When I was growing up, I couldn’t understand how being an immigrant was ever going to help me. I wanted to be like the other kids, and I felt bad because I didn’t fit in. I’ll admit it; I was in foreign, and having a language barrier made me stand out. Now that I have developed personally, and have had time to get to know myself, I have learned to love my culture and heritage. Not only do I get to enjoy the beautiful and prosperous country that I immigrated to, but I also get to explore and thrive in the rich culture of my origin country.
Over the years, I have become fond of incorporating my heritage into my art. It makes the art more interesting and relatable to people who enjoy exploring the uniqueness of other cultures. I am able to connect with people who have the same background as me. And I also meet people who want to learn more about Russian culture. It’s the best of both worlds. If you’re looking for some inspiration, I would recommend exploring your culture. If you’re not sure about your family history; then, do some research and see what you can find. Go back as far as you can, and then take some of those elements and incorporate them in your art.
Here are a few things I have taken away from the culture of my origin country:
Historically, folk art has been created for utilitarian purposes; such as, embroidery design, embellishment on dishware, and other household products. I have been able to take elements of folk art that inspired me and work them into my own style. My artwork may not be as utilitarian, but when I add the folk flavor to it, I am reminded of my culture.
Fairy tales are a piece of my heritage that have delighted me over the years. When I was a child in Russia, I remember the fairy tales my parents would read to me. Those stories resonated with me for years, and they inspired me to want to create my own art. I loved the illustrations that went with the fairy tale stories. I wanted to be able to take those fairy tales and make my own illustrations. Fairy tales still influence a part of my artwork. I can’t help but include folklore in my art because it is a huge part of my identity.
History can help shape art and perspective. I enjoy learning about the history of Russia and the influential people who helped mold it. When I make art that represents my people; I like to think about different elements of history. I like to imagine how I can incorporate it in incognito ways. I also like to learn about great artists from Russia, and I am constantly inspired by their work.
Think about how your history, culture, and heritage can help shape the art you create!
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