Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am a self taught artist from Tbilisi (Georgia), a small country in Eastern Europe.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
After graduation (journalism) I felt like no place was proper for me in everyday activities – I didn’t belonged anywhere. I always had great respect for artists, thinking, they have real purpose in life, but I never associate myself direct with them, so one day (this was 2 years ago), I made an inner decision – I will paint, I want to paint! That’s how it was: I started. Since then I dedicate all my time and energy to creativity…
What do you like most about working where you do?
The ideal place is my studio, but I always take my sketchbook with me and draw everywhere, so place does not matter that much when I am in the process.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
My manner of painting is impulsive; I never know what outcome will be. Reflection and observation begins only after I finish an art piece. I had several radical changes during these 2 years that I have been painting, and I always say that the “style” doesn’t interest me. I just want to be always fresh and innovative, and to challenge and explore unknown spaces.
What is your process like?
I usually finish an art piece in one day, working on a piece without breaks. But I hang at my studio most of the time. I also work with Instagram – Instagram is for me not an entertainment, but a great platform to do research. I love seeing other artists’ current pieces and their processes – it inspires me.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
From classics like Rothko and Frank Stella are my inspiration, to contemporaries Franz Ackerman, Jutta Koether. I do plenty of reading and love Pirandello, love Art House movies – great and crazy ones, like Alain Resnais “Last Year in Marienbad” is to me an unbeatable masterpieces – irrational, mysterious with blurred symbolic order.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
Mixing acrylic paints with my saliva because I did not have water nearby and I was very deeply involved in the process :))
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
I just left a job 4-5 weeks ago (video editor) from 1TV. I understood that I have to devote all my energy to art, but editing videos was really good experience.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Being open to criticism and looking for professional mentors has gained me the recognition and support of Gia Edzgveradze, a Georgian internationally acclaimed artist, who for 25 years has lived in Germany. He has been motivating and mentoring me ever since he saw my works, and he has a huge role in my development.
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
Just don’t ever compare yourself to others and work really really hard, let art swallow all of you.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
It’s really important to me to have art-related surroundings, people who understand all the benefits and struggles around this theme, with whom you can exchange ideas, and just talk how wonderful is to be in the world as an artist.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
When I enter the studio, for 20-30 minutes I just stay there and observe the room like I am seeing it for the first time in my life. It’s not planned, it just happens naturally.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
I had exhibition (21 February – 7 March) at Project Artbeat gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia (run by Natia Bukia and Salome Vakhania), called “two solo shows” with another Georgian artists Gvanca Jishkariani. It was an amazing experience in a beautiful highly professional gallery done with a strong team.
Find more on Instagram @tamo__j!