Hello Dear Jelena Petkovic. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is how the “Covid-19” affects your art?

Covid is challenging in a way that we can’t get inspired anymore by having many experiences but for me, Covid helped me take time for myself. This pandemic inspired me to take even more care of my body and mind and that affected my work. It’s not unnatural that when we struggle, we grow at the same time; I understand better my work after this, I have a different attitude towards the art world, I know what’s important to me. Being on my own and not having social life was a great moment to change some of my routines and reflect on where I want to go when this is all over and behind us. I am certain that artworks that I created during the Covid pandemics are my best work so far, and that my ideas for future artworks are even better, I have a better view of myself and my work.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drove you to choose art as a career?

Art was always in my life. The two adults in the house, my mother and grandfather, both painted, our walls were covered with paintings, we had a bookshelf filled with art books and I loved it! Because of this I went to art high school and continued to an art and design faculty but unfortunately, I never saw painting as a possible career until my life became difficult. When I felt lost is when I decided that I would not waste my time anymore and that I would pursue my passion in life. To be true, we are all afraid of the end, and I just wanted to not have regrets when mine comes. The mere thought of mixing paint and putting it on canvas brings a smile to my face, sometimes I feel it wasn’t a choice of career, I just chose to enjoy living. No mater how hard it gets, for this job I will always be grateful.

What is the hardest part of creating a painting?

Hm... Sticking with it. I usualy get my ideas fast and unintentionally, a picture flashes in my mind but then it’s all about keeping that idea and inspirtion. When I’m in the process of painting I have at least 5 other ideas in my mind that can seem more interesting than what’s in front of me. So, being persistent trough the sketching process and troughout several weeks of painting is difficult. When creating art, you can come to work angry, sad or in any other emotional state but you have to be present. No matter the emotion I have, I need to be into what I’m doing to be able to advance and produce a good piece. When the painting takes long its starts to be hard to keep the interest when I already have the next project in mind. Even when it’s going good, I already know what I am painting, it’s already finished in my head but I have to stick with it until I finish. So, yes, persistance, in my career and in making art is the most dificult and at the same time the most important. 

How does art-making impact other parts of your life?

What I love about art-making is that it’s not separated from my personal life but quite the opposite. If I have a hobby it’s a part of my art, if I have a problem it’s a part of my art, if I have an epiphany it’s definitely a part of my art. Painting to me is reflecting and when I look deeper into who I am, I can find answers to the challenges I face in my life. In my opinion being an artist requires to be our most authentic self, and when that is your work you can’t be less that that in your private life. I don’t even know if I can call it a job, because I am an artist all the time, I am working 24h a day because even my dreams can enter my art and vice versa. Simply, in my work and my life I try to be just me.

We want to talk about the Fantastic – women figures of your Artworks. Can you tell us more about your theme and how do you choose the subject of your painting?
The subject itself doesn’t often have much to do with the figure of the woman, she is like a canvas, a support for the story I’m telling but most of the times I can’t imagine painting something without her. I admire the Woman spirit; I see it everywhere and it inspires me. I don’t think that it is because I am a woman, muses are women and they have inspired both genders. The female figure is a base for my paintings and the theme of each painting is the specific field of interest I’m exploring at the moment.
I like to look on the bright side of things. I don’t avoid my anxiety, fears and pain, I get inspired by them to look beyond them and find inspiration. My paintings is how I heal myself, I choose the theme according to the part of me I'm working on at that point. All my paintings come from me facing difficulties in my life and then looking for the bright side of it, that is where my next painting is. The theme is something that would help me understand better my situation and maybe help others facing similar challenges. I get curious instead of being afraid to face my issues, I look for purpose in what can’t be changed and answers in what can. I want to create painting that are inspirational, vibrant, strong because that gives me force in my life.

Do you have long-term goals as an Artist?
Like many artists, I would like for my work to mean something. One of my goals is to grow and develop my work to the point where it inspires people through challenges similar to mine. My goal in life and in my work is to be my most authentical self, especially when I’m facing pain and fear. I want everything in my life to be true to who I am, my paintings especially. For this, I still need to work on my technique, ideas and understanding of the world.
The goal that follows is to progress in my work to the point where I can paint as a child. This is something Picasso aspired to do, and it took me a long time to understand why. The greatest work comes from confidence and children are the most confident artists, they let themselves go with no restrain and no shame, they are fully present, and they don’t overthink. 
I also love writing and I hope that sometimes in the future I can dedicate some of my time to that other passion of mine. I don’t see it as very different from painting, but instead as another way of expression. Whatever the way, I’m telling a story.

Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?

Only that my favorite color is turquoise hehe 😉.
Thank you for your time!