Oana tells us about herself with a simple Q&A
Q1 Who is Oana?
I am a 40 years old London-based self-taught artist, born and raised in Craiova, a beautiful city in the south of Romania. I studied foreign languages and found myself always choosing jobs that had a strong element customer service. I always loved working with people, to connect with them and listen to their stories.
Working as a flight attendant gave me the opportunity to meet so many different and wonderful people. Therefore, I think it’s no coincidence that I love drawing people because I just love human beings!
By creating art, I have reconnected with a long-lost feeling of happiness, calm, joy but also my childhood. When I started drawing, I immediately recognised that incredible feeling and suddenly felt like I was a little girl again, back in my old room!a
Q2 Where do you get your inspiration?
That is a question a lot of people ask me. I get my inspiration from life, from the people I meet or know. It might be their story, or it might be their smile. I find beautiful photographs on the internet or in magazines and then they speak to me, there’s always something that catches my eyes and makes me want to paint it. I am influenced and inspired by diverse sources including; Fashion, Pop Art, Street Art , Cubism, Art Nouveau, Modernism , all pulled together to create stylised works. I could say that my latest collection of paintings is born of an inspiration that is French by inclination and Viennese by influence.
Q3 Did you have any training?
As I said before, I am a self-taught artist and I discovered painting in my late 30’s. Without any formal training, I managed to find my own inimitable style by creating unique figurative art. It all started a couple of years ago, when after a struggle with depression, I picked up the pencil and painting brush at the recommendation of my doctor and started sketching family and friends. Everything that I know I learned by watching YouTube tutorials, analysing other artists’ works and by studying books I borrowed from the library. But the best thing I did for myself and my art was to keep practicing, always challenging myself, trying new techniques, mediums and styles and trying to think outside the box.
Q4 How would you describe your art?
I consider myself an abstract-figurative artist and my expressive mixed media works combine oil, acrylics, gold leaf, paint markers and paper all applied in an equally diverse manner using brushes, fingers, paint rollers and paper to create expressive and striking imagery. My unique style can be recognised from the combination of natural flowing lines with harsh diagonals, clean crisp areas of colour with layered messy paint and cut out paper. The finished works are a mix of modern and almost futuristic look, whilst still managing to retain a raw traditional aesthetic, the interplay of figure and background, flatness and depth, object and image is the key to heightening the experience of my creations.
I love painting with Mixed Media as it encourages you to step out of the box, to move beyond the concept of simply applying paint to canvas and to try new things, explore new combinations, and experiment with new techniques.
Q5 What artists inspire you?
The highly praised works of Gustav Klimt, the beautiful women of Richard Burlet and the stunning portraits of Solly Smook are the greatest influences to my artwork but I do find inspiration in any artist out there, from realistic painters to abstract ones, from street style to impressionistic artists. Inspiration is truly everywhere around us.
Q6 What does Sentiment mean to you?
When I was contacted by Anne-Marie regarding this project I was first of all surprised by the coincidence of its name. “Sentiment” is what I had in mind as a title for my new collection so I was immediately sure that this was a sign that I have to be a part of it. I think it’s a wonderful project as I too believe people need to feel connected more than ever, we all need to know that we belong to something special, that someone somewhere thinks and feels the same way we do. The painting I chose for this also has a great story and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
Thank you Anne-Marie for doing this and for giving me the opportunity to be one of the artists participating in this great project.