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Kristina Kinkela Valčić - Process of Creating Abstract Art Brings Feelings of Freedom And Heeling

Kristina was born in 1990, in Rijeka (Croatia). She currently lives in Opatija where she works as an interior designer. Still, Kristina invests every single moment of her free time in painting.

When did the urge for visual arts start? How did your development journey go?

I have been expressing myself artistically my entire life. Drawing, painting, making paper models was my favourite way of having fun in my childhood. I remember that I had my box with crayons in every house in my neighbourhood. Yes, I grew up in such a good place and I was blessed with so many wonderful people around me. That probably gave me the foundations for the person that I become. I always knew where my roots are, and the fact that I have a safe base to come back to gave me a lot of courage on my journey. After receiving my high school diploma as an interior designer, studying at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka was a decision that came very naturally. Studying is never easy but it is easier when you are doing something that you love and something that you are enjoying. I received my MA in Art Education from the sculpture department with a thesis about urban interactive sculpture. In my college years, I was more concerned with sculpture and photography. I never find myself as exclusively sculptor or painter. I believe that there is the right moment for everything and you just have to follow your inner instinct; for me, that is a formula for being genuine. In the last few years painting prevailed. I slowly evolved as an artist and parallelly as a scientist. I am also a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, which satisfied my inner need for learning and progress combined with my love for the homeland. My thesis is concerned with historical changes in conceptions of the cultural identity of the Kastav region, which is the region where I grew up. The guiding line is that identities are a result of negotiations that these facts reflect in my artwork also, so I am letting my inner instinct drive me through the process of painting. Through my artwork, I can observe changes through different life periods.

You are an expressionist painter. So tell us about your latest series of paintings. Is there a story behind it? Or is it a flow of emotions and thoughts?

The latest painting editions are abstract imaginary landscapes, leastwise that I call them like that because they remind me of some kind of harmonious landscapes. They are not inspired by nature - they arise directly from my internal emotional states into visual form. Visually they evolve from multiple, more or less transparent, layers of paint and other media that I use. The entire creating process is very intuitive and intimate. That indicates the fact that my identity and inner states are crucial motivators. For me, creating process is the state of ultimate feeling of freedom with an almost healing effect. Finally, the observers are free to feel and experience the result in their way. Considering the fact that art is such a powerful tool for making changes I support art that points up social, ecological, political, and other existential problems. At the same time, there should be art that makes your life more beautiful and art that runs your imagination in unpredictable ways.

How did you choose the style which currently dominates your work?

It came along. When you are constantly working you are not aware of the position where you are at the certain moment. When I started to paint more actively, I was calculating and making a lot of sketches in advance. From the present point of view, I was thinking too much, and enjoying less. I was burdened with perfection and focused on the result. Now I’m focused on the painting process and the final result comes itself. It needs time for realizing that perfection is in progress and constantly exploring new techniques and media, not in the result. I can not say that I choose the style, I believe that the style chose me. My mission is to spontaneously bring those codes to the surface, and if those codes should have a name, then expressionism is a good term because I am expressing myself through my paintings. From a technical point of view, I’m preparing all my canvases myself; from wooden frames to canvas stretching. An important detail is that the finished work implies completely painted edges, so there is no need for framing and additional equipment.

What are your plans, future steps in your career?

Well, I do have a lot of wishes. One of them is to bring my doctoral studies to an end. When I started my doctoral studies, I had no idea the impact it would have on me as a person and an artist. Even though it was sometimes distressing I pushed my boundaries and I’m grateful for that. I wish to paint more, learn more, exibit more and evolve as an artist. I have already started projects, which deserve to be realized in full scope. One project is my monochromatic series of paintings which I believe will sum up the ultimate essence of abstraction. I'm looking forward to experimenting with colours that I didn't use so far. There are also so many techniques I would love to try and incorporate them in my painting manner. You can follow my journey on my Instagram profile and web page. I appreciate every feedback I receive from my collectors and fellow artists.

Author: Hana Tiro

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