The Heroine’s Journey of Natalia Olhova

What is the best thing that I love about my work? My main motivation in life is to create something new and this is how I came to art. I have always been fascinated by the idea of trying something new, for example, new material or direction. I am often visited by the desire to implement some new ideas, and with age I have learned to filter and weed them out. Now I can choose only main things that will bring benefits or great joy, for example. Otherwise, I would be stuck in the endless creation of new things without any purpose.

What is my idea of happiness? Watching people’s lives, it becomes clear that everyone has their own idea of happiness. I know artists who put art at the head of their lives. They do not care about their health, snacking on cookies between work. They do not think about advertising, contacts, searching for orders and just create, and are happy having no money, not noticing all the disadvantages of their choice. For many people, it is not happiness, but a terrible nightmare. For those artists, however, it is the only option for happiness in their lives. If you ask me – for me happiness is harmony. For me it is to be healthy, to be loved and to love my family, to help my loved ones, to create art that someone needs, art that can help people. Also it is very important for me to be free in my choice and life.

What is my greatest fear? I fear that people will destroy themselves and it will be too late to change something. When I read articles about ecology, I realize that we need to change our approach to everyday life now in order to stop or slow down global warming. I know that my life and my fears are just a grain of sand in our world, I fear for the fate of all people on our planet and dream that someday we will be able to find an opportunity to live in a way that does not harm the environment.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Those who know me sometimes tell me about it. I’m too empathic, I try to help everyone and it seems like I live in a world where all people should be good like in a fairy tale. It is hard for me to face the reality, sometimes the cruelty of our world so I may feel like an outcast. I know that I need to be tougher, but so far I am not good at it. Usually I just leave a place where I am not understood, instead of having a conflict.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Artist James Jeans is simply the Leonardo da Vinci of our time. He creates stunning, stylized work. They are powerful and bold. I think that he is as a trendsetter in art nowadays. If he creates glass works, you can see an active breakthrough into this industry from the artists who follow him. I see how they copy his technique, color palette, style of work, maybe because they feel that there is something interesting in him. He creates a lot and with high quality and there is no end to his ideas. In general, this is unconditional love, and someday I will definitely get to his exhibition.

What is my greatest extravagance? I allow myself to express my individuality in everything. I see makeup as a way to easily change my image according to the mood. Moving to the Netherlands gave me complete freedom and I changed my hairstyle. Now I am super curly and naughty. In everyday life, strangers sometimes come up to me on the street and say compliments. And it’s just that I’m open and red. Haha 😀

On what occasion would I lie? I hardly ever do this because my whole life is built in such a way that I don’t have to adapt to someone or try to please someone. I am straightforward and I believe that this is my strength.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I would like to see a large, active art community. I would like to see the state being more interested in supporting art in the city. I have always liked the idea of a union of artists. I want here to be a large center with workshops for artists, sculptors, etc. It would be great to have a showroom nearby and training opportunity, as well as master classes, the opportunity to come and draw from nature, lectures and more. I need all this like air, because I had been growing up in such an environment since childhood. I would like this to happen in every country, and then creative people would be united and have a stable future.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I have had several of these periods. The most recent was when I worked with the manager and took away from me all the routines. I didn’t waste time on anything but creativity. I painted pictures every day and knew that there was a person who would think about how to show them to people, organize an exhibition. I always wanted just to create something, but it is important for me to understand that someone needs my paintings. I don’t want them just to stand in the corner of my apartment.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Oh! A big part of my work is about self-acceptance. I believe that you can be happy only when you accept not only your advantages, but also the disadvantages. I have accepted myself for who I am a long time ago. I am an empath and thanks to this trait it is easier for me to create portraits that convey the inner world of a person. And it is cool! Be yourself and love yourself completely!

What is my greatest achievement in work? What do you consider an achievement? I was the best student in my course, winning competitions since high school. As a winner, I traveled to other countries and received cool gifts. I painted a bunch of wonderful paintings, participated in and organized exhibitions, master classes and lectures. I took orders and simultaneously created my own projects. I have over 100 printed catalogs of my paintings, but for me it is just my way. My main achievement is not to stop. I continue going my way, believe in my creativity and make it better every day.

Where would I most like to live? At the moment I am happy to be exactly where I am now. For many years I dreamed of moving to the Netherlands and it finally happened in 2021. I really like Rotterdam, I am delighted with its rhythm and mood. I like that there is a contrast between historical houses and new buildings. I love my area. It is 10 minutes away from the city center. The village is very quiet, but the center is too crowded. However, Blijdorp has just the perfect atmosphere.

What is my most treasured possession? I put my family’s happiness first. I appreciate those who love me, I do my best to help them. I am ready to sacrifice money or health for their happiness.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? When I want to think about something, I go to the bridges in the center of Rotterdam. I stand there and admire the beauty of this city where I live now. I love going there with friends at sunsets. This place makes me to think about the eternal and be inspired.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I have no idols like football players or singers. I would like to see that teachers, doctors and scientists are valued above everyone else. In Ukraine, unfortunately, this is not so. Often these people put their whole soul into teaching for a penny, they have to sacrifice their lives for the sake of teaching children. These are my heroes. People who are trying to give something to our society despite the fact that they often have no reward.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? I really liked the film ” Never Look Away”. I recommend it to everyone, it will not be a waste of time. A very interesting film based on real events and, of course, with an artist as a main character.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? This is the motto of my life. I believe in myself, my intuition, that I am the mistress of my life and I can create the reality that I want. When it seems to me that the situation is hopeless, I imagine such a situation: what if another person with great ambitions and fortitude moved into my body? How could he change my life in a month, given that the data would be exactly the same? I always imagine that this new mind could move mountains and immediately my head becomes clear, I find a way out of the situation. Try it, it will help you too.

What project am I looking forward to work on? Now I am actively studying everything related to digital art. 2D and 3D graphics. I feel like a student again. I take classes and do my homework. I learn by myself from YouTube videos and get the help of friends. I cannot wait to finish my studies and make a new series of works using 3D for sketches. It seems to me that this will be a new level.

Where can you see me or my work? Everything was stable in my city. Often I could be found in the workshop and once a month at exhibitions. But after moving to the Netherlands, I have not yet found my ideal community where I will live. So far, I have been consistently only in my workshop, which my boyfriend and I made at home. We were specifically looking for a large apartment where we can allocate one of the rooms only for my creativity. And so far I am completely satisfied with it. I study and work. I have enough, but if I want to go out, I will look for commercial building in the city.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I don’t believe in these words. Just the same, passion is a fleeting thing that goes away for sure, it’s just a matter of time. But love is a deeper feeling that will never end. Even if you wanted it to go away, it would be impossible. If love ended, then it was passion.

How can you contact me?

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