R: Hi Anna! Thank you for granting us at ZenART this interview for our ZenARTist Series. For this particular series, we will be interviewing different artists from all over the world to feature them and their works (mostly talking to them about their respective art practices, tips, and pieces of advice). We are so happy to have you with us on board!
A: – Oh, it’s a big honour for me. I am thrilled about being here, and I will answer your questions with pleasure.
R: First things first! How long have you been painting, and how did you get into it?
A: – I have been painting since my childhood. I remember how I used to paint everything that surrounded me, and I never missed an opportunity to create something beautiful. Consciously and thoughtfully, I started to paint three years ago. Before fulfilling my dream as a watercolor artist and illustrator, I have been working as a graphic designer. It was quite creative work, but I wanted something else — something that will give me more freedom and creativity. So I left my job and entirely dedicated myself to painting. I had to overcome many obstacles, failed attempts, and put in so much hard work. Fortunately, my family supported me all the way. Now I cannot imagine my life without painting.
R: About your preferred medium – Did you always work with watercolours?
A: – Currently, I like working with watercolour, even though this is one of the most difficult (but magical!) media. When I was a child, I worked with gouache more often. Now, I want to explore more materials such as acrylic, gouache, and coloured pencils. Sometimes I experiment with these media, but I think watercolour will forever remain in my heart as my most favourite material.
One of Anna’s most recent works , 2018.
R: Your subject matters all look friendly and cute, but you execute them in a very precise and skillful manner! How do you decide the subjects of your paintings? What techniques do you keep in mind when working with watercolours?
A: – Thanks 🙂 I choose subjects in different ways. Sometimes it is just something that comes from the heart. Or often I decide what subject to paint while walking. I see something in a shop window or a park… In general, it is always very unpredictable and depends on my mood. Usually, I keep an idea in my head for weeks, and then I paint it. But, whatever I paint, I try to make a pretty picture and create a contrast in it. It is essential. There are no specific techniques. I always experiment, and in the flow, I can change the original concept. Probably the most important thing for me is that the topic and techniques that I choose resonate with me and my soul. Yes, I think this is the most important thing.
R: We saw that you use ZenART watercolour brushes in most of your paintings! What was your first impression on the ZenART brushes?
A: – Yes, I love to paint with these brushes. They are not only comfortable and of high quality, but they are also very stylish 🙂 I like to paint with different types of brushes and experiment with them. When I first tried the tassels, I thought that they were so good, it was such a joy to use them.
Anna’s work made using ZenART Supplies watercolour brushes from the Turner Collection, 2018.
R: Aside from being an artist, you also hold numerous workshops all over London. How has this experience been for you so far?
A: – Oh, this is the best experience I can imagine! I love teaching workshops. It always provides great communication with interesting people and a sharing of experiences. Offline events give me so much energy and emotion. I love sharing my skills and knowledge with other people. It’s big joy and can’t be compared with online learning, although online education also has its undeniable advantages.
Anna Koliadych and her students during one of her workshops, 2018.
R: Let’s get into the more non-technical side of art. Given that you also hold classes for artists and aspiring artists, what was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your practice in art?
A: – Substantially I work with newbies in watercolour painting. Probably the biggest hurdle is killing the quest to perfection. In my practice, everyone wants to paint a perfect painting the first time. But in fact, allowing yourself to make mistakes is a very important and necessary process. It gives you the opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Making mistakes is normal, and everyone paints a different way. I teach my students to accept their personal process and allow themselves to create.
Anna on instagram: “Hello. Here is a small tutorial of how to paint a cute owl 🦉☺️. I did it in my style as usual and used a white gouache for details. Also, I’ve used watercolor brushes from @zenartsupplies. They are super cool ❤️😍. I didn’t try them all, just a few round brushes in different sizes. I’m going to work with all types of these wonderful brushes and will share with you all tips and skills I will get. Maybe on youtube will better to show them? What do you think?🤔 Would you like to see reviews of different brand materials? Have a lovely day 😘”.
R: Mindfulness through art is something that ZenART is striving to impart to its community. We believe that art in itself contribute to a person’s overall consciousness and mindfulness. Did you experience the same thing in your journey with painting?
A: – Thank you very much for this question. Of course, art and creativity have healing abilities. Painting helps me get to know my inner-self and express my feelings more. This blessing is, in fact, available to everyone. Since I started painting, I began seeing the world differently — everything around me – colours, shapes, light. Each and every detail around me became exciting and vital. For me, this is the most potent source of inspiration. A walk in the forest or even just the park can be a fantastic journey. The longer I paint, the more mindful I become.
R: Here’s our last and parting question, but certainly not the least. What advice can you give those who want to pursue a career as a watercolour artist?
A: The advice I often give is to just paint as often as possible and never stop. Everything needed for growing in your creative path will come in the process. This will not be a perfect path, but if you keep painting, you will eventually get there. Always listen to what your heart tells you.
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Anna! So what about you? Did you know Anna before reading this interview? If you have any questions to ask her or just want to share your journey as a watercolour artist, just leave a comment down below. We’d love to hear from you!
Anna Koliadych is an illustrator and watercolor enthusiast. DearAnnArt is her personal brand that she founded to represent her creative way, her vision and artworks. Her mission is to show that everyone can paint without obtaining a degree in Art. Currently, she is based in London. She is vegetarian, she loves kids, animals and she does yoga.