Artist Maya Kolega: I love people who have a story to tell

By Milda Urban, Summersalt Yoga founder

The incredibly talented artist and photographer Maya Kolega is a ray of sunshine and we’re so lucky to have here taking photos and leading Yoga Life drawing classes at Summersalt Yoga this summer!

We’re chatting to this always smiling and happy soul about her photography, illustrations and passion for travel!

What’s your background and when and how did you get into art and photography?

I grew up in Port Lincoln, South Australia. When I was young I would often look and admire the work of my father’s when he was working as a photographer in the 1980s. My Dad taught me how to work using film photography and ever since I haven’t looked back. I went on to University and completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts specialising in Photography. I have always worked closely with illustration also often combining the two.

What is the most important thing for you in your craft?

The entire process and the joy I get from the moment I release the shutter to then seeing the final print in an exhibition being enjoyed by others.

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What inspires you to do your work?  

I enjoy creating, I have a passion for all things related to art and I feel lucky to be able to live my life doing something I love. I am always striving for the next step, sometimes it takes travel, a residency or meeting new people to get there.

Who do you love photographing the most?

I love photographing people who have a story to tell or people who without speaking to you just know have experienced great things in life.

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How would you describe your style?  

I am always interested in composition. When I am looking through the viewfinder, composition is always what draws me to pull the trigger.

Can you describe your drawing style, focus, inspiration?

I like to use illustration to create things I cannot with a camera. Often because of this my illustrations are surreal like depictions of the world.

You do life drawing classes – why did you decide to start them and what do they give to you as a teacher?

I am interested in the process of healing through art creation and the rewarding feeling you have when looking at a finished art piece. My classes are not necessarily about perfecting a drawing, I have created these classes to open up new doors for people they didn’t know existed, the chance to explore something new and create something that they didn’t expect they could.

What is your most proud achievement so far?

My most proud achievement was getting through 7 months of solo travel around Europe in 2016. By the end of the trip I had been an Artist in Residence in Croatia as well as exhibiting twice whilst there and also completed a 6-week intensive residency in Spain. I came back to Australia with many new bodies of work and inspiration.

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You obviously love to travel – what places did you like most and why, how do you capture them in your work and what’s next on your list?

I enjoy spending the majority of my travels in smaller places that are less touched by tourists. I love to get to know the locals and their day to day routine which usually involves staying in each place for longer periods of time. During the phase of getting to know the true lifestyle of a place I work to capture this in either photography or illustration creating work that tells a story. I want to travel to America next, I have been there before but I am interested to go back alone and get to know the way of living there… I see so much on social media and in the news about America and I am interested to go there to make my own decision about the people and culture.

For anyone looking to embark on their own journey as an artist or just as anything else – what would you say to encourage and inspire?

Do what you enjoy doing. If we are following a path to success in happiness it will eventually be a path of success in all areas. Also part of being an artist is rejection- overcome this rejection and keep striving to achieve because eventually if you continue to be passionate about what you are doing then you will find success.

What’s next for you? What are you looking to achieve? 

I am interested in traveling a little more this year and hopefully completing another residency in America. This year I also hope to finish an ongoing project of mine called “LOCALS” and turning it into a book as well as an exhibition. I am also looking into studying Art Therapy.

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By | 2017-06-10T10:12:01+00:00 June 10th, 2017|The Madame Guru|