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Natasha Onufrieva

Natasha Onufrieva is a visual artist based in Barcelona whose practice encompasses decorative paintings, graphics, design, and fashion. She works with various mediums, including oil, acrylic and digital drawings. Her personal style is deeply influenced by the poster tradition and closely aligned with graphic aesthetics.Natasha Onufrieva was born in 1978 in Moscow, Russia. Since her early childhood she was fond of drawing and painting and developed her skills at an art college, and later in a Higher School of Art, as well as in several professional classes of watercolor, hyperrealism, and abstract art.


How would you describe/define yourself?

I am a woman, a human being, a visual artist, a coach, a friend, researcher—an intertwining of identities that shape me. It’s actually a very good question because the topic of identities is the key to my artistic interest and research. I’ve learned a lot, but still hesitate to answer with one word or
short sentence. So, I would say that definition of myself is still on the way. Just description is much easier: I think, I am a very happy person and I love
life. I know how to observe and really listen which makes me a good communicator. I am ambitious and very curious. I am actually very shy to talk about myself, so I speak with my art.

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

I have been fond of painting since my early childhood. My grandgranddad was a famous ceramic artist. So, I know exactly where this passion came from. My parents persuaded me that if I followed the artistic path after graduating from art school I would live poor and miserable life. I didn’t want to be poor and miserable, so I chose marketing as my career and was just always painting for myself. Did many projects strongly connected with art. And only at the age of 30 when my life seemed settled down I follow art as my career. Let’s say when I felt that I had a solid backup. Why? Because I just couldn’t not do it. It felt like betraying myself. When you are born to be an artist it hurts not to be. Now I can confidently declare that “poor and miserable” means not follow your destiny once you found it. It took me a while to become brave enough to follow my destiny and it’s the best choice I’ve made. 

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

There are two! First one is to be alone in a light and spacious studio in front of a big canvas mixing paints on the wooden palette. Oil paints smell so nice! After that deep meditation starts and it’s not always an easy ‘trip”. As a result of this process, I eventually see a finished painting. After 15 years of constant work I still have this “wow effect” which I love. Of course, the second really appealing part of my profession is to be rewarded by audience and specialists.

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

Process of work inspires me the most. I don’t believe in waiting for the inspiration to come and then only creating a masterpiece. I give my brain a task, then observe everything around, literally everything, even writing down my dreams as soon as I wake up. At some point my brain grasps something and I start “playing” with it, making drafts, writing, physically doing something and during this process ideas appear. Then I embody them on canvas. My brain and my mind are my muses. 

What’s your signature painting element? And why?

It is red dot. To me my red dot is “Dixi” which in Latin means “I’ve said everything”. If I don’t use it somehow in my painting it’s always in the backside which to me is a part of the painting too. I put my red dot, because it shows that what I wanted to say is said.  

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

“Dead or Alive?” is a very personal painting. For the first time I clearly portrayed myself. I was really flattered you chose this one to exhibit! This painting was inspired by radical changes in my life when my family and I left Russia in 2022 and moved to Spain. I didn’t feel the ground under my feet. I guess, it’s typical when you leave your homeland. One day I went to the sea shore, closed my eyes and started counting the waves coming at me up to 100 and then countdown. By the time I finished I “saw” this painting and went back home to work. “Dead or Alive?” became the benchmark in the process of my adaptation, it speeded it up as I chose to live.  

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

“Don’t expect that everything you create will be a triumph and people will be amazed by such a masterpiece. Just move on no matter what” My husband said to me years ago. And the second one is a quote by Pablo Picasso “Inspiration exists but it only comes while painting”. Clearly, I follow them both and made my motto. Really, best advice ever. 

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

Not tougher than a surgeon  Surgeons will be better advisers in this case. First, I have thank my mum and dad that I am mentally stable in the first place. Just to maintain and align when I feel mentally “loose” I meditate, go to India, jog and stay by myself somewhere by the sea. I general, I fix myself through my body. 

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

If you are driven by recognition and fame and not by passion to creating art, find where your passion is. If you verified and sure that art is your passion – remove expectations, work a lot and be patient. Acquire two specialties- artist and producer. Only in this case, artistic career advancement at the initial stage is possible.    

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

To my super parents, my husband, the first galleries that took my paintings to exhibit in Russia “KvartiraS” gallery and “Vmeste” gallery by Julia Ambartsumian. And I a huge credit to my curator Marina Barthélémy and her agency “L’Abri de L’Artiste” with whom my biggest and most significant steps have been made both in my artistic and career development.   

Anything you wish to share or quote in your interview?


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