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Golden Goddesses: How Art Helps Overcome Challenges

Interview with Anna Goldbrook

  1. Please tell us something about your background and your art journey so far.

Art has been an integral part of my life, reigniting with new passion after small pauses. I attended a children's art school where I explored various materials, learned to think creatively, and spent hours absorbing illustrations from children's books. There was then a period when drawing took a backseat, waiting for its time for years. I worked as a web designer, honing that skill. To my surprise, I had not lost my understanding of drawing, but it had become more refined. The way you study the world, work on understanding combinations, style, etc., influences your overall skill level, allowing you to grow even without physical practice!

I dedicated years to working as a designer, and by 2017, my hunger for art and working with traditional physical materials had grown so much that it became a turning point! I started learning oil painting, eventually transitioning from a hobbyist level to selling and participating in exhibitions. It was a long journey, but thanks to YouTube and the artists who inspired me with their examples!

2. Describe what a normal day looks like as an artist.

Being an artist is a job. Often, beginners imagine sitting at an easel or desk, drawing all day long! But no, it's not like that! Nowadays, it combines management, working with social media, maintaining an online presence, and art strategy. You plan series of works, think about where you can exhibit, where it's best to sell your works, and keep track of deadlines. I would say that a typical creative day depends on your current plan and goals. It might involve working on a painting, then spending time learning or practicing ideas, testing materials, etc. Or you might dedicate a whole day to processing photos and writing texts for your works. It's important to allocate time and pay attention to all areas of your activity!

3. Can you tell us more about the theme in your art and your inspiration?

For a long time, I worked on the theme of the inner world - experiences and the search for the meaning of life. In my works, I reflected this analysis through female images because I perceive the world and accumulate experiences in this life as a woman. My latest series, "Golden Goddesses," is about the external facet of self-perception in this world. It explores how our femininity, sexuality, tenderness, and confidence manifest. It’s a combination of the beauty of our nature and the strength of spirit.

4. How does your art life impact other parts of your life? 

I would say that working in the creative field teaches you to perceive the world differently. You study and explore the world around you - enjoying the beauty of sunsets, surrounding and filling your home with cozy things, being attentive to your loved ones, and knowing their favorite things. Creativity enhances the quality of life - teaching you to appreciate and love people and the world around you.

5. Could you share any difficulties and hardships you had to face in life and how or if you managed/overcame them?

The principle I always followed was: "What can I do to influence the situation or change something for the better?" I am a Ukrainian artist who spent a year and a half of full-scale war living in the capital. The best thing I could do was use creativity to make the world better and help others. This involved a year and a half of volunteer work in the Ukrainian international art community Uartist 83 and active participation in international exhibitions and projects, aiming to show that Ukraine is not just about war. I can’t say I changed the world, but I certainly helped some artists believe in themselves and not give up psychologically.

6. Tell us about your best experience in the art world so far.

Perhaps the best experience was giving myself a chance to become an artist and believe in myself! Doing what you love and consider important, in which you see the meaning of your life. I managed to fulfill several cherished dreams -  I dreamt of illustrating a children's book, of having my works seen in other parts of the world, of inspiring others. I achieved this and continue on this path - it makes me happy!

7. What practical advice can you give to fellow artists?

I would advise never to stop learning. Learn from each other and improve in your chosen direction. Don’t be afraid to join groups and create truly interesting projects, which have more impact than your works individually.

8. Is the artist life lonely? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

I would say it depends on you. For example, after many years working in web and graphic design, I hardly had any designer friends or acquaintances in this field. Moving into the art world changed my approach. I started studying "competitors," learning from them, communicating with them, immersing myself in the art sphere, and finding like-minded people. It turned out that there aren’t many "competitors" among artists since most create truly unique works. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice about materials, participating in exhibitions - reach out online on social media, YouTube, meet in person at exhibitions, fairs, become part of the art community! It’s a great experience and expands your opportunities!

9. What are you working on at the moment and are there any upcoming events you would like to talk about?

At the moment, I am starting my art career from scratch. After relocating to Germany, I reassessed my values, views, and goals. The events of recent years have changed me as a person and have significantly influenced my art. Thus, I am now actively working on a completely new series, "Golden Goddesses," and resuming my practice in sculpture. Among my upcoming plans is participation in the Swiss Art Expo (Zürich, Switzerland).

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