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Natalia Junasova

Painting is how I process and communicate the world. My work is my voice for the feelings and emotions we struggle to speak and find words for. The intense emotions of motherhood - love, sleepless nights, connection. The intense emotions of depression
and loneliness. The intense emotions of simply living - finding joy, spirituality, friendship. When words fail us, colors and shapes become our voice. That voice is my work. My work is our voice.

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How would you describe/define yourself?

As an abstract artist, I use color as my voice, creating pieces that reflect my journey as a mother, wife, daughter, and woman. My work is characterized by simple shapes and lines that draw viewers in, allowing them to interpret and feel rather than being told what to feel.

 

In addition to being an artist, I am also an art teacher, a basketball coach, a mother, and an advocate for the arts and arts education. I am deeply involved in my community and strive to make a positive impact through my various roles and contributions.

 

In all aspects of my life, I am driven by a passion for creativity and self-expression, using art as a way to connect with others and navigate life's unexpected challenges. Through my work, I hope to inspire others to find their own voice and embrace the healing power of art.

When and why did you decide to choose painting designing as a career? 

Art has always been a part of my life. As a little girl, I used to sit at the kitchen table with my grandfather. Together we draw and color. Through our drawings, we shared stories and talked about life. In my own work, I have continued to share stories, reminding others we are not alone. We may not be able to carry each other’s burdens, but we can let others know that we are with them along this journey called life.

What according to you is a favorite part of being a Paint Artist?

My favorite part about being an artist is when my art connects with others. Recently, a buyer was telling me how she was really drawn to a certain piece. She told me, I don’t know what it is, but there is something about it. I then went on to explain the piece and my process while creating it. She began to cry and said, That is exactly how I feel right now! In that moment, I am reminded that my art has purpose and is valued.

What inspires you as an Artist? How do you visualize your muses?

My work is deeply rooted in my experiences and emotions. Through my art, I explore the themes of family and shared moments, capturing the essence of each stage of life. My inspiration often comes from my surroundings, particularly nature, which sparks my creativity in various ways. Watching others interact with each other and myself also serves as a source of inspiration. I visualize the colors in those moments and notice how I feel.

 

I value creating a safe and welcoming environment while painting, often lighting a candle to set the mood. Smell plays a significant role in my artistic process, further enhancing my sensory experience as I translate my feelings and emotions onto the canvas.

 

In terms of artistic influences, Claude Monet is a major inspiration. I admire his ability to capture light through color and has drawn upon his techniques to inform my own artistic style and vision. I focus on conveying emotion in my work, prioritizing the feeling I want to communicate over the physical appearance of my subjects.

 

I approach my work with a deep sense of intention and emotion. My process is rooted in creating a space that allows me to fully express myself, drawing inspiration from nature, emotional connections, and the works of various artists like Claude Monet. Through my art, I invite viewers to connect with my own experiences and emotions, offering a unique perspective on the beauty and complexity of life.

What’s your signature painting element? And why?

What sets my art apart and is my signature painting element is the emotional depth that is conveyed through the expressive use of color. Viewers are invited to connect with the painting on a personal level, making each piece a unique and individual experience.

 

In addition, I primarily work with acrylic, adding texture to create dimension and further enhance the emotional impact of my pieces. This technique not only adds visual interest but also allows me to explore different layers of emotion within each painting.

The painting you created are best without any doubt, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such painting?  

In this current part of my artistic journey, I am finding inspiration in the concept of personal growth and connectivity. Through attending workshops on self-care and creating positive learning environments, I have learned how important it is to not only better connect with others but also to reconnect with oneself. These experiences have influenced my artistic decisions in creating my latest pieces.
 

When beginning the process of creating these works, I started with basic sketches and then simplified them into essential shapes and lines. Integrating color was a crucial step in effectively communicating my ideas and emotions. Drawing upon the inspiration from the Impressionists, I sought to convey a message of unity and wholeness through my art.

The main message I aim to convey in these works is the idea that we are all parts of a whole. Each aspect of ourselves is interconnected, and when we put all these parts together, we become aligned, whole, and together. The themes explored in my body of work range from self-care to family, highlighting the importance of nurturing relationships and fostering personal growth.

Through my art, I hope to inspire others to reflect on their own connections with themselves and those around them. By embracing all aspects of ourselves and nurturing these connections, we can strive towards becoming the best versions of ourselves.

What’s the best piece of artistic advice you’ve heard? And do you follow it?

The best piece of artistic advice I have received is to look in the mirror and say, I am an artist. Since the day I started that, my art moved from being something I did in my free time to becoming my career. I had to first believe I was an artist before other people would take me seriously as one.

As we all know job of a painter is very tough. So how do you keep your mental and physical health fit?

Being mentally and physically fit is definitely a challenge, especially in today’s world. I start each day journaling and writing down what I am grateful for. Some days I am thankful for big events such as a sale or being accepted by a gallery like Sfumato Art Gallery. Other days it is something simple like a warm blanket and a cozy bed. Then at the end of the day, I give thanks for at least three things that happened. Having a grateful heart improves my mental health and helps me have a positive attitude navigating the ups and downs of each day.

 

Being physically active has always been an important part of my life. Although age has limited my ability to play a pick-up game of basketball or run a 5K as of late, I still make sure to get out and be active by walking, hiking, going to the beach or coaching basketball.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career and hoping to make it big as a Paint Artist? 

You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Take the shot. Make the art. Enter the show. Apply to the gallery. Yes, there will be no’s. Probably a LOT of no’s. But what if it wasn’t a no? You will never know until you try.

To whom would you like to give credits of your journey till now?

 

First and foremost, I must give gratitude to my Creator. I am so thankful for the artistic gifts and talents I have been given. Along with my grandfather, my father taught me to look at everything as a piece of art and how art is a necessary part of our lives, not just pretty pictures on the wall. And lastly, I am thankful for my husband, children and friends who believe in me and encourage me to continue my journey as an artist. Sometimes it is with a celebratory dinner of tacos, or sometimes it is with a bowl of ice cream or a pan of brownies which can be very good at easing one’s sad feelings.

Anything you wish to share or quote in your interview?

 

One significant experience that has shaped my artistic journey was the loss of a student I had grown close to during my time as a camp counselor. This heartbreaking event inspired me to create a painting in her memory, a process that helped me navigate my grief and find a new way to express my emotions through my art. It taught me the power of art as a voice and a tool for healing in times of loss and hardship.

Interview

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