Malaga / Spain
Ulyana Korol is an experienced painter based in Spain, whose works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally. She works in the technique of palette-knife oil painting. Her canvases emit a warm light and highlight the beauty of nature.
Ulyana, you are originally from Ukraine and currently living and working in Spain. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey into the art world?
I was born in Lviv, Ukraine, in a family of doctors. From my early childhood, I loved painting. So, my parents encouraged this in every possible way. My mother often brought me flowers from our beautiful garden instead of the usual toys. I admired them, and I think that's what prompted me to start expressing my admiration of nature with coloured pencils. The first thing I drew was a flower.
Since an early age, I've attended fine art studios, participated in competitions and exhibitions, and graduated from an art school. The desire to create has reflected in my first solo exhibition at the age of nine.
My love for nature was also one of the reasons I decided to move to Spain in 2020. Having visited sunny Spanish Andalucía once, I fell in love with its neverending blooming landscape. It inspires me continuously to create positively charged art.
Your background is in a completely different field – you graduated from the Lviv National University, the Faculty of International Relations and the Law Faculty. Has art always been a part of your journey? Can you describe your transition into a full-time artist?
Art has always been for me a part of my life. Living in a city rich in cultural and artistic events, I visited various art exhibitions, communicated with artists, acquired new knowledge and inspiration. I kept painting at every opportunity. Nevertheless, when it came time to choose a profession, I decided to study international relations and, later, law. I’m grateful to my parents, who have always supported me in my choice; now, I’m convinced that my education has opened up the whole world of opportunities and helped me find my way in life.
However, I believe that the realization of my vocation came to me thanks to motherhood. I used to ask myself: why don't I develop the talent given to me from above? Finally, as if an invisible hand took me to an art store, where I bought oil paints, canvases and began to paint with even greater passion and awareness that it was mine. It happened in 2014.
People’s positive feedback and support of my family encouraged me to go on. I’ve been working a lot in the creative field. Participating in interesting art projects and events, presenting my art in the galleries and collaborating with designers brings me a lot of experience and drives me to move forward.
You are also a mother of three boys. How did you manage to support your creativity during their early years?
After becoming a mother of three sons, of course, there was less time for painting, but being honest, my passion for creativity has even increased. It made me happy to create for my children. Definitely, that period of time was a turning point for me to make a decision to dedicate my life to art.
Could you please describe your art process?
The art process for me is like an exciting journey. It begins in my thoughts while contemplating the world around me.
My passion for photography had a great impact on the way I paint. I have always had my camera with me, and I used to take a lot of pictures of the same object but from different angles. Then I was obsessed with capturing flowers in macro format. Subsequently, I transferred this technique to my art. The close-up image of the object I am painting allows me to look at it, as if from within, and convey the mood, emotion or the very essence of what I am depicting. That's probably how I balance realism and abstraction in my art.
I work with oils and with palette knives. It makes me delighted to combine textured juicy strokes of paint with the almost airy image of a delicate flower petal or the transparency of water.
Each stage of the painting process is important to me: creative search, touching to a clean canvas, mixing paints, applying them and writing the signature. The most pleasant realization is that a part of my soul, my emotions and experiences are invested in the whole process.
What inspires you the most?
I love travelling, so nature is my inexhaustible source of artistic inspiration. I draw my artistic inspiration from the natural world that envelopes me: the flora, water or light reflections. I often literally hunt with the camera to save some fascinating plot, to convey later on the canvas my impressions of what I have seen.
What was the most exciting moment or experience in your art career so far?
The most exciting thing in my creative field happens each time my painting finds its new home. There is a part of my soul in each piece, and I find it very inspiring to know that someone somewhere in the world would love to have it in its home and get the positive energy from it. My works are held in numerous private collections in the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Therefore, I wish my paintings cover the whole world map. Perhaps, it helps to bring people more positivity.
What is the message behind your art?
Real art is the exchange of energy. I put emotions of happiness and ease of life into my works, and when they find a response in the hearts of my audience, I get even more inspiration to create.
My canvases emit warm light, the brightness of colours, and these also make them vibrate with the sun, warmth and positivity. Colour is very important for me while painting. I care about the purity and brightness of colours. For me, it’s the best way to express how I am fascinated with the theme “Nature”.
I’m an artist aiming to draw attention with my art to the beauty of our nature that surrounds us, noticing it and admiring it, as well as taking care of it. We ought to remember that happiness lives in simple things.
What are your biggest dreams, plans and goals?
At this time, I'm working on a project called 'In the shades of transparency'. Its idea originated a few years ago after visiting the Greek island Thassos. I was so impressed by the shades of the sea waves that I decided to work on this topic in detail. Living by the sea and being able to watch it every day, I began to feel differently about how I wanted to convey its mood on the canvas, moving in a more abstract direction of expression.
I’m constantly thinking about my plans and goals. Recently I saw my dream clearly. I’d love my art and life story to inspire people to listen to their inner voice to develop their talents and find their vocation. In the future, I’d like to open some creative space for children, where they could develop their artistic talents and improve them.
What is the number one advice you’d give fellow artists who want to become full-time artists?
I feel happy that I have listened to the voice of my heart and followed the path of my vocation, which fills my life with meaning and allows me to share my worldview with others. Therefore, I can advise everyone who stands at the crossroads searching for themselves to listen to their inner voice and follow their vocation.