Discovering what makes us devious.
How did you first discover deviantART?
It was 2004 (I was 17) and I had just been on an youth exchange in Italy for two weeks with youths from my country (Sweden), Italy, Northern Ireland, Poland and Spain. When I was away I had a workshop with an inspiring photographer and I borrowed my group leader's analogue system camera. First time ever touching a camera and I loved it and my workshop teacher said I had an eye for it. I wanted to share my photos with others and see what they said so I joined a Swedish photo community but felt so pushed down my shoes that I soon searched for other alternatives and I found deviantART and dared to join a year later when I had the chance to get a hold of another camera again and had photos to share. I still have my early photos in my gallery
What was it about dA that made you want to stay?
I uploaded some stuff now and then but forgot about dA really since I was interested in so much other things in high school and didn't really have a camera of my own and my traditional art wasn't something I pursued anymore BUT in 2008 I had my own camera (point-and-shoot) and I started to photograph more seriously than my every day activities and such. That was the year I got active on dA and really fell in love with the community and the people here and I don't regret it. I only regret I didn't see it sooner!
What is the story behind your username?
Back in 2005 I hadn't claimed any internet name yet, the only one I had was Serenity_of_the_moon inspired by Sailor Moon so I tried several until I remembered a book I just read (I love books!): Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and I took the name of my second fav character Petrova (since my fav character was Posy and I didn't like the name). I should have thought it more through since I usually get questions if I'm Russian or Bulgarian nowadays (I'm not btw).
What do you remember of your childhood in regards to art?
First off, my parents can't draw, even their stick figures look like they've been in a car accident so when I showed interest in drawing (and boy did I draw!) they bought me pens, pencils, colours, papers and everything (except the easel I really wanted ) and then it was writing and they gave me note pads up the wazoo. I think my drawings and writings from very young age (1-2 years old) to like junior high can fill several boxes or the walls of a castle. My mum saved EVERYTHING. After that it's been more writings on the computer and the drawings... well, I've just started again.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that prompted your choice of art form?
When I was a kid (I was very shy) it was drawing and writing that were my passions. I don't know why really. Photography I was curious about and it hooked me when I was in Italy even if I didn't have the funds to get a point-and-shoot until December 2006 which I the first year mainly used to document my every day life. Art has just always been there for me in one way or another. Same with culture, music and theatre. I think my parents encouraged those sides of me since they're not that artistic themselves, they both read books like normal people breathe air (my mum sings though, beautiful voice... which I didn't inherit).
Who or what motivates you to continue creating?
Hm... tough question With photography it's the world around me, I want to shoot treasures rarely noticed by the average person and show the magic around us (specially in nature) even though I just started to fiddle with still life and food photography. Writing is all the stories I have in me and my poetry is mostly to heal or grow as a person. Drawing on the other hand is just for fun and when I start to draw something I never plan what but just go line by line and emotion.
Of your own work, which has the most meaning to you and why?
My poetry in overall petrova.deviantart.com/gallery… since I write from own experiences and feelings. I've dealt with some big issues in my poetry and I am sure I will continue to do so, it started to be my outlet when I was in senior high and then it just continued. Photo wise it's this one since it's one of few photos of me I like and I took it of myself just after I had cut off my curls which went all the way down my back. It showed a new me and a new beginning.
Do you have any personal goals in relation to deviantART?
To make people smile. I could end it there since I love to help wherever I can and no matter the subject since my own life hasn't always been easy. Oh and to feature unknown art, I love to find amazing art and showcase it. One day it would be fun to be a Gallery Moderator though but for what I don't know yet
Are you working on any projects or wish to promote some projects?
Well, dAseniors is having lots of fun and are planning news articles and contests for ALL not just other seniors so do check out that group. My own group still-life-heART is in search for tutorials that come in handy when you work with still life (all mediums) so do submit there (don't have to be a member) if you have any. I am also trying to collect money for Gonte to get his driver's license since he can't work as an electrician if he doesn't have it.
Only real personal project I work on right now is my bachelor thesis about online volunteering. I am also trying to figure out where to travel in the world (and which deviants to meet on the way) since I am planning on travelling when I get my degree (hopefully if all goes as schedule this June). So if you want to meet me or know a place I just MUST see then don't hesitate to tell me all about it
I would also like to promote some projects by other wonderful deviants like hiddendelights article series Deviants Discovered and jcroxas contest My message for the future which seem really cool.
Which movies did you enjoy most?
All? It depends on my mood. On rainy days I love cartoons or romantic movies. On cinema there need to be some extra special cool effects. My favourite movies are: Dirty Dancing (the original), Fame, Yes Man, Finding Nemo, Mulan, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, Almost Famous, Amelie and Les Amours Imaginaires.
What type of music do you listen to? (Specific groups/artists?)
Hm... All kinds except opera, jazz and blues. Too much pop gets me irritated. I love female singers with strong voices (usually in gothic symphonic bands) like Sharon den Adel in Within Temptation - her voice is pure magic both on cd and live. Other bands/artists I like are: Krypteria, The Cranberries, Emilie Autumn, The birthday massacre, Savage Garden, Lacuna Coil and my all time favourite is a Swedish singer/songwriter named Lars Winnerbäck (that man have saved me and put words into my feelings and experiences more than once).
I always listen to music. I even have 3 songs as my alarms : Blümchen - Heut ist mein tag, Gorillaz - Feel good inc. and The firm - Star Trekking. I love finding new music though (even unsigned bands) so do suggest
Which books could you just not put down?
All. Give me a book and I will read it to the end before the day is over - no matter how thick it is. I love the smell of old books, I love the smell of new books Books is just love and I have way too many but some of my favourites are: Girl with a pearl earring (Tracy Cheavlier), Harry Potter (of course), The girl with no shadow (Joanne Harris, sequel to Chocolat but way better), Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfeild), Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley), Wicked (Gregory Maguire), Egalia's daughters (Gerd Brantenberg), Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoj) and of course most of Margit Sandemo. Most of above I love for their way of writing, some of them are pure geniuses.
What foods can you just never seem to resist? Drinks?
Cupcakes, muffins and chocolate cakes... oh wait You meant food. Lasagna, my own veggie stews and Chinese food I prefer to drink carbonated water, tea and hot cocoa with lots of cream and marshmallows on.
What are your pet peeves on dA and in general?
Art in the wrong gallery both in my groups but also on dA in general. I've been sitting more than once cleaning up dA-galleries and oh of course art theft, who can not be disturbed by that >.>
In general: awesome and stunning sunny weather with clear blue sky... when I need to study
Something random about yourself you wish to share?
5 things you don't know about me:
1. I've been to a seminar with Dalai Lama (just a little while ago) and it was amazing - I cried a lot since my all time fav artist (Winnerbäck) was there too. One of my top moments in life.
2. I love music festivals and want to work with one, the atmosphere is just
3. I make strange noises and sing when I am really happy
4. I soon have a degree in Arts & Culture management
5. I root for the wicked ones since I always feel sorry for them in fairytales were they're always portrayed mean and bad without a reason (that's why I love Wicked by Gregory Maguire, the life story of the Wicked witch of the West: Elphaba).
For this I thank youI long for your words, need them,
want them, over and over again
like a raincoat from the tears of
sadness and darkness in the
I'm an addict for your words,
a necessity to survive the winter,
they're special with an air of home;
like a cup of coco on a cold and frozen
I get nourishment from your flattering words
which make my seed of strength deep inside
grow and be ready to burst out and meet the
I become more whole with every word you write
and feel as beautiful like the scent of
a hundred wild flowers on a meadow at
I change like the seasons with your words;
to the better
so I collect the strength from them
and save it for the harder times;
when the wind is too strong, the snow too deep,
the rain too heavy or the sun too hot
to fight alone.
What tips can you offer to better oneself in his or her art?
Whatever your art form is don't give up, no matter how little you think about your art (we all get those days or even weeks) focus on the good stuff and try to grow and look outside the box. Do stuff you don't always do and if that art block hit - go out, breathe, experience life for a while instead of pushing through. We don't have coop up inside and look like white vampires just for art's sake. And remember, you don't have to travel far for beauty or experiences. Most of my photos are taken near my home or in my home and my writings are based on own feelings and experiences.
Whatever makes your magic appear, whoever is your muse, make sure to hang on to it and to make sure to take care of your inspiration(s) to create no matter if it's a garden, a teddy bear, someone you love or someone you haven't been able to talk to or just don't dare to talk to.
And of course, create. Write, draw, photograph... read about techniques, ask for critiques, look for inspirations. When you stop all together or just don't care that's when you can't be better than you are. For every new piece, for every new knowledge you get a little better, even if you don't know it and the best thing of them all to remember: everybody have been beginners some time!
What does Art mean to you?
Magic. Air. Life. The world.
Is there anything else you wish to say?
Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview, I would have never expected this and thank you all for making me smile every day with comments, amazing art and for just being the ones you are. Oh and of course to read through my haha
MumYou were the drama queen, the woman who beat me to subdue
me, who called me names in good times and bad times; who made
my given name something wrong - only mentioned in anger.
You are the woman always searching - desperately - for the
perfect life and home; somewhere in the future where you
cannot find it; where you cannot reach it.
Every time when you almost find a man, which is your life
purpose and joy, you bring out the the dark shades of black
and end up all alone but admired by many.
You talk big about family values and being there for each other
but one day you just stopped asking how I was doing, one day
you just stopped sitting up to make sure I came home alright;
you just assumed everything was ok anyway.
You are strong willed but weak against obstacles, so you blow
your chances while you always talk about winning the lottery,
the million that will leave you carefree, happy and loved because
you always want what you cannot have.
Mum, the woman who showed me what love is a
Raw - To my school counsellorI sat there and told you how I felt,
how I couldn't sleep because he was there
in my dreams, under my skin
and you said "maybe University isn't for you",
I realised you didn't get me,
but I kept on going every week.
Now 3 years later when I am dealing
with what's left behind
I cannot help but to be angry at you
for not giving me the proper help
or call me in sick,
instead of saying "take long walks".
I regret that I didn't have someone who fought
who gave me what I needed and said
"the situation isn't ok, let's fix this,
whatever it takes"
but no one did, not even mum or dad.
I was so alone that I grabbed onto anything
and everything that stood still;
I was spinning, shaking and couldn't stand up
on my own
and that you couldn't see that wasn't my fault;
because I screamed for help
even if I didn't fall apart in front of you,
sometimes I wonder: should I have had?
I took long walks in the nearby forest instead
and cried after every session we had,
Forever gratefulI remember you with fondness
and light up when I read one of your
oh how I wish you were near
so we could meet,
support each other
without a screen
and an ocean apart,
but I am happy nonetheless
that you walked into my life,
decided to stay
and become my friend.
A list of previous Devious Minds can be found in a widget on my page.
If you have a recommendation of someone you think I should interview for this series please send me a note with a subject of "DM Rec"