In this artist interview, Elena Dunaeva shares with us her artistic process, ideas and inspiration. To see more of Elena’s work, please visit her online gallery.
Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited.
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I was born and raised in Russia, but I’ve been living in Italy for over 20 years. My creative path began several years ago: I have been drawing since childhood. After taking professional painting courses, I started painting—first to decorate my home, then I started selling my paintings online and at my personal exhibitions. I’m constantly looking for and trying new painting techniques. Ideas come to my mind and I strive to implement them on canvas.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
Just a couple years ago I started my professional career as an artist.
What training did you have?
I have taken online courses at several technical schools.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
My personal exhibition entitled My love for this land (Earth) in Rimini, Italy.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘Weak people wait for opportunities; strong people make them.’
Who is your favourite artist?
Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Korovin, Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, and many others.
What are you aiming for?
I strive to convey to people my thoughts about the need to protect Mother Nature, our Earth. I promote love and peace. I would like to exhibit my paintings in the best galleries in the world.
How will you get there?
Thanks to my paintings and new technologies, I’m seeking more and more public recognition, after which the best galleries will hopefully offer me to place for my paintings.
Is anything holding you back?
Nothing concrete holds me back. I’m now in the process of studying to promote my creativity online, mastering new technologies, numerous sales platforms, etc. I’m studying everything in detail and working on new paintings, after which I hope to achieve complete success.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
My positive messages and energy are felt in my paintings; this is confirmed by many of my viewers and buyers. I hope that more and more people will enjoy the contemplation of my interior paintings, as well as delve into the essence of my socially oriented paintings.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Sometimes it takes a couple of days, sometimes a couple of weeks.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I have my own playlist of different types of music. Sometimes I need to listen only to mantras, sometimes energetic music. I have U2, Stromae, Muse, Maroon 5, Manu Chao, Zucchero, Biagio Antonacci, The Black Eyed Peas, Smokie, Chris Rea, Chris Norman, Bonnie Tyler, Eurythmics, and many others.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I plan to finish my collection dedicated to Rimini, publish an article in the local press, organize a new exhibition, and participate in international painting competitions.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you, and why?
My inspiration and ideas come to me in the form of dreams or visions in reality. There is no specific person who inspires me (at this moment). There are only constant memories that my dad (who died 15 years ago) encouraged my drawing skills as a child. So, I thank him for his help, which, quite possibly, comes to me now in dreams.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
Nature, architecture, human feelings, beauty and love in any shape. My passion for metaphysics, feng shui and positive thinking leaves an imprint on my stories in my paintings.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
At this moment, my favorite painting is Make a wish. The theme is the future of our children, and the boy depicted in the picture makes a wish for peace and a happy future, which we, adults, must provide for the future generation. The same theme is in my We will be victorious! painting. The place depicted in both of these paintings is in the center of Rimini, where I live and I love.
An artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
Believe in yourself and in your strengths, and don’t listen to those who advise against those ideas.