Bulgarian-French artist and illustrator Sylvia Baldeva based in Paris, shares with us her professional career and how she reflects her inspirations into her drawings.
At what time in your life have you felt the need to express yourself through painting?
Drawing and painting have always been part of my life. During many years I used to work in various fields in creation. They were more commercial and commission oriented.
Along this period I felt the need to get free in my artistic expression. It came about 15 years ago when I started to create my own artworks. It was surely the response of my inner and personal need to express my feelings, point of view and sensibility through the visual arts.
How could you describe what you feel when you paint?
This is a feeling of inspiration. My imagination runs through the surface and the subject unfolds in a challenging way. It is a constant process of control and letting go. It is a process of full concentration and freedom at the same time.
"I try to transmit the inner aspects of the human being".
What is it like to be born in an eastern-european country, like Bulgaria, and build your artistic career by your own in a foreign city, in your case, Paris?
Well, there are difficulties and quite a lot of pressure in many aspects, but I also think this is a great opportunity to have a double-cultured profile. It gives you different perspectives and points of view.
Dipping in two different life experiences is a wonderful source for creation. When you look at my creations you can easily see both influences.
Which was your process to find your own style in painting?
I don't look after it and I have never have. As my creative work is a personal expression, it comes naturally. It is the result of many, many hours of work. It shapes by itself.
"I let my imagination develop the subjects. I need to be in a concentrated and a free state of mind at the same time. Then the 'magic' happens...".
In your work there is a big presence of human souls, what is the message behind them? What are you trying to transmit through your art?
Indeed, human nature is one of my core subjects. I love to represent feelings, senses, life scenes. I try to capture and communicate various states of mind and moments of the humanity.
I try to transmit the universality of it, the inner aspects of the human being. They carry the immutable there is in each of us.
What is the meaning of using colours in your paintings…what is your standpoint about them?
I like both working in black and white and with colours. Colours are more complex and enrich the subject. They give more nuances by enhancing the details. They can also carry more information and reveal sensitive and allegorical factors.
"I just bring a piece of feeling or sensation to someone who likes my artwork. This is a subtle exchange and senses "conversation".
How is painting your own creation and paint for a commission? Do you feel some kind of pressure when someone is expecting a work from you?
Of course, it is a very different feeling. There is pressure in both but not the same. In the first one, my own point of view is exposed to the spectator’ eyes.
As for the commission, this is an interpretation of someone else’s expectations. There is less freedom, but still interesting as a challenge.
This is what I do in my Illustrations’ work.
Which are your biggest influences? What are your biggest inspirations?
Feelings, sensations, life experiences, aesthetics, the various art expressions …
Life in general.
How does your creative process work? How does the feeling start inside of you and how does it end on a paper?
I work in a very intuitive way. All the impressions and memories I have gathered go through my sensibility and knowledge. The outcome is always unexpected and during the process it is always exciting to tame these first impulses.
I like the blank of the paper which offers me so many possibilities.
I start with no idea or previous concept, and let the creative process guide me.
I let my imagination develop the subjects. I need to be in a concentrated and a free state of mind at the same time.
Then the “magic“ happens...
Which techniques are you most comfortable with?
As a Canson® ambassador I love all the techniques on paper. I am fond of fluid techniques, such as watercolour and ink. I also like pastels as a material for its direct colour use.
"I like the blank of the paper which offers me so many possibilities".
What difference do you think you bring to the art world? What do you expect from the art world in return?
I don’t know if I bring a difference. I just bring a piece of feeling or sensation to someone who likes my artwork. This is a subtle exchange and senses “conversation“.
I am living and doing as an artist, and if my way and work contribute to any emotion or enhance a feeling in a positive way then I am happy.
What I expect from the art world is an open minded position and love for the artists and their artistic expressions.
What is the hardest part of belonging to the art industry?
Competition and judgement, which are incompatible with the intrinsic art values.
Art is a subjective emotion and shouldn’t be scaled and compared.
There is no point in comparing, belittling or judging.
Each piece of art meets its own public.
What is the achievement you would like to fulfil in a personal and professional way?
I would like to keep on creating and collaborating on different art projects.
To be always positive minded and creative. To bring art into people’s life. To create artworks they like and are touched by.
for personal creation:
for illustration work:
Interview by Katrin Vankova