Interview with Fine Arts Student Elizaveta, Class of '16, Winner of Several Art Week Competitions

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We interviewed Fine Arts class of ’16 student Elizaveta Deviataykina who recently won several Art Week competitions.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with Art Week, tell us a bit about the competition.
Art Week is an international exhibition and competition of contemporary arts that happens worldwide. I first participated in the Russian Art Weekin April 2015 with over 2000 submissions and came first in the painting category. Since then, I’ve also entered the Luxemburg edition in June 2015, Rome at the end of July 2015 where I won first place in photography, and third in painting. I won second place in painting in China, August 2015. Now I am participating in an art show in Moscow at Artplay Design Center with a painting of mine.

Could you talk about the works that won in their categories?
For Russia, I submitted work that was inspired by a project I started in my Foundation year at PCA. It is a painting of Russian dolls; each one represents a culture in modern day society. The project is entitled Cloud where the cloud represents a sort of mass storage space.

The photos submitted in Rome were a project based on smell. It was a series of photograms on which I sprayed scents on photosensitive paper producing an image of the smell, the photos were not fixed therefore the images disappeared by the end of the day, just as a scent would.

How does Paris inspire you? Where is your favourite place in Paris to work?
I think its coherence inspires me. It’s easy to not get distracted; like if I go see an art show or visit a museum, when you leave you can still carry the images in your mind and not be distracted by the eye and what it sees. My favorite place to work in Paris is my senior studio space at PCA because I can stop and start whenever I want, I can leave my work out and come back to it, I don’t have to clean up or worry about people needing the space. Also it is a space where I have all my inspiration and ideas on the walls; it’s a good environment.

Describe the PCA Fine Arts department, what makes it unique? What has your experience been like as a Fine Arts student?
It’s very different. For me I like the fact that most of the teachers do not force a certain style on you, they leave you to find your own thing. That’s why I really enjoy Chloe Briggs’ Experimental Drawing and Bill Mackendree’s Concept Studies classes because I feel like they really step back and allow me to explore what I want to do and not force something unnatural. I feel like a lot of the teachers at PCA are really passionate about their subject matter so I found that a lot of the electives I may not have had interest in, were suddenly interesting for me because of their passion for the subject.

How has participating in the competition helped you as an artist?
It really helped me break out of my shell. I think anyone who is an artist has a fear of starting. Most people are fearful of the start of something but once you put yourself out there, it’s easier to do more. Plus it taught me to respect deadlines. It was great because it was about my work as an artist therefore on subjects that I wanted to voice and not just a topic or assignment for a class.

Who is your favorite artist and why?
Right now I’ve been looking at the art of Judy Scott. She has Down syndrome and she’s considered an art brut artist, but for me I don’t see the cacophony in her work, I don’t consider her art brut, I just see her as an artist and I think it’s beautiful how she communicates about her perception of the world.

If you were on a deserted island, what three books would you take with you?
Probably something I haven’t read before… But Ray Bradbury and Scott Fitzgerald. And Fowles, I adore Fowles, I would probably take three books by Fowles.

What advice would you give to students who want to pursue art as higher education?
I would say that if it’s really something they want to do, they should do it. I’ve seen many examples of people who have picked more stable jobs but they all come back to what they actually wanted to do. You can achieve so much more and be happier and do a good job at what you enjoy doing, rather than forcing yourself to do something just for financial stability.

Lastly, what excites you the most about Fine Arts?
It’s a way to express things I can’t or don’t want to verbally. I think it’s hard to articulate the joy you get from doing it to someone who is not interested in any art forms. For me, when I see a color, I feel it vibrates inside me. It’s really hard to express this verbally but it’s about the satisfaction you get from creating and seeing that something.

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Arts.