1. Welcome Petra to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
I was born in the former Czechoslovakia on the Slovakian side. I came from very small estate town called Štiavnička near Low Tatra Mountains area, so nature, woodlands and being outdoor feels very natural for me. It is a place, where I spend my childhood and my early adult years before I move to London in 2005.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
Since my childhood, I was very creative and curious about things, which led toward establishing my own advertising agency in Slovakia, so I guess, to becoming an artist wasn’t much surprise. I received positive feedback from my family, and they are very proud of my achievements.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
I always liked art and design and be creative. I though of myself more as designer than an artist and somehow the path changed naturally. The big impact on my artistic journey had an experience working with children, where I started practise and experiment with drawing, painting, and trying different mediums.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
100% . Both had a big impact of my artwork and my career as artist. One of them, had been working with children at the primary school, which was very inspiring, and I learn a lot from it. Another, huge impact on my artistic journey and my starting point was enrolment to study Design and Innovation with Art History on the university. My first pop art collection was based on my university assessment, which was mix of drawing, photography, and digital media.
5. When did you first discover the ability to create mixed media artworks?
I love to try new things. I don’t like to be limited with one style or with one medium. So, by experimenting and learning I went gradually from graphic design to water colour, charcoal, acrylic and oil and ended with mixed media. What I like about it, is that with each medium you have to work differently and by combining them sometimes you get unexpected result.
6. How do mixed media elements inform your beautiful works?
From my perspective, the meaning of the use of mixed media features in my artwork is representation of the personal touch. It is like putting a cherry at the top of the cake. It just makes more special, more personal.
7. Could you give us a little teaser as to the process that helps you create such fabulous artworks?
When I create artwork, the process is very organic and raw. The main thing I always is focusing on right combination of colours and textures, it is very rare that I start with subject. It is all about enjoying the process, the play with colours and textures. I do a lot of layering by using palette knives, scratching, scumbling and blending.
8. Where do you get your inspiration and influences from?
My inspiration often comes for my own environment like flowers in vase, shapes and textures offered by nature or by listening or reading books or plays. I am intrigued by unusual textures and colours, which I find during walks in outdoors, and have some quite interesting collection.
9. Do you have any tips for any inspiring painter/artist picking up the brush for the first time?
Don’t be hard on yourself. Everyone is their own biggest critic, but it is not about perfection or compete with other artist, it is about you and your vision, your perspective, which is unique. Importantly, it is about being yourself and stay yourself.
10. Could you tell us a little bit about how you started your art journey? Was your education studying Innovation and Art History an important part of your artistic journey?
Yes. It had and still have a huge impact on my artwork and the way how I look and perceive things, world, or events. Personally, I think, that to be an artist you do not need necessary a university degree, however by studying maybe fine art or in my case art history, the education provided so much knowledge and offered different perspectives, which as individual I would not though about it. About all those possibilities. It is always a good idea to work on developing your skills and personal knowledge.
11. We love the arresting colours and textures within your oeuvre of works? How long does it take you to finish a piece?
I don’t have a specific time frame. It depends. Some of the artworks were made on one sitting while being in the state of flow and some of them takes a year or more to finish. Sometimes, I work on more pieces at the time, it is a continues process of going back and forward. Also, I never force to complete my artwork, it has to be done naturally without force. Sometimes, the hardest thing is to learn how to not to overdo the artwork. This is one big thing I had to learn myself too.
12. Thanks a lot for your valuable time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here?
My plan for the future is working with artists and galleries around the globe with focus on promoting sustainability, climate change and reducing inequality and poverty through implementation of creativity and creative solutions.