Olga Chernyshova was born in Minsk, Belarus. Apart from being an artist she has become an experienced teacher and was published in magazines and books in recent years. Her success is definitely built on determination, clean finish and interesting choice of the shape and form. The absence of the color might be challenging, yet for Olga it is definitely that push she needs to materialise the idea in her mind into the world.
Olga, how is the new year treating you? How do you feel in 2021?
Well… we began the new year in a new country during the second lockdown with homeschooling for our kids. So, this is still a difficult question for me. On the other side I become more efficient in my daily duties and learned to enjoy the sunrise in the morning when I wake up to work with clay
How did the new country change your business and art? Does it mean you find more time for claying?
Moving to a new country for me is like starting everything from the very beginning - to find new friends, new students. Just started at a new turn of the spiral, because now I already have more experience and knowledge. Right now I find myself in a "pause" mode, since there is almost no live communication, people began to avoid meetings, all activities have moved to the Internet. From one side, I like it - it is possible to take online courses, on the other side, it is not really enough for me as I cannot see the eyes and smiles of people, their joy of the resulting work with clay. And no, now I really don’t have time to work with clay, only if I “steal” some time from my sleep.
In times like that, do you find yourself connected to art at least in your mind? Do you get new ideas even if you don't work with the clay?
Now is the time to think over those thoughts and ideas of work that I put off for later. They swarm in the head like bees and now the most important thing is not to forget the most interesting ideas, write them down or sketch it.
You have been playing with black and white combinations during the last months. What is the main inspiration for this collection?
During my education in the fine arts, I was fond of color, I forgot about shape, volume, texture, all my thoughts were only about shades of color and its compatibility. As I got older and more experienced, I began to pay more and more attention to shape and volume, and color began to interfere with me. We can say that now I am at the opposite pole of creativity, completely freed from color, leaving only a small amount of graphics, concentrating on working on the plasticity of movement in jewelry. Plus, it seems to me that in the modern world we get a huge amount of various visual information, bright, aggressive and in some way asceticism of the color of my work allows people to relax for a while and hold their attention for a long time.
You talk about shape, volume, plasticity... What is the most important aspect for you while creating a new artwork?
The most important thing for me in my work is to get a "push" when the picture I see in the outside world matches - a photograph, a natural phenomenon, a painting, a smell, etc. with an inner conviction, the concept of how can I express it through the material, in my case, through polymer clay.
Do you have an art education or have you always been connected with art and design?
I started drawing at the age of five, an art school, a college and then an Academy of Arts, but, unfortunately, I did not have enough knowledge and I was missing the needed way of thinking to become an artist. My friends, after graduating from the Academy, went to the Czech Republic and Poland to receive a second education in art and after that they said that only now a lot has become clear and they have enough knowledge and skills.
Looking at your work, it seems like you are doing really well! Your polymer clay art stands out, its shapes, design and also color palette are spectacular. What about other colors? What is your relationship with them?
I quench my passion for richness of color either with watercolors, or in between large projects I create colorful brooches in which I do not limit myself in using color combinations.
Speaking about watercolors, which other mediums do you like to play with?
I like to play with such types or kinds of mediums that give me more unpredictability in the final version. Watercolours is a perfect tool for me. Sometimes when I have more time I can paint on silk with special colors for this material. It gives me time to relax and reboot.
During last year you taught several polymer clay classes, do you have any favorite moments from this time?
Oh my God! I was in such a big stress during polymer classes that I remember everything blurry and foggy. I remember that I was really impressed to see a large number of people who love polymer clay. I remember a lot of warmth and hugs, yes, these were the most pleasant moments for me.
Yeah, for teachers it can be really stressful, but after classes are done, it's usually time for some sightseeing or exploring different places. Is there any country you would love to visit and teach a class there?
Oh yeah! We had a wonderful walk around Prague after training. An incredibly beautiful city! I dream of Italy, where, as it seems to me, every meter breathes history and remembers great artists.
Sounds lovely! What are your plans for future months?
Two weeks ago I started my education course for creative people, it concerns the ability to present your work beautifully, the visual part of creativity. It will be my first experience and I hope it will be useful for me.
And about the polymer clay? Any new ideas you would like to explore more? Or will you stay with the black and white style for a while?
I still have so many ideas about black and white series that I could not stop implementing it. So yes, I want to work with this series for a while.
Sounds good, thank you so much Olga for a lovely interview!