In this artist interview, Yordanka Sirakova shares with us her artistic process, ideas and inspiration. To see more of Yorkdanka’s work, please visit her online gallery.
Editor’s note: This interview was lightly edited for length and clarity.
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself.
My name is Yordanka Sirakova, and I am from a small town Byala Slatina in Northwest Bulgaria. I hold a Master’s degree in computer engineering technology from “Angel Kanchev” University of Ruse, Bulgaria.
In October 2008, I moved to London and have lived and worked here ever since. I have inherited my love for art from my father who is a professional artist. I tend to paint in a fantastic-realism style. I choose real objects for my artworks that are transformed by the prism of my inner world and soul, giving them a magical and fantasy touch. I pay great attention to the detail in my work as I find beauty in the small things. My work ranges from the small and delicate to middle-sized and thought-provoking.
How and when did you start out as an artist?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a small child. As a little girl I loved drawing with pencils, mainly princesses! Later I began to redraw and colour children’s pictures from postcards and books. The next step was to attempt drawing portraits from photographs, with some success!
What training did you have?
I do not have an academic art training. I am self-taught, and most things I know about art I have learned from my father. I have acquired many skills through my research and experimentation with different media, which has enriched my work.
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
The best creative achievements to date are two paintings of Buddha and an acrylic portrait of brothers, Max and Charlie. They are all in private collections now.
I participated in an exhibition of local artists in my hometown in 2005 where I showed a selection of paintings.
In 2013, my father had a solo exhibition and I joined him, showing my polymer clay jewellery, which sold out.
I have a number of paintings created in different media, including acrylic and pencils, that are currently in privately owned collections around the world.
My best creative achievement is still to come as I find a wider audience for my work.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Be the change that you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
“My soul has painted like the wings of butterflies,
Fairy tales of yesterday will grow, but never die,
I can fly, my friends…” – Freddie Mercury
Who is your favourite artist?
What are you aiming for?
I am aiming to make a career in art. Through my art, I would like to make the world a better place to live by bringing beauty, diversity of colours and harmony to people’s lives.
How will you get there?
By producing a solid body of art work, while constantly improving my skills as an artist and creator. Also, by learning more about promoting myself and then popularising my work via social media and modern informational technology.
I can only get the world to be a better place if I get better myself — through my thoughts, words and actions. I want to capture the beauty and calmness in everyday life and recreate them in my works, and to inspire more people to do the same.
Is anything holding you back?
TIME! Lack of time and lack of skills to promote myself as an artist.
You and art
What reactions does your work receive? Are you ever surprised?
Most people react with “WOW!” I am amazed and surprised by their reactions.
I would like to wake up people’s emotions while looking at my art so they feel the magic in my art world, in which I am engulfed, when I create. And to make them believe that miracles are possible.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It depends — on the idea or the technique I choose, and if the muse stays with me. Sometimes it takes me a few days, or a couple of weeks, or months.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
Buddha bar, mantras and any relaxation music, which make me feel as if I’m soaring in the air.
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
I would like to promote myself and let the world hear about me.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you, and why?
Abstract artists or surrealistic works, which make me believe in the impossible.
My parents, family and friends inspire me; they are always encouraging me to pursue my dream.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
Love! In all its shapes, colours and sense. The magic of love, nature and life. Sometimes I get easily inspired by the small things that surround me. It could be a flower, water reflections, the sun’s rays during sunrise or sunset, that specific mystic sunlight before or after the rain, another piece of art, or just an idea that springs to mind!
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
I have many favourite works. Behind some of my paintings are stories, and I have poured my soul, heart and feelings in creating them.
An artist’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as an artist?
My advice for those starting out is to be themselves, to be brave, to give even more than the best of themselves, to believe, and to remember that there are no mistakes in the art. They just need to feel happy when they create their art.