In conversation with Ukranian based printmaker and illustrator Margo Sarkisova.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
I was interested in art ever since I can remember myself. I was trying myself different sides of it, theatre, music choir, handmade jewellery, dancing… but my biggest passion was always in drawing different stories from my imagination. When someone asked me, who I want to be when I graduate from school – I told them with big honour – I want to be an artist!
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?, or how people develop their ideas.
Very interesting question! Yes, I’m using a little sketchbook in my practice. For me, the sketchbook is always about a certain stage in my life. It reflects my worldview at this point in time. I became interested in a sketchbook at the time when I began to be interested in a book as an art object. For me, a sketchbook is a system of thoughts and feelings of artist, so it should be connected as a whole story (like a book). Although there was a time in my work process when I was drawing or printing without any preparatory sketches – this always give to me unpredictable result.
Your work often has quite a mythical quality to it and there is clearly an interest in nature. Can you talk about what you are exploring through this, both personally but also what you want to convey to the outside world?
Yes, that’s true. I’m interested in symbolism in art. It is the most striking way to show my ideas to people.
I’m feeling the connection and unity of Human and Nature, so in almost every of my artwork have a wood and flowers symbols. They are as a connection between the external and internal world and a combination of all elements of nature. The ‘human’ in my works is like an eternal student who suffers, learns, and finally comes to the realization of the truth and show it for other people.
My artworks reflect my own feelings and experience, but I really like to listen to associations of people who watching them.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
My work process has changed with me. In my student days I worked very emotionally and expressively, because it was a method to relieve my stress from study assignments at the Academy of Arts. This led to the fact that it became difficult for me to do any artwork thoughtfully for a long time. But this process began to change after mastering the technique of lithography in the Academy, because it required a very careful and long drawing process. This experience helped me to see beauty in the long process of working on one work of art. Now my work process has changed due to the ability to not rush and focus on my topics and projects. I make small sketches and draw artwork on their basis (at the moment I am not printing due to problems with the repairing of my printing press).
I’m feeling physical discomfort when I have a long break in drawing or printmaking for a several weeks, so I really like to be in the process and know that I have ideas for new artworks. therefore, I try not to interrupt this process (unless it is a forced pause due to other projects).
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the sketchbook and the work to the artist.
Yes, I find the work process soothing and exciting at the same time. It allows you to plunge into your thoughts and also feel the joy of the process of creating something new. There was a time in my life when I just took a package of paper and draw it all in a few minutes. This helped me throw out my worries and emotions. Therefore, I really appreciate drawing for these qualities of tranquility and peace.