Featured Artist: Vesna Rikić

 

Interview by Lisa K. Salerno

 

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Vesna Rikić creates incredible art that is made entirely out of paper. Her process, known as quilling, consists of cutting paper into strips, rolling them into precise shapes and then very carefully adhering them onto canvas.

Although Vesna’s attention to detail and craftsmanship is as outstanding as that of a professional designer, she insists that she does it only as a hobby. Vesna Rikić was born in 1991 in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She currently lives in a small town near Tuzla.

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Lisa: What sparked your interest in quilling? 

Vesna: As a little girl I started to make some simple origami figures; it was just a game. I always admire how you can make so many different shapes from just paper. As time passed, I started to explore and figure out that there are so many opportunities to make art out of paper like 2D origami, 3D origami, kirigami, kusudama, paper sculptures, etc. All of these techniques are interesting and every one of them is an art for itself. For me, quilling was the most interesting. When I discovered quilling…I {thought to myself} that [quilling] was exactly what I was looking for…something so simple but so extraordinary.

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Have you experimented with any other media before (painting, etc.)?

I like to observe, and I know a little bit [about] every type of art, but I didn’t experiment a lot. There was some small attempts just to satisfy my curiosity but nothing kept me for a long time. I was looking for my own path, something that was going to fulfill me. I was patient, and patience always pays off.

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How long does it typically take to complete a project?

That depends on the size of the picture and how complicated it is. For some I needed a couple of days but for the others a lot more like a month. Also everything depends on how much free time I have because quilling is just a hobby of mine.  The picture that took me the most time was the map of the world because I needed a lot of small circles. The other one was ”Starry Night”, that’s my favourite one, and I created it with a lot of patience and love.

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Describe your process (How do you do it? What type of materials do you use?).

In my country, quilling is not popular at all, there is nowhere to buy quilling paper or quilling tools, that’s why I mainly improvise and try to work with what I can find. I use plain colored paper (copy paper) or thick paper that I can find in bookstores. Instead of needle for winding tape, I use a toothpick. As a base I use artist canvas panel; different sizes, depending on my picture.

When I find or imagine some picture I want to work, first of all I make a sketch, or I draw it on canvas. Then I choose paper (color), I cut it (I use 5mm strips) and then I start to wind them up or paste them immediately. I use wood glue and water-based paper; after it’s dry it becomes transparent. But only when everything is ready I can start with my work. And of course with good music in the background, work progresses better.

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How do you choose your subject matter?

Pictures I create are entirely my choice and in them you can recognize things I love the most. Sometimes when I like some painting I copy it in quilling technique, and sometimes I just leave it to my own imagination and feelings.

I think that for the artist there is no right time to create, he always creates-when he is happy or when he is sad. Artists through their works express their feelings. And thus becomes “What A Wonderful World”, or “Woman in Black & White”.

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I really loved your version of Starry Night. Do you have a favorite artist or movement in art history?

Every movement in art is beautiful in its own way. As for the artist, of course – Vincent van Gogh. I love his blue and yellow color, his landscapes, sunflowers, sky and the way he showed stars…magnifico. Perhaps in the future, I’m going to steal another painting of his and do it in quilling technique.

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Anything else you’d like to share?

At the moment I work and prepare a lot of pictures. Inspiration was never my problem; we are surrounded by many great things, people, nature, and colors… I have already elected a few pictures to work on, and they are going to be warm and colorful, I am still an optimist.

We will see in which direction will bring me my children’s game. As our famous writer and Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić says: “Art is similar to life: Looks like game, but in fact it is serious as hell; and so much serious if it looks more like game.”
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Connect with Vesna:

Website: https://www.priboj-majevica.com/zanimljive-slike/vesnine-kreacije/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vesna.rikic.9

 

About the interviewer: Lisa K. Salerno is an Art Writer with the London-based publication Niji Magazine, and a regular Art Columnist at Inigo Online. Her art and writing has also been featured in the Autism Speaks website, the Artful Vagabond, The Connecticut River Review and in several other online and print publications.

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