Untitled 2 by Nikoleta Martjanova

Nikoleta Martjanova finished BA Fine Art at Chelsea in 2016. From our 3D workshops and technicians who are all practicing artists and designers, to our library, Nikoleta tells us what she enjoyed about Chelsea and how she’s been developing her practice and experience in the art business.

What have been your greatest achievements since graduating from Chelsea?

Some days it is hard to crack on with actual work, so sometimes an achievement is simply picking up a brush and actually doing something. Going to a private view after work and socialising to make the right connections so you can invite people back to your studio and continue developing critical dialogue, all whilst sincerely enjoying it.

To feel that you’re pushing your practice somewhere it hasn’t been before with every single piece you make. An achievement is to make art and not excuses.

Installation view by Nikoleta Martjanova

Installation view by Nikoleta Martjanova

Head with a mask by Nikoleta Martjanova

Head with a mask by Nikoleta Martjanova

What are your future plans?

To continue making work, being ambitious with ideas. I would like to cross the Atlantic and feel the vibes from the art scene in America and Canada. My plans are to stay humble, hungry, curious and to be interested in people.

Tell us about your time at Chelsea, what do you miss? What did you enjoy the most?

I really miss working with Chelsea’s 3D technicians including the foundry. The best part of my Chelsea experience was being around foundry fellows who were also practicing artists. It was incredible to watch starting points in the work and all the conversations we had were so nourishing. I am still in touch with some of the fellows and try to attend their shows.

I also really miss the library. When I no longer had access to workshops, my practice went through a crisis, that actually turned out to be a conceptual evolution, and it now feels as though my practice is slowly coming together once more.

Untitled by Nikoleta Martjanova

Untitled by Nikoleta Martjanova

What advice would you give to our students who are about to graduate?

Try to get a job in a small commercial gallery that will give you enough responsibility to gain experience in the business and keep on doing your own research, observation and conclusions on how the art world really works. Go to every private view you can make time for, there are several a week, where you can note down how the work is presented. If you genuinely admire the artist’s work go and ask questions. Be curious.

Agnes staring back at herself by Nikoleta Martjanova

Agnes staring back at herself by Nikoleta Martjanova

The best advice I was given to date, was to not get a full time job, if you want to be an artist. Don’t be afraid to spend your money on you practice, but equally use anything and everything to continue making, even if it’s uncomfortable, difficulties only make you think and develop more.

Head in the dark by Nikoleta Martjanova

Head in the dark by Nikoleta Martjanova

Try to listen to your inner voice, what sort work do you want to make, don’t be swayed by what’s in demand. If you’re not a minimalist conceptual artist and all you want to do is make portraits, then do that, there’s enough people imitating other people.

See more work on Nikoleta Martjanova’s Instagram

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