About what you love and simple steps to international recognition


How can you achieve international recognition in just 3 years, what is the advantage of participating in online competitions and how do quarantine restrictions affect your creative work?
The story of Vinnitsa artist Natalia Zhizhko is inspiring and motivating, because the artist managed to achieve success and recognition at the international level in just 3 years. How did she manage to achieve this result?

Many of us often criticize ourselves and feel insecure about our abilities, thus making a big mistake, because without an objective assessment from the outside, sometimes we miss important events and opportunities, which are points of growth.

Natalia started painting in September 2017. The artist had no academic experience, at that time, was the experience of art school.
Fate was such that instead of the Kiev Institute of Light Industry, due to the illness of her father, she was forced to stay at home and entered the Vinnitsa Polytechnic Institute. After graduation, Natalia went to serve in the army. She worked in the military unit for over 25 years. During this period of her life, she did not touch paints and brushes. But the love of fine art was always present in the artist, she wanted to decorate her space with paintings.

What was the impetus for taking action?

The starting point for the development of my talent was a seemingly ordinary occasion. A coworker brought an embroidery piece that depicted a Spanish woman with a bouquet of flowers. Natalia wanted to transfer this image to canvas. From that painting, she discovered her talent.

Getting feedback was very important to the artist in the initial stage of her art. Natalia looked for every opportunity where she could show her work and receive criticism. This included receiving rejections, works she liked but didn't fit. One of the first acknowledgements of her creative work Vinnitsa woman received at the international competition Golden Time, in which she participated for several seasons in a row and was the winner of four Grand Prix of the festival. Natalia found out about the competition by accident through the ads and decided to show her work there, but she did not expect any results. How she was surprised when one of the members of the international jury Marina Spencer O'Neil, who is the president of UNESCO in Italy, wanted to hang her works on her wall. Natalia says that participating in the contest made her realize that she was going in the right direction. Nice atmosphere, support and constructive criticism from professionals of international level made it possible to improve and grow.

What's your biggest achievement and   failure?

One of the most important achievements for Natalia considers getting feedback from Igor Sakharov, on whose lessons she began her creative journey. It was the painting "Sail" that the artist appreciated.

There were no failures, as such. Because Natalia is convinced that any situation, even if it seems negative, is a valuable experience for further development.
To keep your inspiration and resource important, just give yourself time to rest and spend it with your loved ones, shared Natalia's main secret. One of the key points on the way to success is not to allow yourself to burn out emotionally.

Monetizing creativity and   participation in   contests

To date, Natalia Zhizhko has more than 9 solo exhibitions and experience of participation in international competitions (London, Turkey, Germany). The artist notes that the main value of participation in competitions is to be able to set a goal, to see the level of other participants and to assert oneself.

Competitions are one of the important points of development of creativity, as they help to look at oneself and one's work from the outside. The artist firmly believes that if you set yourself a goal only to sell paintings, it will not get you far. Create a picture should be with love, to develop themselves with love and above all, to invest resources in their own development, in this case, the money can come just a nice bonus. As one of the main criteria for the realization of their paintings, is to spread their creativity as in the Internet portals, and in-person exhibitions, which allows you to expand the audience of fans of the talent. As in the pursuit of improving their creativity and postponing the demonstration of their talent to others, you can remain unnoticed. Therefore, the artist is convinced that only by acting and showing her paintings everywhere can you achieve success in the shortest possible time.

How do quarantine restrictions affect   creativity?

Natalia notes, first of all, that time is freed up to devote to creativity. Many people feel depressed and sad because of the restrictions. But these seemingly unfavorable conditions can be used to their advantage and to find inspiration in them, to create more vivid pictures and add color to their lives.

Indeed, in connection with the pandemic, many have broken plans, including artists. Exhibitions, especially overseas ones, have been postponed indefinitely. So from the exact goals that can be set and implemented now are participation in online contests and online exhibitions. Natalia's work is participating in an online exhibition of the Japanese National Watercolor University. Also in the near future you can see the artist's paintings in Kiev at the gallery "Globus" and in the artist's house.

One of Natalia's important goals, at this stage, is to study at Vinnitsa Pedagogical University in the Department of Fine Arts. As the artist feels that in the near future she will be ready to share her experience and teach.

Natalia's success story motivates her to take action in her development, if she had given up after the first refusal, if she had sat back and thought that she was not yet ready to show her work to others, she would still be at the stage where she started. Action is what brought Natalia to the result she has now, because the artist firmly believes that it is important to take advantage of all the opportunities that destiny offers!