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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"I paint when I have all my exams done" • Natalia Ovšanková

There are many young and talented artists on social networks. One of them is Natalia Ovšanková, who, in addition to studying medicine, also perfectly manages the role of an artist.

We talked with Natalia about student life and artistic dreams along the following lines.

Hello, Natalia. Do you remember what or who drew you to fine arts?

It was definitely my parents. I've been drawing and painting since childhood, so it's hard to say when exactly it started because drawing is a favorite activity of almost every child. As kids, we're trying everything possible and looking for something to enjoy. I was captivated by painting to such an extent that I continued to dedicate myself to it. Sometimes, my mum advised and helped me, but when I was 10, my parents enrolled me in art school, where I could learn other new techniques that I couldn't simply try at home, such as linocut.

And that's where it all began, right? How do you combine studying medicine and devoting yourself to artistic creation?

I must admit that it's exacting. I usually paint when I have all my exams done or when there are fewer things to do for school. It's not like having no time for painting, but when I want to take a break from studying, I opt for another, preferably physical activity to take my mind off things rather than continuing to sit at a desk.

We completely understand. Do you create on a regular basis or wait for an impulse or idea to come?

I wait for an impulse or idea. It happens to me often that my head is full of school, and as a result, nothing comes to my mind as to what to paint, but then the right impulse comes, and I have several ideas at once. In such a situation, I wish I had more time or that the days would be longer.

You like to change art techniques. What are your favorites?

Until my 18th birthday, I really liked drawing with pencils or colored pencils. I liked realistic drawings that looked like a photo. It required a lot of patience and concentration, but with time I wanted to switch to a more free technique, where I could have a free hand, so I switched to acrylic painting. I prefer painting landscapes, mountains, forests…

Switching from drawing to painting is more than natural. In your case, the results are fantastic either way. Do you have any favorite Koh-i-noor products you would recommend to other artists?

For painting, I recommend acrylic paints. For drawing lovers, it's a set of graphite pencils or soft pastels I used for night sky drawing with the milky way. I love how you can easily combine and blend colors with soft pastels. It's fast and easy.

Great tips. Have you ever tried to create pictures in a digital environment?

Yes, I have. But so far, I'm not very good at it, and I don't even want to learn it because I don't enjoy it that much. I rather stick to the traditional art techniques and improve in painting on canvas.

Do you like doing experiments in your work, or do you use your tried-and-tested methods?

When I was a kid, I definitely liked trying new techniques. At art school, we combined various techniques a lot. I tried ceramic modeling or lamination. But now, I prefer my tried-and-tested methods and strive for constant improvement.

Do you remember a work that took you the longest to complete? If yes, how long and what was it?

In the summer of 2019, I had a custom order from a Slovak restaurant to paint a motorcycle on the wall with the Tatras in the background. The bike itself, in such a large format, was a challenge for me, but, in the end, it was quite a success. It was about 2x2 m in size, and I painted it for about 8 hours per day for two weeks.

It must have been amazing! As we understand it, do you also create custom paintings?

Yes, I do. It's convenient when I know about the order in advance. I need to plan and combine it with the school. But I still don't like custom paintings that I should come up with by myself and create according to my imagination. I prefer landscape painting or portrait drawing according to a photo.

Have you ever held an exhibition of your artworks, or do you plan one in the future?

I had only a graduate exhibition at art school. Then I also planned my own exhibition before college but had to cancel it due to covid. Since then, I haven't had the chance to organize another one.

Do you have any dreams concerning fine arts?

I intend to try oil paints. I painted with them once in an art lesson, but you need to keep a room well-ventilated because you need turpentine and solvent for this technique. It would be a bit challenging in the dorms :).

Unfortunately, the smell of turpentine and solvent is an inseparable part of oil painting. Thank you so much, Natálie, for the interview, and we wish you lots of creative and academic success.



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