We spoke with Uslada, an artist born in Latvia, and based in Belgium. Her work will appear in the Summer 2022 issue of Goddessarts Magazine. In this interview, the artist talks about her sources of inspiration, and the courage it takes to create art.
GA: What inspires you most to create your art?
Uslada: So many things! Nature, music, color. But mostly, life itself is my biggest inspiration. Adventure, travel to new countries, experiencing new environments and meeting new people - for me, this is a life lived well. I need to live to the fullest in order to create my art, and many people tell me that all this flamboyance, zest and celebration can be seen and felt in all of my paintings. I like silence as well, and I like comfort and an easy flow of life, but when it starts resembling a routine, it’s a signal that I need to shift gears and go do something new. I know that it’s only by throwing myself from time to time into the midst of life and its unpredictability that I tap into the strongest flow of inspiration.
GA: How would you describe your artistic path? What have you learned from your artistic journey?
Uslada: My artistic path has been a path towards self-empowerment. It’s a never ending road towards self-discovery. For me, it’s been a deeply spiritual path that has taught me so much about life, and about myself. It taught me a lot about self-reliance and responsibility. I’ve learned to look at my own life as a blank canvas, and treat it as if it was a work of art. I am the one who chooses colors and concepts, and I know that whatever I do, I’ll love the result.
Equally, art has taught me to adopt a mindset of trust and surrender. I simply trust my Muse - this powerful, creative energy that’s always available to me. She always guides me all the way until I complete every painting. And then, when I fall in love with what emerges on the canvas, I know that the painting is finished.
GA: Does it mean that you like every piece of art that you’ve made?
Uslada: Indeed, I love every painting that I’ve made. It’s very surprising to me, because like any other human, I criticize myself from time to time in other areas of my life. But in art, things have always flown very naturally, with a lot of ease and love. Art has been my luscious oasis where I’ve been able to fully rely on my own intuition, my innate sense of color and shape, trusting that everything would work out just fine. It’s a place where I am fully present, and where I am deeply connected to my soul’s essence. It’s some kind of a positive bubble from which my entire life flows with ease.
GA: It sounds fantastic and indeed inspiring. However, have you also experienced any challenges on your creative path?
Uslada: Of course, plenty. Art is not just a “job”, it’s a calling. And because of this, it’s very demanding. It’s very hard work mostly because it never stops. And I don’t only refer to the actual process of painting.
In fact, what emerges on every canvas represents a peak of a certain process, a certain set of life experiences that I have gone through alone, as well as in co-creation with my Muse.
People often ask me, “How long does it take you to create each painting?” And the true answer is, it takes decades. Every painting you see emerged from a tiny seed sown a very long time ago — long before I touched the canvas with my brush. Every piece of art is a culmination of a specific chapter on the path of continuous evolution of the soul. And maybe paradoxically, it always marks a beginning of something new. My art certainly opens new chapters in the lives of those people who are drawn to it.
GA: Do you have any advice to other artists?
Uslada: Explore your inner martial artist. I am not talking about actually doing martial arts (althoug it helps). I am talking about nurturing a strong spirit. Navigating life’s challenges, while staying completely centered in yourself, and tapping into the reservoir of inner power no matter what happens around you is definitely a martial art of sorts. You need to be able to get up after you fall, and just continue creating. But is there really another way for us, creative souls? Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage” and I truly agree with this statement. Stay creative, stay courageous, and never abandon your Muse.