Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Alia Shekhmametieva was born in St. Petersburg. She graduated from the university with a degree in Environment Designer. Before entering her specialty, she was in two minds about it for a long time, because her interest in creating was always very deep. Alia Shekhmametieva considers herself as an aspiring designer, artist and just a dreamer who loves to compose stories, poems, stories. She also loves to learn something new, because the knowledge of the world, and everything that surrounds us, nourishes her creativity.
OCA: Tell us about yourself and your creative activity?
AS: I consider myself as an artist, a dreamer, a designer, and I write a little bit. It seems to me that these concepts are somehow interconnected. I’m thinking of creating my own painting style, and also continue to improve my artistic skills. Also, I write poetry. My career began from the moment I decided to go to university “where I could draw.” I finally decided to follow the path of creativity, especially when my painting teacher said, “Never give up painting.” Her words did not leave my mind and I think that they’ve really influenced my choice.
OCA: What style do you paint in? What influenced your style?
AS: It’s difficult for me to put my works into any of the styles since among my works there are both close to realism and abstract, as well as those that I call experimental art. However, since I became interested in studying the works of surrealist artists, my thoughts are concentrated in this direction. In short, what influences the formation of my style? The answer will be: “those things, situations and experiences that are in my heart.”
OCA: Who are your favorite artists?
AS: I like Jerome Bosch, his artwork is striking in its unreality. The images that he created for me are absolute surrealism. I also love the work of Raoul Dufy for the lightness, brightness and simplicity with which the artist depicts the reality surrounding him. Since 2015, I was especially keen on Japanese culture and discovered Katsushika Hokusai. I was captivated by that inexplicable aesthetics, that subtlety, simplicity, and at the same time complexity, which can be seen in engravings by Hokusai and ukiyo-e artists.
OCA: What is your favorite piece of art and why?
AS: In fact, I have several of them and it’s difficult to give preference to anyone. Therefore, I think that it’s worth highlighting those that I managed to see in real life. Among them: “The Last Day of Pompeii” – a picture painted by Karl Bryullov, now in the collection of the Russian Museum.
Another picture is “Sadko”, which was painted by Ilya Repin by order of Alexander III. When I first saw this artwork, I froze, amazed at the underwater world that Repin portrayed. And finally, “Sailboats in Trouville” by Raoul Dufy, this is the painting when my interest in Dufy’s work began.
OCA: Have you taken part in the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London)?
AS: Since I joined the Guild only last year, when I finally decided to take part in the Open Eurasia 2019 contest, as a writer with my short story and poem, so I could not attend many events, including Open Eurasian Literature Festival, which was held in Belgium.
OCA: What is “Eurasianism” for you?
AS: For me, “Eurasianism” is a community of peoples who have certain principles, ideas, values and ways of thinking that have formed in them within the framework of that culture, environment and geographical location, including the environment that formed entire groups no less than anything else.
OCA: What does the Eurasian Creative Guild mean to you, and how did it affect your creative activity?
AS: I first found out about the Eurasian Creative Guild in 2017 then I didn’t dare to take part in Open Eurasia – 2017. And last year, I finally decided to show my work at the competition. And the fact that one of the works (a short story) got to the finale inspired confidence in my abilities.
OCA: In which projects / exhibitions do you plan to participate in the future?
AS: I plan to continue participating in the Open Eurasia contest, and also think about participating in such projects as the literary collection “Thread”, the Voices of Friends almanac and the “Top 25 works of Eurasian art” to prove myself not only as a writer, but also an artist.
OCA: What would you advise for people who’re just starting their journey of creativity?
AS: Don’t be afraid of mistakes, as they inhibit all creative activity and do not allow you to move forward. Learn to accept constructive criticism, as this is something that will help develop your potential, although it can be difficult. And the last thing I want to wish is to enjoy what you are doing, put my thoughts and emotions into it, and finally look for inspiration even in small and simple things.
OCA: How do you generally feel about art in the countries of Eurasia?
AS: Speaking generally about the art of the Eurasian countries is definitely interesting to me. Their way of thinking is completely different from ours and the ability to look at what is happening on the other side; try to understand the people around you.