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Artist of the Week — Hristina Tarpanova

July 22, 2013 by · 2 comments

Teodora Atanasova Talks with Artist Hristina Tarpanova

Translated from the Bulgarian by Teodora Atanasova

Kristina Tarpanova

Please, introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Hristina Tarpanova and I’m nineteen years old. I was born in Kazanlak but I’ve been living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland for a year now. I study architecture and this quickly became the biggest passion in my life. Before I became part of this world consisting of sleepless nights projects and model making, my main activity was drawing.

Knowing that you’re able to turn into reality everything you have in mind by simply making a few lines with a pencil, is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. My whole life was devoted to creating images but then this wasn’t enough and I felt that my characters needed words too.

I’ve always been interested in literature. Books have been my passion ever since I was little. I started writing stories with bizarre characters and extraordinary plot twists and this helps me understand myself better and allows me to explore the limits of my imagination.


What is the purpose of your art?

I really want to make it sound more important than it is but the truth is that I think the main purpose of my art is to satisfy my own need to create. However I still want to think that my art has touched some of the people that are familiar with it at least for a moment.


What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people’s true self.

What is it that you count on – the hidden subtext or the clear message?

I rely on the personal interpretation. Sometimes the idea that the artist had is understood in a totally different way by the public. In my opinion art’s main purpose is to stimulate the imagination, art is not about giving definite answers.


Which way would be easier for you to reach out to people – with your paintings or with your stories?

Luckily I don’t have to choose. I had to present quite a few architectural projects this year and what I’ve noticed is that the well-chosen words and appropriate images really make conveying the idea easier. I think that without even knowing it, I’ve chosen a career that combines all aspects of art that fascinate me.


Which artists and their works have influenced you the most?

They are too many and too different when it comes to their art. I think that recently a lot of my work has been influenced by Anton Corbin’s photosesions with music artists such as Depeche mode, U2 and PJ Harvey. The artists that I mentioned themselves have left a mark in my art.

When it comes to writing, I think that I’ve always been influenced by authors such as Stephan King, Neil Gaiman and Tarry Pratchett.


What does art give and take from you?

I think that a lot of people entered my life because of art but there are a lot of people who left my life for the same reason.

Which people and places fill you with creativity?

The last time when I felt really inspired was during a lecture about bricks. Sometimes strange things inspire you. We were all in this very small room at the university and the lecturer was talking so passionately about something so simple like a building material that each and everyone of the students in the lecture room was sucked into his excitement. I think this is my biggest inspiration – people who talk passionately about their work. It’s just contagious and it inevitably makes you be just as passionate about something.


Can art be considered a hobby?

This might be the only right way of thinking about art. During my first university year I had the opportunity to meet a lot of artists and what made a strong impression on me was that although they were stunningly professional when it came to their work, they weren’t making a big deal out of it and talked about it passionately as if they were talking about a hobby. This way they are able to perceive art as something that brings joy to their life rather than just a financial source.

Why did you choose architecture?

Architecture used to scare me a lot mainly because I was misled about the main focus of this subject. Luckily a friend of mine who sties architecture at the same university as I do now, convinced me that this might just be the right thing for me. I think this is the biggest favour anyone has ever done for me because now I’m absolutely in love with what I’m studying.
Thank you, Alexander!


Which painting techniques do you prefer?

I used to love drawing graphics but right now I’m more into mixing different colours and materials. I’m trying to use techniques I’ve never used before.


Can you tell us more about your dreams and the goals you have set for yourself?

Talking about my dreams usually makes me laugh. My dreams are too chaotic. I want to write a book or a movie script, I want to make an exhibition and then design a building… You get the idea, just anything that has something to do with art can be considered my dream.


Do you think that there is a place in Bulgaria for young artists like you and would you consider coming back here?

I think that the very existence of articles like this proves that there is place for young talented people everywhere all over the world including Bulgaria. When people are determined to create art, the social reality isn’t really something that bothers them.

As far as I’m concerned, I like travelling and being away from everything I know just for now. I can’t really let myself think about going back to Bulgaria for a long period of time before I graduate. This will happen in six years. That’s a lot of time and a lot of things can make me want to go back home then.

Would you give any advice to the young talented people who want to engage with art?

They should always be open to criticism. No matter how hurtful it is sometimes to hear, it can help more than all the praise that an artist can be told in a lifetime. Not everyone’s opinion deserves to be taken into account but sometimes some critics can inspire and aid the development of future art work.

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