ASK ME ANYTHING with Natasha: Sad songs make me feel better!

Trash Sultana
Jul 7, 2018

I'm Natasha, a visual artist who likes to explore lyrics of melancholic sad songs and turn them into paintings using as less information as possible. They really make me feel better. Also, I'm fascinated with psychology and art therapy.

I would like to talk about ''Sad songs for dirty lovers''.

 ''Sad songs for dirty lovers'' represents a cycle of 55 drawings inspired with songs, and tells the story of the young girl with blue hair, while she deals with life, loss, and discovery of her own sexuality.

She doesn't have any organs on the face like eyes, nose or mouth, cause I don't find them necessary in telling a certain story.

That way she varies between two genders, between any personality trades, and represents just a simple organism whose life is the main focus without any other background noises.

Every drawing is a stand-alone piece, expressed through lyrics of various artists like Florence and the Machine, Adna, PJ Harvey, Torres and many more.

The whole cycle is done in a mixed media, mostly based on collage, and the characters are in rough similarity to Julie Maroh's "Blue is the warmest color".

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Does music always work for you when you experience artist's block? What else besides music works for you?
Jul 14, 6:31AM EDT0
When you create your art, do you expect others to understand the message you are trying to pass or is what they perceive from your art of utmost importance?
Jul 13, 10:39PM EDT0

What's top 3 on your "Sad Songs Playlist?"

Jul 11, 3:47PM EDT0
What are the benefits and challenges of being a professional artist?
Jul 9, 2:49AM EDT0
How do you think being a woman shapes your vision as an artist?
Jul 8, 5:49PM EDT0
Would you describe the artistic experience as a spiritual one?
Jul 8, 5:37PM EDT0

Do you ever explore happy songs in your art? 

Last edited @ Jul 7, 4:07PM EDT.
Jul 7, 4:07PM EDT0
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Jul 6, 5:54PM EDT0

I like fineliners the most. They are just so precise, and easy to work with. Never get enough of them.

Jul 7, 9:13AM EDT0
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Jul 4, 6:05PM EDT0

I'm currently listening Florence + the Machine's new album ''High as hope'', and also revisiting old songs from them, cause they always give me so much inspiration. 

Jul 7, 9:16AM EDT0
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
Jul 3, 8:26PM EDT0

I like collage a lot, cause it can have really beautiful simplicity in usage. And also, it requires a lot of thinking about the composition and final arrangement, which can be a fun challenge. 

Jul 7, 9:20AM EDT0
What or who inspires you in your career and why?
Jul 3, 2:08PM EDT0

One of the biggest inspiration for me is Julien Baker, cause I relate so much to her songs, and to her as an artist and as a person. She has a really specific way of telling the truth and what affects her in her life and in her art, and I find it really beautiful and real.

Jul 3, 2:59PM EDT0
What is the biggest challenge you faced professionally while doing your 55 series?
Jul 3, 7:34AM EDT0

The biggest challenge was in creating such a big story while using as less information as possible. Every drawing was supposed to be a stand alone piece too. And that was really challenging, cause sometimes I would have more inspiration for 10 drawings that would go together instead of creating just one.

Jul 3, 6:17PM EDT0
Would you say that having a faceless person as the protagonist of your art pieces might be a way to make her relatable to audiences, as they could think they are the person in the drawing? Why or why not?
Jul 3, 2:14AM EDT0

Exactly. I think just that. Cause sometimes there's more magic in not saying, then in saying it all. And if I use a medium in which I show less, then the audience is free to make their own stories and conclusions, instead of being reduced on just mine point of view.

Jul 3, 6:21PM EDT0
How did you make the connection with the music you selected and how to express it in your paintings?
Jul 3, 1:11AM EDT0

All my paintings are a product of the songs I listen to. I pay a lot of attention to the music, to the lyrics, cause that always gives me an idea, an image I want to paint. And then it all comes down into finding appropriate face to be part of the painting. 

Jul 3, 6:27PM EDT0
How did you choose the 55 songs for your drawings?
Jul 3, 12:57AM EDT0

It was a long process, around 10 months. Everyday while going to work I was listening to the music, the whole albums of various artists, and when I was really familiar with every song on an album, I began to get the images in my head for the cycle of 55 drawings. 

Jul 3, 6:31PM EDT0
What is it about art therapy that resonates with you so much?
Jul 2, 7:11AM EDT0

Art therapy combines art and psychology, my two biggest loves. And I think it's amazing that nowadays it exists such a discipline that can help many, in very different groups, from kids to elderly people, as to those who suffer from serious disabilities. Cause art really is the best therapy.

Jul 3, 6:35PM EDT0
When putting so much of your emotions into your artwork, do you sometimes feel drained or burntout? How do you cope with that?
Jul 1, 8:39AM EDT0

Of course I do. Very often I feel that I don't have anything to say anymore, when it comes to painting. But luckily, those are just temporary feelings, that come and go. We can't shut down our emotions, we always feel, everything, so deeply… and that's exactly what helps to create… again and again. But when burnout happens, I just leave art aside, and I wait, cause I know that creativity will come again. 

Jul 3, 6:41PM EDT0
What is the one painting of your 55 ones that you feel most connected to and why?
Jun 30, 11:11PM EDT0

It's the one under the number 20. It was inspired with a song of Adna called 'Shiver', and the lyric goes like this: Would you meet me tonight if I'd ask you? Don't say 'yes' just to be kind. It has a special meaning for me cause at the time I've painted it, I met someone who meant a lot to me. And the painting shows exactly that - an encounter with someone special.

Jul 7, 9:29AM EDT0
Do you think you artwork would have the same effect on people that it does on you? Do the opinion of others matter to you in that regards?
Jun 30, 8:11PM EDT0

I don't think it has the same effect, cause very often people can't know how and what I've felt or had in my thoughts when I painted something. 

But, opinion of the others matter a lot to me, cause sometimes it happens that people give me feedback about my work that I wasn't even aware of.. And I appreciate that, cause it can help me to see things from a different perspective. 

Jul 7, 9:34AM EDT0
What are your ultimate favorite sad songs?
Jun 29, 9:48PM EDT0

There are many of them, from many different artists. But No.1 is Julien Baker's album 'Turn off the lights'. It's full of sad songs, that can only make you feel better. :)

Jul 3, 6:44PM EDT0
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