Sarah Svetlana at TAG Gallery

Process, I guess we talked about that, most of my work are I like mark making, and most of my work is based based on the actual process itself, I like the
process is just as important as the final result.
I like the step by step kind of translates like into my life where I
have to kind of like step back and let my pieces talk to me, and yeah absolutely
I started with this entire body work has been on raw canvas. I chose raw canvas
for this particular show because the entire subject was “mama” and this
search for home, and not really knowing what home is and kind of what you
thought with home really wasn’t and then kind of having to build your own
foundation. I started them (paintings) raw and started them on the ground and I started them wet and walking on them barefoot sometimes my boots we still see
boot marks on them but some of them I kind of really loved that I could pick
up the topography underneath and it’s almost like I’m it’s almost decided it’s
like a mark of like I was here this is the ground underneath it and it’s always
going to be on paintings it’s always going to be underneath whatever marks
that I put over it so I think that was originally why I started wanting to work with
raw canvas for this particular show and then after I like you know there’s
always the steps of it starts off on the ground and then it dries clipped up, and
then it goes back on the ground and back and forth back and forth until it
tells me it’s done. The smaller pieces I have on this wall are all, I want to say,
sketches, for my bigger pieces I like to work out my marks my marks can’t be
an intentional I almost have to it’s telling Karen I had to close my eyes
sometimes before I put my mark down like I know what mark I want like if I want
like a square shape I can’t look at it and make a square because it’s going to
be way too intentional I love the I like even like with the colors I use like
sometimes I want a white but there will still be green on that brush and I’m
totally okay with that I love those accidents because I think it’s I don’t
think anything is an accident I think it’s just supposed to be the way it is
and I love the way it dries and it’s always a surprise to me like if I have a
clear idea what I want to do it never turns out well, like I only had the only
clear idea has to be one step ahead and that’s it. Like that moment and I think I
like um I think that’s it really good just like it’s like I said translated
into my actual life, or it’s having a rough outline in life in general is
better than holding on to ideas like concrete, and having like way too high of
expectations and then being really disappointed what doesn’t go that way. I
think it’s just like I think it’s a good one I just you know it’s a good way to
live, there’s kind of like okay like I like that it’s but I’m okay with it goes
a little bit differently and and that’s also why I like using different mediums
I don’t just stick with acrylic, I use literally anything that’s around me that
I feel, like if I’m like in a zone and I just like grab a pen that’s near me and
that’s what I’m using because that’s what it’s supposed to be, you know like
and if I think about it too much then they you know goodness okay guys it’s goes bullshit, so um pardon my french but yeah like probably a
week before I stretch these because I they’re not stretched when I’m working on
them, before I touch them I decided that I’m going to throw them all away
and I was starting over I didn’t tell Karen because I was like I hate them all cause like I just you know I think I think that is kind of like definition of
like that means it so it’s going well is that you have to be on that roller
coaster and you have to at some point hate your work because you’re so
involved in it and you’re so your heart and your soul is everything that means
okay like that’s okay and then like you step back put them away for a while and
then I’m okay again but yeah it was definitely like a book, this was
like a big up body work you know it wasn’t just like one individual at piece at a
time I was working on them all at the same time, so it’s been like it’s been a
journey and it’s really awesome that people get to like see it at the end of
it because it doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s fun to see other
people’s reactions because I didn’t want anyone really to see too much of it so
you never know but like it’s interesting to see like that because I don’t know if
what I’m feeling doesn’t mean it’s gonna translate exactly to the
person viewing it but it’s really awesome to see when I actually get that
reaction like people are connecting with it and I’m like, yes like that’s what I
want I think as with any human wants it’s like that connection you know. This
is Sara’s first solo show and before that she and she’s been selling her
works through galleries but she’s never had the opportunity just put a show
together for you know I think my career is kind of kind of
backwards, no, that’s just the way it is, all right it was kind of
like my, it’s a good way, all right, I got galleries attention
before I had a lot of work and they kind of like we want these kinds of works can
you create them, so I was working for like you know I was creating for other
people, so I never even though they liked my, you know my work, it
was still like I still have them in my studio, I’d still have them in my head, so
this was the first time I was able to create a body work that nobody else was
in the studio with me, except my mom in my head, because she’s not alive anymore,
but like um you know she was in there with me, but this was like a really cool
opportunity to do that, so and I’m just a little bit different I never used raw
canvas before this, so I was taking a chance I don’t know, I don’t know what
I’m doing half the time but I think like the the formula is just to keep doing it,
like whatever it is like it doesn’t have to painting but Do you have music playing too? Do you need music playing or do you need silence? both sometimes I’ll have like my noise canceling headphones on
most the time and sometimes I won’t realize that the music had stopped like
I don’t know how long ago, but a lot of times I’ll just do my work most of
the time I’m working is me staring at a mark on the wall or on the canvas for
about 45 minutes to three hours. There’s a lot of staring and I think I’m really
fortunate I found a career that is okay to do, that has not been okay to
do with my last jobs staring like that, like you know because I focus on
marks that have been already forgotten I think I like that idea, I like
little corners of things I like drips that like have been there over of a time
I like to like you know the paint has been chipped and because of time not
because somebody did it, so I’d like that it’s been great that I’ve been able to
do that in this world but like you know when I was a writer I was copy writer,
and that just did not work which is why I kind of got laid off, so I mean I’ve never
been able to like contain like I’ve always been really good at whatever I
try but I can’t contain it because like I think my mind is just not wired to be
in real world and I don’t have a choice doing this like I
have to do this, like there’s no like okay you want to wake up and I have to
paint today, no it’s like I have to go to sleep because I’ve been painting
for like 12 hours straight, so yeah I’ve Do you more than one at a time? Yeah, I’ve been working at multiple at a time because if I keep working on one then I’m thinking about it, and then that’s when I
screw it up because that’s because you’re not like you want it to be because you
want like you want to finish it in your mind you like I want this to be done
like I’ve seen a mark right there and it’s like then you keep doing thinking
and keep putting marks like you know like I needed to walk away like an hour
ago so, I think like letting things breathe has been a really important
lesson to me so working on multiple things at the same time is a really good
way to do that, that way you can walk away and then focus your attention on
either one, it also kind of like makes you see things differently when you come
back because you know they’ll be on the ground sometimes and I’ll turn it upside
down, I turn these at least like I don’t know hundreds of times, throughout
the process and then I’ll figure out what the front, what’s good so they know
which ways up later so she she basically trusts her internal movements more than she does, hundred-percent I have never been able to trust my brain, than what she’s seeing, but I can always trust my gut like I’ve always liked I’ve struggled with my mental like health my
whole life and just kind of think think anxiety depression runs in my
family but also just the things I’ve been through kind of help it, so like a
you know like when you have anxiety when you have depression when you’re in
survival mode you can’t think clearly and so I’ve been able to like learn to trust
my gut and it’s never been wrong like ever and
like sometimes I don’t trust my gut and think oh right, my mind floods because
you overthink it like just okay that first initial reaction is the right one,
it’s probably why I’m still alive today this thing you know I’ve been able to
like trust that and you know it’s difficult for me to like know would what
normal people are supposed to do through out the day so I’m to actually think about these things but You realize there’s nothing normal about any body right yeah I think I mean right I think
everybody has this everybody’s weird in the own way and not normal
everyone thinks they’re like they’re not normal one, except for me, right, except for Aunt Jill, I think because
I’m getting it out in my art and art is my therapy I’m able to function better
in society and I’m able to like, okay today is laundry day I’m gonna do my, I
have a kid so you know like I actually make sure she’s alive and not like not
just alive, I don’t want her to need too much therapy later on, I mean like she’s being
raised by an artist that I’m like like to her this doesn’t faze her at all, I
think it’d be weirder for her right now if I was an accountant you know,
she’s pretty into it, yeah You talk about mama, right, and going back and trying to retrace something, but also
that dialogue about talking about not looking too far ahead and one step
you know taking one step in front of one step at a time like that’s like
just like an interesting like just concept to me, yeah that together that how
they correlate with that is when my mom was sick I was her main caregiver and
everything but she’s I mean she was it gets you don’t like when someone’s sick
if someone’s dying and someone in hospice if you come and visit and then
you get to go back to your life, this was not this was my life, and I was a single
mom at the time I had like a two-year-old and my mom had in-home hospice in my
apartment, so it was it was at that time and she was like my everything, she was
like the matriarch of the family so she was my home she was my stability, she was the comfort, so I think at that moment that those times that she was in hospice
for a year which was way too long to like die, like it should not be that long
it’s horrible, that’s when I realized like you can’t have these plans, like
my comfort and my security blanket was gone and I had to find on my own I had
to figure out what that meant I think that’s probably when I started painting
because I didn’t have anything to lose at that point is if there was no more
comfort zone, so I was only able to a step ahead, like because I never
thought like you know when I was in my twenties that my I was gonna like not
have my mom there, I was you know it’s me single mom again that was never like the
thing in my head it was gonna be normal I was gonna have like, marrying, that kid
my mom was gonna raise and help me right you know the whole thing, so I think like
having like that it’s comforting to know that they have to have comfort, in some
way, does that make any sense it’s just kind of like okay I’m okay with it’s
like don’t like the with the root of all suffering and attachment, and just to
become okay with the impermanence of it all and it’s not gonna last, and it’s
scary and it took me a long time to get here, but I think just being okay with a
rough outline and be okay with just what’s in front of me being in that
moment it’s is comforting enough to me and I think that’s kind of been like the
healing process of this whole show aunt mama, is that I’ve been able to like just
trust my instinct and just kind of like it’s not probably I’m gonna turn out
exactly how I thought in my head but it’s gonna be okay
you know personally die and then come back in, and said you know that means I
don’t want everyone to have to go through all the horrible pain in your
life to have to like you know reach this Epiphany, but sometimes like and that’s
how I see it now like every challenge in my life, like nothing really bothers me
anymore but like you know it’s it’s every challenge is really a growing and
learning experience, and I hate how cliche that sounds but like it really is
it’s just like it’s about being uncomfortable it is growing like you
have to be uncomfortable it has to hurt has to be feel weird and and sometimes
the universe does and if you don’t listen
look the universe will put something important you know like continue like
pushing these obstacles in front of you until you’re like hey, this is what we’re
trying to tell you so I don’t know what’s gonna happen you know I always
think you know it all but I’m only 34 I don’t know what’s happening, so but like
I was gonna keep keep doing what feels natural to me and I think that’s like what
anyone should be doing is just kind of living their own truth, whatever that is
I think that finding it is like is the hard part I guess you

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