1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hey, there! My name is Mina, I am 26 years old and I am from Bulgaria. I live in Sofia – the capital city. I’ve been doing embroidery since the summer of 2017th but I would say that things got more serious during the summer of 2018th. When I graduated from university I got a job as editor and writer in online media but I quit after six months. Then I started selling selected second-hand clothing online for a couple of years. And now I invest all my time and energy in embroidering.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I would say that my embroideries are quite simple. No tints or shades of the colors. Clear black outlines of all the elements in the image. But I am still figuring out my “style” and I am experimenting as much as I can.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I usually work with 100% cotton fabric – not a very thick one so I can easily transfer both simple and more detailed sketches. I stitch with cotton embroidery threads but as I said I want to experiment so I’ll be definitely trying out different mediums in the future.
4. What is your artistic process like?
Sometimes I have a very clear vision of what I want to embroider and if so, I immediately start sketching. If I have a vague, cloudy idea of what I want to make, I go to Pinterest or Instagram for more inspiration and then I start sketching. A lot of drawing, a lot of erasing and then more drawing. After that, it’s time to stitch. I transfer the drawing on the fabric and I start choosing colours. I don’t choose them all at once. I pick some and when finish embroidering the first elements I pick the next colours. Sometimes I change the initial sketch while stitching because I get hit by new ideas that I haven’t thought of at the beginning of the project. Actually, this is the hardest part of my process – letting go of the idea how my embroideries “should” look like and whether people would like them or not. If I get too focused on these thoughts, my art flow gets blocked. The moment I ignore these mind diversions the process gets easy and more natural.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
At this point, everything inspires me. It may be a view in nature, a quote from a book, a scene from a movie, another piece of art, a thought or a feeling… I observe everything and everyone around me. I am a quiet person but I perceive the world in all its little details that get unnoticed by most of the people. Like I have some kind of a little but a very powerful scanner in my mind.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is a very important part of my emotional world. It enriches me and it makes me experience life in its deeper dimensions. It gives me the opportunity to express myself and to relieve the inner intensity that sometimes overwhelms me. Art helps me escape from the outside world but there are times when it connects me even more with the whole universe.
7. Where did you study?
I didn’t study in any kind of art school. And sometimes I regret this. I’ve graduated from The American College of Sofia – it’s a high school. Its mandatory areas of academic concentration are English and mathematics and my choice for the student-selected profiles was humanities. After that I went to Sofia University “St.Kliment Ohridski” and I got a Bachelor of Psychology.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in my own place where I live with my Person. I see cats and dogs. There might even be a child (or two) playing and laughing around me while I work. I am still doing embroidery but more professionally. I also like to write and I have some ideas for a website that I hope I would’ve launched by then.
9. What about in ten?
Well, the picture is pretty much the same. But it’s hard to think ten years ahead. These days I can hardly make plans for the next weekend so I found it very difficult to imagine what would happen so many years from now. The only thing I know is that I want to be happy and healthy as well as my family and closest friends. That’s all that really matters.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I really hope that one day I’ll be making a living out of it. And from a more profound point of view, I just want to bring some kind of beauty to this world.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
French fries! When I eat them my father always jokes that it will be easier if I just put a funnel in my mouth so I can shove more of them at once.
12. Favourite book?
I don’t think that I’ll have only one favourite book. I’ve always liked novels about love. But not the cheese ones. They have to be very well written and to explore people’s relationships on deeper levels. I can think of Milan Kundera’s novels as a good example. I recently realized that I like science fiction as well. Sometimes I enjoy reading poetry and I definitely am not a big fan of short stories.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I listen to all kinds of music. I don’t like the idea of limiting myself to only one genre. I am quite into drum and bass (mostly liquid and minimal). I am also a fan of low bass beats combined with gentle vocals. But I am very picky and it’s getting harder and harder to discover something that literally blows my mind.
14. What are your hobbies?
Snowboarding is my other passion. There’s nothing like going up in the mountain and riding. I feel free, I leave everything else down in the city and up there it’s only me, my board and the whiteness of winter.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I am not sure I can describe myself as an artist. Or it would be more appropriate to say that I can’t describe myself only as an artist. I am many things, I will always be many things and I will always try to be changing in the means of developing myself.