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Zorka Velickovic

Meet the artist


What made you decide to be an artist?  How did it all begin?
My father was an artist.  I grew up in his studio, spent time at exhibits and around his artist friends. Besides, I always had that urge to draw, all the time. Since my early age, I was fascinated by horses, animals generally, but horses were kind of an obsession. So, it wasn't much of a decision, it came naturally for me.
What does it mean (for you) to be an artist? 
Purpose of living, need to breathe, way to say what I think and feel without words, way to play and enjoy in my own imagination and yes, hard work and constant learning and discovering.
What are the main themes in your art?  What inspires you? 
Maybe strange, but horses of India are my force. I dedicate my art to promote rare breeds from that part of the world. I saw my first Marwari horse back in 2010 in Punjab, India and I can’t explain what happen in those few hours I spent with those horses, but after I came back to Serbia, I went back to studio after almost 15-year pause from art....
Tell us about your studio, working space, process, habits, special rituals.....
I am using my late father studio in our family home. It is full of old memories and my father’s stuff. It is a cozy, but very messy room in the attic. I have no problem with the inspiration because there are so many beautiful horses out there and so little time for me to paint each one I want. I learned to listen to myself all the time and I’m constantly sketching whenever some idea comes to my mind, even if that means that I have to get up from bed during night. I usually get best ideas during classes while I’m teaching - that is how obsessed I am…I do have a crazy ritual, I have to clean up the whole studio after I finish each painting. I was commissioned 200 illustrations in pastel and acrylic  -  that was a lot of cleaning....
What is the hardest part of being an artist, and how do you overcome it?
The hardest thing was, once I realized, if I want to paint I have to sale my work. Every commission is still a huge struggle and it doesn't help that I  always insist to do everything my way, but thankfully some people like it that way.
You favorite piece of art?  
Edgar Degas, most of his paintings of horses, for very sentimental reasons. When I was very little, my father gave me his book as a gift, it was and still is my most treasured item.  

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