In the Artist’s Studio // Valerie Savchits
By Michelle Allen, Curator at Why Not Art
Brixton Market //
Amidst the bustling and energetic Brixton market lies Valerie’s creative haven. As we pass market stands, small restaurants and various shops, she smiles and unlocks a door to the men’s toilet. We are then led up a flight of stairs to find a hallway full of hidden artist studios.
– Valerie Savchits in her Studio –
After a warm welcome, we see some of her new works leaning against the walls. The floor is covered with spray paint cans, acrylic paints and brushes of all different sizes. A small window provides a beautiful natural light source as well as a bird’s eye view of the bustling market located just downstairs.
Her face lights up as we began to ask her questions about her new diptych entitled, Discovery Channel. She is in the process of producing a new body of work so that she can apply to various shows and competitions this summer.
Valerie Savchits. Discovery Channel. Mixed Media on Canvas. 2018
Interview with Valerie //
-February 16, 2018-
The interview kicked off with a few fun questions to break the ice:
WNA: What is your go to karaoke song?
Valerie Savchits: “Any song really, I love singing and making noises for everyone around me.”
WNA: If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?
VS: “I would probably be my cat, I have always wondered what it would be like to go inside of her head and see the world as she does.”
WNA: On the WNA website, you chose the owl as your spirit animal. Is there any reason in particular?
VS: I first started to think that my spirit animal may be a cat or maybe a wolf but I am most productive after about 6pm. I usually work at night, which is a bit weird, but that is when I get most of my inspiration to create. This is why I feel a connection to the owl.
WNA: When did you know that you were an artist?
VS: Since the very moment when I knew how to hold a pen, scribbling everywhere. There was a time in 2012, when I was still living in Latvia, that I studied chemical technology, however, I left that and decided to pursue my true passion, being an artist full time.
WNA: Would you say that you find more inspiration and creativity here in London or back home in Latvia?
VS: Oh here by far. In London, I am encouraged, by my peers and fellow artists, to experiment and everyone is supportive of your creative endeavors. Here I can also be around different cultures and it’s beautiful and inspiring!
WNA: Your work has a lot of graffiti like elements to it, what in particular do you love about graffiti?
VS: I love graffiti and mark making, as I have been doing it since I was a young kid. I especially love the large scale you can use to work with graffiti. I used to be in a little graffiti gang in Latvia growing up. We would leave our tags absolutely everywhere – on benches, walls, literally everywhere. It was so much fun! We all had different nicknames and it was definitely a fun period in my life. All together we were about 8 people and all classmates from school. Some of them still do graffiti today back in Latvia, which I love. They are always asking me for collaborations, however, I rarely go back home, maybe once every two years or so.
WNA: What is your main influence for your new body of work?
VS: Currently, I am exploring my own identity and my surroundings. That is specifically what Discovery Channel diptych is about. For me personally, the channel is all about learning and discovering new things about myself and my life. I have gone out of my comfort zone, using bold green and orange colours as the main hues. Normally I never use these colours as I prefer to use pink and blue tones more. I am really proud of these two pieces and I will keep creating more, as I am trying to produce an entire new body of about 15-20 works.
WNA: What is the main aspect that you would like your viewers to know/ take away from your work?
VS: I want viewers to look at my work and hopefully it triggers their own thinking process. I want them to be able to find answers to themselves through experiencing my work.
-Transcribed February 20, 2018-
As we finished our interview, she plans to stretch and prime a few more canvases so she could begin painting new works in the morning. A lovely person, Valerie is very talented and a self motivated individual. We packed our cameras and said our goodbyes, hoping that this would not be the last visit to her studio.
Recent Awards //
Valerie is the recipient of Hotel Elephant and Southwark Council Arts & Culture Grant Scheme. She was selected as one of the three hundred artists to exhibit her work digitally as part of Tate Modern’s ‘Future Late’ exhibition in summer 2016.
Be sure to check out Valerie’s works available on the Why Not Art website !