I have been repeatedly told (by some galleries, by some of the viewers of my art, by some fellow artists) that my art is too…. divers. Too colorful. Not colorful enough (in the early beginnings). Too busy. Too.. divers. Yes, I believe this is the one I have heard most.
Long ago it started with timid, pencil black and whites, on small papers, hiding under my technical drawings.
After a while I realized that I had no intention to use an erasing gum I went on and used drawing pens (took me a few years).
Then collage entered my life because I had moved to The Netherlands and I had discovered colored paper!!!
..Then a huge making no art break because I was working - in Romania again - between 100 and 120 hours a week.. The office where I worked as an architect was across the street from where I lived, kinda.. There were 2-3 years when the only break from work would be a 3-4 hours sleep. Every day. But let's not digress because this writing is about making art..
After returning to The Netherlands 3 more years had passed without making any art - this time I was working less time (maybe 10-11 hours a day) but I was commuting 2 hours a day - 5 days a week. I was also still believing the myth of "art comes from being unhappy" and I was not unhappy.
Or so I thought.
Falling into a deep burn-out shoved things under my eyes art at an unimaginable speed.
And it made my hands long again for expressing things through drawing and color. (read: scratching.. there was no gentleness in those drawings for a while)
I am and also have been in love with places where there's paper and colors - even the print shops.
In my childhood years I would hid in the corner of a "librarie" (in Romanian) - a (book) shop where they also had school materials - I would just sit there, beatified.
My grandpa had a huge desk (my brother uses it now), with crystal glass on top of it and with many many wonderful drawers, filled with.. stationary.
(I learned this word in English recently from my soul sister, equally addicted to stationary, Jani Franck (thank you!), :-) ).
There were hundreds of pencils that smelled like heaven, different hardness - KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH and such. These were mostly sharpened but he also had new unopened boxes that I wanted to open and sharpen into oblivion. There were pencils with two heads of different colors. There were the spiral - many colors pencils. There were ink bottles, ink pens and wonderful papers. There were secret notebooks with the writings of my Tataie. There were empty notebooks for me.
So you see, I believe I had this addiction since I was really, really little.
Fast forward to now and I will tell you how art-making works.. for me.
It's kinda like this writing.
When I fell into burn-out 9 years ago and the only thing I could do was cry for a few weeks I realized that for a long long time I had put up the face of a made-believe Ioana. I was on the outside totally different than I was on the inside - because the outside had more and more success. At the time I "knew" what I wanted and what was good for me - and I totally went for it. I had made myself the Hard Working Successful Architect - and that for more than 12 years..
But my heart was not so much into that anymore. My heart yearned for free expression. For a healthier body and less late hours pizza in front of the computer. For less structure. For working for myself. For "alternative stuff" like spirituality, meditation, ecstatic dance, making art and taking care of myself.. And Miss Hard-Working Successful Architect would have none of that. I was alternative and weird only for ordering sushi in the late evenings at the office - instead of pizza like all the others. I was alternative and weird because I wanted to use more natural materials in my designs (shocking!!!) and I wanted to add a garden with plants and maybe windows that really could open (go figure!) to million-euros houses..
I decided to change and you know how it goes, every structure around me fell apart. It was not pretty - especially for my surrounding people who suddenly did not know who I was anymore.
And I felt there was no turning back.
So I started a journey, looking for more and more myself in me. (how weird that sounds, haha!)..
Especially in the beginning, it was hard. There are no signs when you go looking for yourself. Only people who try to stop you at all cost, and if they can't, most of them will leave. I felt alone, many-many-many times. My job as an architect fell away, My relationship - many relationships - ended.
Suddenly there were not so many friends around. And on top of that, I became pregnant and the father bailed out.
All this time I asked myself, why, oh why can't I just do the things as other people do - you know, get married, have a permanent respected job, buy a house, have a "normal" family..
But I just couldn't and can't. Not if it would cost me my being me.
Because that is the only one I can be - and if not, I die.
So that brings us back to the writing of today.
In the last few months I realized that with my blog I also did make believe, again. On a smaller scale than in the past, it's true.
But I did.
I have only talked about what was - in other people's opinion - good for my business.. And that is so much less than what I want to tell you about..
And it's no good :-)
Because I was told I should "just pick one": one thing to do, one thing to talk about, one "tribe" I want to talk to, just one. I was told that people won't like or accept multi-faceting my multi-passioning, my many directions. That I should concentrate on talking about just ONE THING. In my whole blog, on my whole website, in my business.
I usually don't swear but: the Hell with that!
This is my home on the web and when I invite you in, you will get to see all of me here.
So I won't just pick one.
Because this is how it works for me: something grabs me, I immerse myself in it, I am passionate about it, I work on it until I perfectly know it, I understand it, been there, done that. Sometimes it takes a few weeks and I am done, sometimes it takes years, and some of my passions never, ever, stop. They just take breaks sometimes - when I am immersed in something else.
Like these collages above.
Gelli Plate is not really known in The Netherlands and you can only order it online, which I did not have enough patience for at that moment.
And because I am a DYI persona all over, I made one.
And I have made a video about it but yeah, did not have the time yet to edit it - because I was too busy playing with the GP.. :-)
The prints are really beautiful and what is even more addictive is that when you start you cannot stop until every piece of paper in the house was used. It goes really really fast (and you'd better because otherwise the color dries on the GP and that is another technique we have no patience for, me and V..).
So, after a few days of playing, me and Victor (who loves the GP just as much as me, if not more) had some hundreds of prints, and had even printed on toilet paper (..just kidding, but we were really really close)..
And we are making these from it.
A new style with new challenges and we love it.
I could've said no, not another style, not another passion, not another direction.
But I keep saying yes.
Yes to my diversity.