Maya is a girl from a large industrial city who took art as therapy for herself. Tired of formulas and equations, she chose the path as an artist. Maya also loves to write stories, articles, and notes to inspire others with her story and experience.
Ana:First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.
Maya, How did you get your start as a writer and a watercolor artist?
Firstly, I started to draw a long time ago. The drawing was really art therapy for me. It was a way to get away from negative thoughts and find harmony in myself. At that time, my husband was seriously ill and bedridden for several months in a row. He always did illustrations, and I was trying to make him feel better. I went to the shop and bought some acrylic paints. Coming home, we began to draw. So we got our first happiness at that time.
Moreover, paintings of superheroes and landscapes helped him recover, and I could see the power of art therapy. So for the first time, I felt my desire to be an artist. I started painting with watercolors almost recently. I always wanted to try it, but I never had the courage. I picked up a brush and paint, and I could not be stopped. Now I like to paint in a loose style and monochromatic works, galaxies and space, the night sky and cute leaves and flowers. All this gives the transparency of paint and the unique properties of watercolors that I have been looking for so long. Each painting is my mood and part of my story. Memories and feelings are reflected in my paintings. Each of them is unique and charged with a positive mood and joyful thoughts.
How did I start writing? I often ask myself this question, but I should always be honest. My husband wrote poems and short stories to me. I was always inspired by them and wrote something of my own, small and full of feelings. So I had a great interest in literature and creativity. Then I wrote articles and share my personal experience with other people on social networks and a blog. This was my greatest experience. Now I’m writing quotes and articles, creating designs for them. This experience makes me the happiest girl in the world.
Ana: And how do you combine writing with being a watercolor artist?
Certainly, I take my ideas mainly from my life. That’s everything that surrounds me or is inside me. Also, ideas can be what I see in other people or what is happening just outside my window.
My message is you never need to give up, you need to fight your fears and laziness, be positive in any circumstances. In the simplest things, we can find inspiration for something new and unique. And live a happy life full of bright events and joy.
Ana:What 3 adjectives describe your art and writing style and why?
Inspirational, supportive and educational. I always try to support people and inspire them to new discoveries and opportunities. I like to share my experience and knowledge with them, and show with my own examples of what solutions or opportunities exist in different situations. I like to write articles and analyze different aspects of life in them and give my support to other people. I’m still working on motivating and inspiring quotes, texts and illustrations. They can help to understand all the internal abilities of each person and his full potential.
Ana:What is most challenging about what you do?
The hardest part is overcoming my own fears and limitations. Sometimes it’s even difficult for me to evaluate my own works and see their true value. For example, when I worked with mountain landscapes, it was difficult to overcome fears and make the first movement with a brush. But after several works, I welled understand their forms. Everything in our life begins with the first step and continues with practice to achieve the best possible results.
Ana:How do you define beauty in 280 characters or less?
Beauty is an abstract understanding that doesn’t have clear edges and shapes. I see the beauty in simple things, in the stars and the night sky. Beauty is in the universe with its randomness and order, a variety of colors forming nebulae and constellations, planets and the sun.
Ana: What visual references do you draw upon in your work as an artist?
My main reference is nature and a drop of imagination. I’m inspired by dangerous rocks and the old canyon, cute and strange clouds, big waves and a calm ocean. Flowers with their natural gradients and leaves with their different shapes. Its special beauty is even in the starry sky.
Ana:Do you interact with the digital world technology in your work as an artist?
Absolutely. I also need to use a camera, scanner and Photoshop like any artist and writer who uses social networks.
To create quotes, for example, I have to use the skills of a designer and digital illustration. So it is simply impossible to imagine a modern artist in our time without such tools and skills.
Ana:Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?
Never. Every successful person says so, but often we doubt literally everything. Put a period or comma here or there. Draw a line higher or lower. Doubts and fears are inevitable, but only by defeating them, we get stronger. So I often say, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fight with our doubts.
“If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.”
At such moments, I remember the words. “If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.” Diamonds and mountains collapse in that way and success are created.
Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?
If I could meet myself in the past, I would say, belief in yourself always and in what you do. Appreciate your work and the work of other people. Life is a difficult thing, as people say. But only an optimistic attitude and positive thoughts will help to survive in this difficult place.
“In the future, your painted sky will be much more beautiful.”
Ana:Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your watercolor pictures .
I remember more funny stories about art. I painted such small pine trees in a landscape of the mountains that I could not look at them without tears. I finished the landscape of the mountains, crying a lot of tears. And once I looked under my desk in search of my cat Ri and saw space covered with small dots of white gouache. I use it to make stars. But the stars are already all over the room, trying to fill it with unique patterns and colors.
Ana: LOL! Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?
I watch all kinds of educational series. I discuss different topics with my husband and look for answers to questions. So I keep my mind open, and it stimulates it to new ideas and thoughts. There are so many mysteries and unknown secrets in the world. It can charge with new ideas.
My favorite music, which allows me to dive into myself and find the right mood, can always help.
Ana:What would a perfect day for you involve?
My best memory as a writer is when I first realized that I would be writing my first memoir. The events, words, and parts of the plans, like butterflies in my stomach, still give me a sense of enthusiasm for just thinking about it. It is difficult to imagine, but sometimes an idea begins with a thought and a book with a first word. This is the same case.
On the other hand, my best memory as an artist is the delight of working with paint. I remember the first time I covered the paper with water to work with the wet technique of painting. After making several movements and adding different colors, I saw how they mix and blend into new and unique colors. This feeling is so exciting that I remembered how I stood in a chemical laboratory and mixed two reagents, watching how they change colors and get other properties.
Ana:Your worst souvenir as artist and writer…
The worst souvenirs in my life, probably this is when my laptop broke down and I could no longer type texts and work with a book. It was a difficult time and really unpleasant, not only a souvenir but also a surprise.
In art, these are moments when paint spoils things or furniture, sometimes leaving amazing spots on all this. One day, gouache hit me right in the eye. It was a frightening feeling, but it all ended well.
Ana:Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?
Maya: A few years ago, we lost one of the most fun and happy family member. We had another cat, Kawaii. She was curious, and like a ray of happiness and hope, gave us her love. Once we could not find her at home. We searched for her for a whole week. We asked neighbors and friends. But we had no result. A week later, we found her. Unfortunately, she was gone forever.
Most importantly, Kawaii has changed my understanding of life. From childhood, she was a sick kitten. But every day she enjoyed her life and lived her full life, delighting us every second. She taught me I need not focus on my negative aspects. More importantly, what I have now.
Ana: If you weren’t a writer /artist, what would you be doing?
I’m sure I would become a teacher. I always liked to learn and help others understand new knowledge. Back in school, I discovered this superpower and now I try to develop it every day.
Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.
Now spring has come, I am attracted by monochrome works. I like to paint mountains and trees, to show beauty with minimalistic colors and shapes. This is my main inspiration, and I plan to create a series of monochrome works. I also plan to create a series of works related to space and the universe. These are my future plans as an artist.
Ana: Thank you, Maya, for this amazing interview.
For those wishing to find out more about Maya Galleas and her work, check out these links: