Meet the on-line Artist // Sallia Brand
Sallia (Sofiia Kozeniuk) is a contemporary Ukrainian artist who combines the possibilities of digital technology with fine arts outlines. She researches ways of communicating emotions and transitional feelings through sensitive portraits in digital painting. Her art reveals personality traits without limitations and navigates both suppressed and exposed aspects of psyque.
Who are you?
I am Salliа (Sofiia Kozeniuk), a Ukrainian artist born in 1997 in Konstantinovka, Donetsk region. After the start of the war in 2014, I lived in Kyiv and Lviv from 2015 to 2022, where I studied psychology degree from Shamoyan Institute and Restoration Fine Arts at Lviv National Academy of Arts in 2019. Currently, I’m based in the United States.
How did you start your interest in arts and creation?
Interestingly, my artistic journey began at the age of 10 when I enrolled in an art school. Enthusiastically, I immersed myself in the world of creativity until the age of 17. Taking the entrance exam felt like stepping into a magical realm, akin to entering Hogwarts. I vividly remember painting an entire story with gouache, featuring raccoons, and being enchanted by the fairy tale unfolding in my mind. It felt like real magic as I realized that ideas could come to life in this world, sparking my deep appreciation for the enchantment of storytelling through art.
How would you describe your artistic practice?
In my artistic practice, alongside the use of digital technologies, I strive to preserve the spirit of fine arts. Therefore, I employ traditional drawing techniques, as if I were painting on canvas, but I work with digital painting. Typically, it involves a female figure assembled from fragments, resembling a mosaic in deep shades or shadows. By employing a fragmentary technique, I allow the portraits to subtly change, exploring vulnerability and the unexplored. My goal is to create deconstructed, illusory images aimed at full acceptance by the viewer.
What is your methodology or process for creating a new project?
When I sit down in front of my blank digital canvas, I embark on a contemplative journey. I ponder the tone or question I want to witness, becoming an observer of a process that unfolds seemingly without my direct influence. At this moment, I see myself merely as an instrument. I start by laying down strokes of color, attempting to convey the desired emotional state.
As I engage in this process, usually the figure of a girl naturally emerges. Perhaps it’s easier for me to convey something through the familiar. I strive to give her the right movement and expression to solidify the emotional ambiance in the painting. However, when I delve into the creation of details, the initial atmosphere often dissipates. In response, I begin to dissect the image into small pieces, copying and pasting them repeatedly creating a digital collage of their own image, a game of reflections. This technique serves to seamlessly integrate the figure into the space, turning it into a metaphor and association.
I devote significant time to finding the balance between chaos and precision in my work, aiming to convey the image cohesively. During this process, I prefer not to listen to music and being open to the emotions expresion. Words seem to generate naturally, and I write them in the description beneath the painting. So the exploration comes to its conclusion, leaving behind a logical trace that sometimes even surprises me.
What have you decided to focus on in your current project at GlogauAIR? What does this project mean to you?
At GlogauAIR, I continue to delve into vulnerability and sincerity, drawing from personal experiences and the sense of cultural estrangement. This project is an extension of my artistic journey, preserving critical states and facilitating the further expression of sincerity through visual representation. I’ve created a series where fundamental suppressed states rupture and come to the surface, hoping that everyone can resonate with and embrace these emotions.
Have you ever faced moments of doubt or creative block? How have you overcome them?
Certainly, creative blocks are inevitable. When faced with doubt, I step back, revisit my experiences, and often find inspiration in unexpected places. It’s about embracing the flow of creativity.
Digital images are characterised by their ability to be reproduced and disseminated infinitely. How do you believe this feature influences the nature of your work and the viewer’s experience?
For me, the digital format is not just a technical characteristic; it’s a bridge connecting my inner world with the audience. It represents the freedom to experiment, a chance to share not only images but also personal perception. The limitless reproduction allows my art not only to exist in different places simultaneously but also to engage with viewers on a deeper level. Imagine each piece as a conversation, and the digital format allows this dialogue to be endless.
Lastly, can you give us a sneak peek into some future projects you are currently working on?
In my upcoming project, my goal is to create a visual narrative that provokes contemplation about the lost connection with nature and the freedom of self-expression we might experience if we lived closer to nature.. How would our facial features and figure transform if we were less afraid to express our primal essence? Through a series of digital paintings, I will build a world where wild nature and feminine essence become an inspiring exploration.