Sylvia Baldeva is a Bulgarian born artist who graduated from the University of Sorbonne, Paris with a Bachelors Degree in Fine and Contemporary Art. After completing her Degree she continued her studies in graphic design before working in the fashion & graphic sectors. Continuing to work within this sector she has been regularly commissioned as a Freelance Illustrator by Advertising Agencies, Publishing Houses and Photographers. Sylvia combines this with activity her pursuit of developing a full time career as a Fine Artist, where her creativity is guided by freedom of expression.
Sylvia’s artistic nature was fully supported from a young age, having grown up with an artistic environment, as a result of her father being a Fine Artist too. This greatly influenced her creativity and inspired her to follow her artistic calling. Her approach to her artistic work takes a multi-disciplinary approach in its various forms of expression. Sylvia Baldeva presents her work regularly at personal and collective exhibitions.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
I grew up in an artistic environment thanks to my father, a multidisciplinary artist. This influenced my choice and vision about art in a very wide aspect.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I would say that it is between expressionism and abstract expressionism. A free style where gesture, intuition and impulse cause images and sensations to emerge.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
As I create through intuition and freedom, it comes naturally. It is an inner need and a strong impulse which makes me create. I love exploring, searching and the subjects appear spontaneously. Creation is always evolving according to what I am living. As I am sensitive to the environment it will surely evolve according to the internal and external changes. The future will show where the path leads …
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
As I work on an every day basis, I think that this is one of the driving factors. Another one is the fact that everything surrounding me can be a source of inspiration. I can explore it straight away or it can reveal later.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
I can mention my parents, my sister and close friends who encourage me during my artistic path.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
As a Canson® ambassador I am very fond of their various papers and the different effects they offer. Watercolor is the most difficult technique in Fine Arts. Mistakes are not much allowed. The paper is one of the most important elements when working with water. A high quality paper is required for the creative process as well as the lifetime of the piece of art. The brushes I use are Chinese types as well as Princeton. I use the Daler Rowney and the Maimeri paints.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes? Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
Currently my creative process is based on Transformed memories. I am very much inspired by everything alive – nature, the psychology of the human being, as well as the philosophical aspects of life. I try to depict the senses and the emotional outcome of a situation or a moment. That is why during the creative process I let go the memories I’ve gathered through sensations, images, emotions to unfold. The unconscious elements appear and interact with my conscious decisions. That is why every step is crucial for the development of the painting.
Also fluidity is a part of my style. It embodies freedom and lightness. Watercolor to me is a metaphor of life. You can try to control it and sometimes it takes its own paths. Very often I have to face the unexpected effects and it is quite challenging and exciting.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
Usually I work in different moments of the day, when I feel the right moment. That is why I need to work there where I live. Creation is always interacting with my current lifestyle.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
Both. It depends on the mood or my state of mind.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
With passion, a lot of work and being true to my values.
Which of your artworks are you most proud off?
Those that find echo in the spectators’ eyes and heart.
Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?
There are many, in different art expressions – Fine art, Photography, Conceptual art, Illustration .... That is why I often visit various art exhibitions. As soon as I am driven to something it means that one day or the other it will interact with my expression. It inspires and nourishes my senses
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
Maybe the most exciting ones are those which concern a fellow artist interactions, where artists evolve as a group such as Impressionism, Dadaism etc.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
Competition. More and more organisations set competitions and concourse. To me Art can’t be measured or scaled. It is a question of personal interaction between the artist and the spectator.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Passion, curiosity, work, perseverance, originality are the key words. Always be true to yourself. Be open to the world and bring out your personal vision.
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
My range is wide – Illustration, Photography, Conceptual art … As soon as it touches my sensibility.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
The final stroke is the hardest one indeed. I have to be very concentrated not to miss the right moment. It happens to me to work on a piece I thought was finished and I had to improve it months later. This not very often though as in water techniques the « repairable » process is not quite manageable.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?
Actually I think all artists are storytellers and advocates. There two kind of artists – Those who depict the known, visible and surrounding world, the second ones are more introverted and depict the hidden and unknown through metaphors. For the second ones even if the artist motivation is self expression, the outcome will reflect a state of human mind, an environment or period, a specific vision of the world. It will never have a selfish outcome.
What are you working on at the moment?
As I love to explore, I am experiencing texture and matter on different kind of paper. The different effects of water and pigments.
Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?
I am one of the Artist-Ambassadors of Canson® Europe. While gatherings I exchange experiences with my fellow artists on mediums and supplies and on Art in general. It is very enriching and inspiring.
Also with close art fellow friends we gather together for art discussions or exhibition visits.