Can you tell us about your cultural background?
I was born in Australia to two wonderful Soviet migrants. We would speak Uzbek/Russian only at home and English when we were out in public. My parents have firmly held onto their cultural traditions, ensuring it was passed down to the next generation. I had a very colourful upbringing, filled with rich homemade Uzbek dishes, incomparable folk music and dance, and a lot of cousins.
What does being a Gemini sun mean to you?
Being a Gemini means I am forever following my curiosity and thirst for knowledge and adventure! Gemini’s are known to be the twin sign, and this resonates with my dual nature. I find I am adaptable, switching between the introvert and extrovert. To a Gemini, nothing is more boring than routine. I am a Gemini sun, Capricorn moon and Aquarius rising.
“I have doubted my abilities, found myself dangerously stuck in self comparison and questioned the sustainability of a creative career.”
If I were to map out my creative journey, it’d look like a crazy scribble rather than a neat and orderly line. Perhaps I have my Gemini traits to thank for that! I have doubted my abilities, found myself dangerously stuck in self comparison and questioned the sustainability of a creative career. However, I have always found that the more energy I have invested in my art, the more triumphs I have reaped!
It takes courage to relocate, why did you decide to make the move?
The anonymity of being in a new place has always excited me. I have always loved travelling solo as it has opened me up to so many opportunities, incredible experiences and lifelong friendships. I’ve always learnt a little more about myself along the way. There was no fear towards relocating, I was just eager to start my next adventure. Honestly, the hardest part was figuring out where to relocate to! I loved the idea of Byron Bay for its carefree spirit and perfect weather all year round. So far, this experience has hosted the same sense of magic of a holiday. But it has been more than just balmy summer nights and sandy toes – I’ve fallen in love with a long-haired man, put on a wetsuit and learnt to love the little things.
“My figurative series was predominantly based on self-love and celebrating the female form. My current works, however, are a huge contrast in both style, meaning and palette!"
Since relocating, I’ve felt the distance from my Uzbek heritage. I have missed the daily practices and traditions my parents have instilled in me. Through painting, I feel as if I am honouring my culture. I am relearning customs and researching the ancient crafts of Uzbek people. So far, it has been an incredible and colourful journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me and what I produce.
How do you stay motivated and inspired?
Inspiration only comes when I am in the right headspace for it. It’s important for me to keep myself healthy and active in order to be able to allow for inspiration to spark. But once it does, I am always motivated to see it come to fruition.
What advice would you give a younger you?
Own your uniqueness. Let your freak flag fly. Don’t doubt your creativity… and don’t worry, the pimples will go.
Favourite wine bar/wine spot - around Byron and back home?
Supernatural in Byron Bay. Back home in South Australia? Where do I begin! There are far too many cellar doors littered throughout the rolling vineyards and quirky, intimate wine bars waiting to be discovered in little alleyways – please don’t make me choose my favourites!
What are your birthday plans?
Dinner & wine! With everything that is going on in the world and my own little head, I am really hoping to switch off and allow myself time for self-care on my birthday. So far I’ve booked in for a massage at Comma in Byron Bay, followed by an infrared sauna at Nimbus & Co.