This week, we feature an aspiring Jewellery Artist (Singapore) Liubov Salagaeva, who shares her insight into contemporary jewellery Singapore, as well as her career journey thus far.
Tell us more about yourself please.
My name is Liubov Salagaeva. Friends call me Liu. I am 32 and recently moved from Moldova to Singapore, changing my career pathway from illustration to fashion design.
You mentioned that you have over 10 years of experience in art, what made you stay for so long? Do you think that you’ll ever lose passion in art?
There is a joke in my family, we say: «A spell-caster cannot stop spell-casting». Nobody is safe from completely losing their pathway from time to time, but in more than a decade of wandering, I learned that we shouldn’t get attached to our titles and achievements behind them.
I am sure that every Merlin may find himself brooming the castle from time to time, but it doesn’t mean he is a cleaner.
I was too attached, and it caused me to lose my passion for more than 15 years. This is why I went through photography, filming and even obtained a diploma in hairstyling, trying to feel passionate again.
It took me five years to just accept that my art career was finished. And as further away I moved, as flexible my role shift shaped, allowing me to turn passion into a melody that I whistle while building my reality.
There is no more goal to «stay long» or «remain passionate» in this context. It just comes and goes while you are living your life and establishing relationships.
Passion – is a cherry, and it needs a cake first.
What made you want to practice art? We noticed that most of your works revolve around illustration, can we inquire about how you started on this journey? Why this style in particular?
Initially, there was no goal. As a mature artist, looking at the doodles I made at the age of two, I see confidence in lines and a lot of emotions there. But I drew because I was bored, and my hands really needed to be constantly busy.
One day in 2004, I was looking at a comic spread. I noticed how beautiful is the dress and the girl drawn there and – first in my life, – I realized that I could LEARN to do the same! My life drastically changed since then, and I turned into a self-taught professional artist soon after.
You mentioned that you’re keen in making Contemporary Jewellery, what is your inspiration behind these creations?
As an illustrator, I used to rely on a character. Technically, we understand people’s feelings by observing their pose, moving manner, and a facial expression makes the biggest change: you can lay in one same pose, but either smiling with a pleasure, or staring blank – the impact is different!
My feeling is a reference to what my character is trying to tell. And I alter the drawing until I believe him/her as we believe an actor on a screen. Colors and environment are chosen in the same way. So, I usually do not know what I will draw unless I complete an artwork.
Jewelry has no facial expressions to bring a wide range of meanings to the rest of its silhouette. But there are lines and colors, which I love!
My favourite part in fashion jewellery is just «pouring» beads around – I literally use them as paints. I place them near to see how colours go along together.
Textures and shapes help to add dynamics and mood. And at a certain point, I realised that the process is the same: «My feeling is a reference of what my character is trying to tell…» 🙂
What are your favourite designs/pieces? How long did you take to complete those pieces?
I have been drawing one picture for 2 days in a row, skipping food and sleep until I finish, so focused I was. But a fully rendered image may take from 10 to 30 hours. Sometimes I make a lot of weird mistakes and waste time correcting them! Sometimes – it just flows.
As for my favorites… I have many of them among old and new images since I do not support the idea of «becoming better». So… let it be «A Falling Snowflake». It was July of 2009.
I felt very warm and cozy, listening to Dido’s «Quite Times» while drawing. And anytime I look at this image – I recall the feeling in my body which I had that day.
What’s your plan for the future? Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
I will do my best to settle in Singapore for good. Art-wise, I definitely want to give up on marketing mindset and just do whatever comes my way, without thinking if my art is going to feed me or not. I mean, I really want to care about what I feel only, whatever is the price.
Do you have other mediums that you’d like to explore?
I spent the last three years intensively mastering a massive set of fashion and jewelry-related skills, studying in two schools simultaneously. I even learned to speak Chinese a bit. Right now, my brain begs me to stop, haha! But I haven’t yet shown off my talents in game design and animation properly, and my eye still lay on the book about interior design.
What are your quirks? Tell us the whackiest ideas you’ve had?
Well, I cannot share the goal of life, which is the wackiest of all I have, but I am the person who once googled an instruction on «how to whistle like a cricket» and spent a night practicing it.