Hello Dear Emanuela Nesko. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is what’s your background?
I am originally from Romania, where I grew up. At some point my family decided to move to Spain, so I am a mixture of both of these cultures. From an early age I was drawn to all sorts of arts, I tried everything from acting to painting, drawing, and of course photography. In Spain I studied Fine Arts in Madrid and shortly after graduating, I moved to Germany. Here I started working as a portrait photographer, until I realized I wanted to pursue a more artistic career as a fine art photographer. Currently I am both selling my art as limited edition fine art prints and also offering my services for fine art imagery commissions for commercial or personal use.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drove you to choose art as a career?
I always knew that I would do something artistic as a career, but I thought it would be either drama or drawing/painting. Art was what I was most interested and passionate about while growing up. When I didn't get in at a Drama school in Madrid, I went for my second option, which was a Fine Arts Bachelor's degree. And honestly in a way I was relieved, because as an introvert I enjoy working alone most of the time. Drama and acting is the opposite of that and although I enjoyed it a lot, it was also very energy draining. Then during my studies something happened that would change everything for me. I fell in love with photography, after realizing that this form of art offered me the possibility to combine all the artistic elements I was passionate about: telling a surreal story in one single frame, while also conveying emotion and sending a powerful message to whoever needs to hear it.
We saw a lot of feminine touches in your artworks. Can you tell us more about why you choose this for your main theme?
My work consists mainly of self portraits, in which I am visually representing my personal experience with all sorts of mental health themes, like fear for instance. For this I am using myself as a character in the stories I portray. Sometimes I do use models, but as the topics in my images are about how I view certain ideas, it only makes sense that my characters are predominantly feminine. I am slowly integrating male characters but always as a complement and not the main focus, at least for now.
What’s been your greatest artistic success and why?
Successes can be so diverse and I like to acknowledge them all, small or big. But if I had to choose a decisive experience, that would be finding out where I was going with my art. When I started out, I had lots of interests and didn’t really know how I could possibly combine everything together into something that felt like mine. I only knew that photography would be the focus, the main vehicle, but I also wanted to bring my love for drama to life, use textures and paint, tell a story and add an otherworldly mood, make the viewer feel immersed in this dreamlike scenario. It was after a lot of experimenting, learning from other artists and different artforms, that everything started to fit together.
What is your creative process like and how does art-making impact other parts of your life?
I have two main starting points, either I have a specific theme in mind and I create around that, or I have an image in mind, without knowing what it means, and then I represent it visually. I try to use as little or inexpensive materials and props as possible and love placing my story in a scenario that speaks to me, or in a scene that I personally design. To better visualize my ideas, I draw a simple sketch, then I make decisions about symbolism, colors, pose, location, clothes and so on. I like being prepared when I start to shoot, so normally that part is the fastest one. The part that is more time consuming is usually the planning and most of all the postproduction in Photoshop. Creating art has helped me to better understand my negative emotions or my fears. I make use of my internal struggles and represent them visually to make them more digestible for myself. It has also changed the way I view the world around me. I now see the potential for a good story or a potential scenario for my images in the most unexpected or even mundane places. And that’s very exciting because I never know what I’m going to find everytime I go out the door.
How do current trends in the artistic community influence your work?
I am not someone who follows trends, but I do take inspiration from other artists and artforms. I look at visual artists that do similar art as I do or art that moves me visually or conceptually. My main source of visual inspiration is surrealism, elements with a strange or dark feel, and also baroque and romantic paintings. Some of the contemporary artists I admire are Brooke Shaden, Damian Drewniak, Benjamin Lacombe… and many others. However, I don’t only feel inspired by visual artists, but also by movies or animations like Coraline or Shape of Water, writers like Amie Mcnee, fantasy novels or psychology books, and so much more. You can find inspiration everywhere around you, you just have to be open to it.
Can you talk about any other current or upcoming projects?
Currently I am working on my series “Fears” which is a representation of those irrational fears that keep us from moving in the direction that we want and need to. One of them, for instance, is the dread of how the outcome of an action will turn out, blocking us from taking action, holding us back from what we intend to do, out of fear of what lies on the other side… For next year's spring I am planning a small exhibition with a fellow artist in our home town. This will be my first exhibition in a gallery and I am very excited about it.
Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?
I find it intriguing and interesting to observe how people feel so certain about what it means to be an artist, trying to fit art into their definition of it. I think art is too complex to be defined through a set in stone explanation, it has so many facets and layers and so much depends on the perception and personal baggage of the person contemplating it. Therefore I think that the definition of art can change based on who is viewing it.
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