Interview with Anna Miklashevich

Ukrainian artist, art entrepreneur, founder of the UARTIST 83 community, vegan, and marathoner.

Born: Dnipro, Ukraine
Now: Ljubljana, Slovenia

@annamiklashevich | Website | @uartist83


Please tell us about your art. What are your works about?

My work as an artist is an adventure in self-discovery. Painting has become one of the ways of talking to oneself, studying oneself, and synchronizing with the world. In recent years, the key topic I have focused on in everything I do, including paintings, is the life and role of women in modern society. If I do not experience inequality, it does not mean there is no inequality. But do I really not feel her? Therefore, the discrimination, stereotypes, and even self-deprecation of women themselves fall into my list of reflections and observations.

Over the past year, migration and adaptation in a new territory have come into my field of vision since the beginning of the great war. What does a person who has been forced or even voluntarily moved to a country where he will never be his own feelings? How to remain your own, at least for yourself? This pile of questions is still waiting for me next to the canvas.

Be an artist. Despite everything.
Be an artist as steadfastly, like you could change the world.

At what exact moment did your hobby grow into something more, and you realize that this art can be a job? When did day X come, and did you feel like an artist?

I have felt like an artist for as long as I can remember, that is, a person who constantly creates something, writes, invents, and draws. I never had a “normal” job. Even when I worked in companies, my work was about “inventing and creating” or organizing those who “invent and create”. My creative career began 20 years ago. Since then, creativity has fed me, so I simply do not have the right to treat it as something not serious and humiliate it with non-recognition.

Cosmic, painting on canvas 71×61 cm

Anna, how did you combine the path of an artist, a painting teacher, and, later, become an art mentor for others?

This is a natural state for me. However, occasionally I try to observe asceticism and do only one thing. This way, I check whether
other projects are exciting and necessary. And every time, I return to my usual style of work. The only difference is that my team has grown over time, and I have learned to delegate certain tasks, but the work is still quite specific, and I have to delve into the details occasionally. But I never burn out from activities, which indicates that I am doing my own thing.

Sometimes I’m in chaos, or I don’t have time to recover. But I know how to deal with it. For the first time in years, I burned out after a year of a great war, but it was from grief and tears, for which it was impossible to prepare.

You are very active, and your activities go beyond the studio. In your life, there are marathons, gardening… Please tell me what inspires you and restores your inner strength.

If you compare a person’s energy level with an electric car, then I have a good understanding of the characteristics of my battery. I know its capacity, how to increase its power, and how to give energy to almost 0 reserves. I can’t create in economy mode. That’s why I have very well-developed recovery skills and a sense of when to recharge. The war affected this because we had never seen so much grief and tears, which greatly affected my energy. In addition, I had tasks that I had yet to invest so much energy into.

Therefore, for 2022, we had to rethink the recovery methods. Veganism is the primary energy source, but it’s a nice bonus from this lifestyle because I didn’t choose it for myself. Of the constant mandatory practices: regular physical activity, being alone with oneself, introspection, and fixing what supports inner harmony and what poisons it (and, of course, the use of specific measures to fix it). From periodic – asceticism in food (such as, for example, fasting). If we talk about a hobby, it is city gardening – a garden in the city that I go to by bicycle.

On discussion hosted by the European Parlament House on the current situation in Ukraine and its future at the presentation of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought that goes to Ukrainians this year.

You are moved to Slovenia, where you live last 7 years… How did this move affect your art career?

Everything has changed, and in fact, it is necessary to sit down and remember because there was so much work on updating the
project and myself that the year passed like several. It is essential to understand that another country requires years for adapta tion. It’s like transplanting an adult tree. It is shocking if you look at the divorce statistics of people who moved with their families.
Psychologists attribute this to the fact that not everyone can withstand such stress. In addition, a person changes by himself because
at least one more language is added, then the financial burden increases many times. What can we say about the art project?

Someday I will probably write a book about it, but to answer briefly, the themes of discrimination, challenges faced by migrants, and the power of a woman’s voice as an equal individual have been added to my art.

The full-scale war also affected the lives of many Ukrainians living abroad. How has the full-scale invasion of 2022 affected your work and your activities?

All projects received shocks. And this “earthquake” continues, so it’s too early to draw conclusions. The President gave a good analogy when he said that he is now in the middle of a fast-moving road, and his task is to avoid cars – as soon as one passes, the threat of another arises. All Ukrainians probably live in this state. But even against the background of destroyed plans and projects, from the force of upheavals and experiences, if superpowers are applied, something really powerful can be created, such as the UARTIST 83 community.

What is your community about?

I created Uartist 83 as an art community on Telegram in the first weeks of 2022 when the war began.

Then there was the first international exhibition, which collected the works of 27 female artists. The project had several goals, but one of them was to provide an opportunity for Ukrainian artists (perhaps for the first time) to exhibit abroad.
Then I created a YouTube channel and later Instagram.

UARTIST 83 is an art community of artists, photographers, sculptors, art entrepreneurs, and everyone interested in creativity, art, career, business, and social projects in the art sphere. The goal of the community is to support and unite Ukrainian artists at home and abroad. We defend Ukraine together!

The exhibit “In Ukraine” left in the memory of those present emotional marks as a good and important event that relates to the tragic and fateful period of the history of Ukraine.

Look for mentors, learn to be grateful, and work on thinking so that you first think about what you can be helpful or interesting, and only then what a person can give you because playing one goal never leads to creating something significant.

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