Journal Fresh: Valentina Tretyak

An Art Journal Q&A by Dawn Sokol

This month, Dawn interviews Valentina Tretyak, an artist from Moscow, Russia.

Why do you art journal?
Because it gives me pleasure.
For it is a wonderful way of preserving your ideas, thoughts, favorite characters (words and phrases) and nice pictures, i.e., all that you don’t want to forget and may be useful and inspiring in the future.

What inspired you to start art journaling?
The interest was a cause. I just wanted to try doing something I never did before.
By chance, I visited a Livejournal of unparalleled Natalie Ratkovski and saw what a wonderful beauty could be obtained from diaries used. The process turned out to be absorbing. My first page-spread, I was preparing for an entire night and just could not stop working. I immersed myself and hovered there, frightening the stars.

What art journalers are your favorites? Other artists you look to for inspiration?

Well, that’s enough, otherwise the list will grow into a giant tower.
Other sources of inspiration are as follows:

  • real events occurring to me and my relatives
  • beautiful things that I cannot pass by
  • the music I listen to every day.

What important bit of advice can you give to those wanting to start art journaling?

Not to be afraid of it, do not idle, and listen to yourself.

Tell us a little about your process. What mediums do you like to use?
Each page-spread looks like a still-life causing you to come back to it again and again in order to draw something else, stick down or vice-versa paint out.
Therefore, to live in several center spreads at a time is a fine decision. In the process I implement two major passions: multi-detailness (when a center spread can be examined at great length, and every time you find something new) plus typography (I collect interesting letters and pour them generously onto the pages). I do experiments with different paper formations (craft, newspaper, packing, transparent and labels) and utilize a gloss (magazine) mercilessly. I like inventing the spots for small secrets, combining unexpected things. I do additional drawing only in the instance it is required by the subject matter or if a finding cannot be printed out and pasted in.

My small helpers’ toolkit consists of the following: acrylic paints «Ladoga» (when dried up they do not lose their color consistency, and gel pens can draw perfectly on that background), color pencils «Koh-i-noor», gel pens «Pilot», markers «Edding», hole puncher and stapler, non-adhesive band and non-transparent scotch tape. One may apply some dried leaves, various cords, buttons and photographs.

Do you also have other ways you like to create, and if so, what are they?
I am fond of handmade writing pads and books, and currently I am learning how to produce them. What’s more, I am passionately interested in graphics: In particular, those of children’s books. I have a dream to publish my own book someday.

To see more of Valentina’s journal pages, click here.

Click here to visit Valentina’s blog.

Click here to follow Dawn Sokol on her blog.


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