Firstly, tell us about yourself! Where do you live, what sort of art do you make and how many children do you have?
My name is Olga Krasanova and I am an artist and printmaker; originally from Siberia, but now I live and work from my studio in Dunfermline, Scotland. I have been a member of Dunfermline Printmakers Workshop since 2013. Before that I graduated from Central Saint Martins, University of Arts and Design London with Ba (Hons) Graphic Design & Photography in 2011.
My work has been described as a conceptual figurative abstract quirkiness. I combine narratives and visuals in one piece hoping that the viewer would obtain more from the picture rather than just to give a pretty image. And, of course, I find inspiration in everyday life, human relationships and my own experiences. Specially now when I have one little beautiful daughter Daniela, nearly two years old.
How do you continue to engage with your art practice alongside raising children? Do you have a dedicated studio space and routine, or do you work from home in between other things?
When Daniela was a wee baby any creative work was done, or at least started in the late evening in the next room. However just after she was one year old I found a wonderful childminder and that was a game changer. I got time for my work. Needless to say this is the best motivation I’ve ever known.
What does a typical day look like for you and how much time do you manage to carve out for your own work?
I’ll describe my best scenario day because they’re the same. It’s the day when I have the childminder. And we both like it because of a perfect routine. So in the morning when Daniela wakes up I dress her and in a minute she climbs in her pram patiently waiting for me to get ready to leave the house. She has her breakfast and lunch at the childminder’s and I am off to the workshop. Around 3 or 4 I pick her and we go back. This is 2 or 3 days a week depends how busy I am. For the rest days, drawing together helps to come up with new ideas or sometimes I use her naps for a quick email writing.
Have you come up against specific challenges as an artist and mother? What were they and how have you navigated these challenges?
I think the big challenge despite limited time and space it’s when I become so tired and empty inside. So I can't draw or make things. I guess that’s when I need to change something my life, maybe to go on a little vacation for a day to the next town with my toddler. I don’t have a perfect recipe it is what it is I can’t fight it, I let it go.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Mm not sure, perhaps to take care of myself, eat well, walk lots. The latter, I came up with.
Who are your role models? Who or what inspires and encourages you?
My huge role model is my grandmother Elizaveta. For her never-give-up spirit despite many devastating challenges and hard working attitude. It fascinates me that she could make dresses for her whole family in the 30s in Stalin’s Russia, or make wine from fruits and more. They are endless things she could make but she could make them all in a harsh environment and that is incredible!
How has the experience of motherhood impacted your practice on an emotional/intellectual level? Has it made you view yourself/your work differently? Are there things that influence your work now that you didn't think about pre-kids?
The experience of motherhood brought up the subject for my work since I like making from my life observation. But one thing definitely changed my view it’s my breast. Nothing really prepared me for being a first-time Mum and the profound change it has had on me and my body image, before becoming a mother I worried about how I looked. Was I the right shape and size, was I attractive enough? I now realise none of that matters. My body is now a bed, a soothing space, a safe space and a source of food.
If your child(ren) were asked “Tell me about your mother” what do you hope they would say? Are there particular things you are trying to show/teach them as an artist, a mother, a woman?
I hope she will say that I’m an awesome mum, just kidding. All I want to show her is that loving her own image it’s important, as much as believing in her self.
What drives you to continue to create work?
I’m not quite sure, as soon as I have an image in my mind, I start wondering what if I make it in linocut and so then I think about the process. I guess my life and experiences drive me to continue to create work.
Anything else you would like to add?
As they say don’t create expectations create experiences, right?!