Old vintage illustrations to figurative symbolism artwork
I am Nikolinka Dimitrova. I am born and work in the Sea Capital of Bulgaria – Varna. For the most part of my life, I have been working as an illustrator. In order to adapt to the market as much as possible, I try to work and develop different styles – from modern abstract works to old-fashioned illustrations in watercolor.
But my real dream has always been to be an artist. Don’t get me wrong, to be an illustrator is also interesting, but when you work on orders, you have limits. You follow a certain style. You have a deadline. Usually, you work on a given text and in general, you are sort of a working hand for hire. The editor has a specific vision and I must be able to picture it in a way they think is correct.
This was fun at the beginning of my career. I was considering it a challenge. Different people put different meanings in the same word and as a young illustrator, I invested many hours in finding the right idea they were looking for. But, as the years went by, I developed my own method with questions and samples of ready styles or character expressions, which allowed me to find the right way to the desired goal very fast and easy.
Anyway, in time, this began to seriously bore me and I felt as in chains. Drawing without the mood to do so, only because it had to be done and there was a deadline, depressed me very much and somehow was slowly killing my creative energy and the love I put in my work. This painting, which I called “The Power of Must”, reflects that state of mine. And I am confident that everyone has to complete tasks or work, which are very depressing for them, but they must do them.
For several years now, every free minute I have, I grab the brushes and turn into a traditional artist. Sometimes I just draw flowers, but they are somehow boring. I always want to show a second plan in the painting, something to make people think, something like a philosophical message. Not that I don’t draw landscapes and still lives, but I don’t find them very interesting.
What currently catches my eye are figures with second meaning, a composition, which will make you think. Unfortunately, I discover that people often have a problem with nudeness. They react a bit to the letter and shallowly. They see a naked woman’s body and react to that, instead of finding the meaning of the message. This is a bit disappointing, all men are born naked and the social standing is demonstrated through clothing. A politician wears a suit, a tennis player wears shorts, a priest wears a robe and so on. The truth is that underneath all clothes we remain just humans – naked, we become somehow equal. I think that I perceive nudeness as a symbol of openness, “the naked truth”.
The puritan reaction would not stop me from drawing what really interests me. I was restricted enough in my professional area to allow anyone to put me in chains or frames again in an area, in which I want to be 100% free.
“The Apple of Knowledge and the Devil” – Oil painting