the states at age sixteen. I have lived in six different states throughout the years, and have had many opportunities to pursue my creative passions. And now, after sixteen years in the states, I am about to move back to Ukraine.
My life journey and my art practice are going to shift once again.
The idea that is constantly changing and we can’t take anything for granted, gives me excitement. In a way, I am looking forward to the unknown, when anything is possible and you can start over from the beginning. Just like with art practice, life can become a blank piece of paper when one has to start thinking about all the possible ideas, material choices, composition, and in the end, execution many times again and again. It is exhilarating and a bit intimidating, especially in the beginning, when you are looking at a new canvas and not sure what will become of it. The most important lesson I have learned, it’s to begin making something, even when you don't know what it is yet, the rest will follow.
1.] Where do ideas come from?
In my case, they usually come from observations of the internal world/feelings, sometimes the gaze stops on the outside, sometimes it’s other peoples’ creations, like music, film, performance that inspire me. My ideas are like reflections of the things I see, hear, touch, things/events that I experience as a human.
2.] What is the itch you are scratching?
Communicating with the outside world, sometimes verbal language is not enough, sometimes hugging and talking to other people is not enough, sometimes I just want to turn myself inside out.
3.] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?
I have to have dedicated space and it needs to be tidy. I feel and work better in clutter-free environments. I like working late in the evening and into the night, especially on the days that I know I can sleep in the next day. If I am beginning a new project, I try to complete as much as possible in one sitting so it becomes to look like something, that way I feel excited and can’t wait to work on it again the next day. I work best when I am doing it for myself and I do not worry what will become if it. There is an immense pleasure in knowing that it was my personal decision to sit down and draw and no one made me do it. I work because I want to.
4.] How do you know when you are done?
A lot of times it’s hard to know when I am finished. Sometimes a project can take a long time, and I get really tired of it and eventually, I just decide that it is done and time to move on to the next one. Sometimes I have to ask my significant other or a friend, to reassure myself that it is indeed done or at least they think it is done, then it is easier for me to move on to the next thing. It can be a struggle sometimes.