02 Sep HOW I BECAME AN ARTIST, PART 2
QUESTION: You paint with a method called Vedic Art, can you tell us about your meeting with this method and how it has influenced you as an artist?
ANSWER: When I was a child I loved painting and drawing, and just like most kids I was enjoying a great freedom in my creative expression in all kinds of ways. I was never bothered about things needing to look a certain way or that certain things where right and others where not. There was just joy and playfulness and there was no stopping me exploring and discovering things about myself and about life as I lost track of time making art.
Unfortunately this freedom gradually disappeared. I have a clear memory of being maybe 10 years old painting wooden jewelry at the after school centre, and when adding all kinds of colors to my leaf I was told that blue was not a realistic color on an autumn leaf. Bit by bit I learned to only appreciate things that looked a certain way and that where right and often realistic, and quite naturally I started to have the expectations of my own creativity that only depicting what was around me to a perfect standard was good enough. I was not naturally good at translating what I saw around me onto paper, as some are, and so, as you can imagine a lot of my joy for painting went out of the window.
My passion for creative expression would not die so easily, though, and I went on to study art at many levels and in many schools. I was looking for the keys to that would bring back that joy and playfulness to making art. I would find it here and there, but never in a way that would help me understand how it came to be there in the first place and how I could have constant access to this place.
The pressure of achievement that I so skillfully put on myself through my belief in needing to DO in order to we worthy of anything in life brought me further and further away from the simple joy of BEING. Stress, tension and anxiety overpowered me to the extent that I one day I woke up and found myself on sick leave from my studies for burn out and depression. It took me over 2 years to get well and in this time it was necessary to ask all the existential questions about what life was all about.
In this space of being very lost as a person, I was given the gift of the Vedic Art paining method from a wise woman. The moment I started my first of the 17 Principles of art and life, I knew that this was what I had been looking for, this was the path back to my creative joy, my playfulness and exploration far beyond intellectual concepts and notions of right and wrong.
I have now been painting, teaching and living with Vedic Art for about 10 years and thanks to this fantastic approach to painting, I have developed my own artistic style that allows me to inspire people and exhibit my work in many different countries. I have arrived at a visual language that could never have been gotten to had I thought my way in to it. It is the result of hard work, joy, relentless exploration, play, endless mistakes and accidents, suborn persistence (bordering on obsession), vulnerability and a huge dosage of curiosity and courage to meeting what happens right there on the canvas, without preconceived ideas, as openly as I can.
I guess you could say that Vedic Art is the key to “rediscovering” the creativity that I always knew was there, but I did not knew how I would reach it being an adult. It is the base through which I had the courage to find my own expression, and as a teacher, it is a gift to be able to give Vedic Art to all those who still feel creatively oppressed, and are longing for freedom in their creativity.
You can read more about Ania and the Vedic Art courses on www.aniawitwitzka.com