Experiencing San Francisco Bay Area

My experience in the Bay Area so far is such a thrill! I live in an artist co-op neighborhood and here I met artists and saw their studios and art. It is such an inspiration to see artists who live off their own creations and have so many stories to share. Local artist Louise Stanley showed me her sketchbooks and her Greco-Roman inspired paintings giving me a special insight into her creative workflow and personal thoughts. Her studio apartment is filled with her and her father’s amazing art, I felt so privileged to see it all up close with all the details explained to me.

 

 

I started to meet members of the queer community as well and their creativity gave me another hit of inspiration. I got to peek inside the workroom of an amazing drag queen named Jader Vision and see him transform. I felt so welcome, as if I lived here and knew him for a long time. I knew I had to experience queer nightlife while I’m here, so I designed and put together a costume and went out to be a part of a queer outing presenting San Francisco my artistry. There I met more people who belong to this community and I very much enjoyed the diversity of creative expressions. If I had more time here, I would definitely work with all these wonderful and talented people.

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Jader’s energy and creativity inspired me to create a watercolor painting of a queen in their workspace where transformations occur. I felt how safe and sacred this place is to him, same as my workspace is to me back home. It made me wonder about how artists create a magical place where all of their thoughts and emotions can surface and be a part of a piece, costume or a performance. This moment of intimacy and losing one’s identity and taking up on another always fascinated me. Probably that is one of the main reasons why I started to create this kind of artwork.

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I had many questions about people’s experiences here regarding being queer and having their voices heard. I wanted to know what is like to live here and be free to create art that represents one’s true artistic identity. But I wasn’t the only one with questions. Talking a lot about my experiences back home, I wished to create a costume and a photo which can represent what inspires me from my own culture. I love myths and ancient stories, and often times I compare queer community to witches because of a similar suppression by the patriarch dominance. I went back to the ancient Slavic stories and created a costume of a pagan witch. Queer scene of San Francisco is well known for it’s liberated, freaky and wild creativity, so I took that energy and expressed my idea in a very horrific but aesthetically pleasing way.

 

 

Relax time is perfect here, I took long hikes alone and with friends and discovered beauties of San Francisco. I felt it was a nice balance between wild nightlife and peaceful activities in nature open for everyone to enjoy.

 

 

 

My stay here is rather short to create art in a way that I am used to, but time spent here will for sure remain an everlasting source of inspiration. Leaving here will be bittersweet. I just got to know everyone and I want to work with such free and creative artists, but at the same time I know I have a part of their creative energy with me when I leave. This is a place I will for sure want to come back to and create art with all these talented people here.

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