Meet the artist who uses her emotions to create powerful and abstract work

Natalija Sari Djakovic is a Finnish-Serbian visual artist. She moved to Finland a few years ago to pursue arts at TAMK.

Her works range from paintings to drawings to sculptures, full of vibrant colors and abstract shapes. Through her artwork, she pulls you in to think more about the subject matter.

Why don’t you give a little background?

I was born here in Finland but have lived most of my life in Belgrade, Serbia. I moved back to Finland in the year 2018 to come and study culture and arts, Fine Arts here in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. In Serbia, I went to atelier for a few years where I was learning life drawing and painting. And then after that, I studied for one year sculpting at the University of Applied Sciences in Belgrade where I took part in an exhibition with my classmates there. But I wanted to travel a bit and get back to painting and I knew the Finnish language so when I saw the opportunity to study that here in Tampere I took it and went with it.

Expressive and sincere is something I strive to be with my art. It is a way of communicating with myself and with others. At the limits of language art in all of its forms is what takes over.

One of my favorite things about art is how our subconscious has so much space to revile itself there. And I try and incorporate that into my art as much as possible. I believe we have started to value our concuss awareness a bit too much in today’s world. Some of our problems sometimes require an irrational solution.

Bending Reality.
It moves and it shifts, never staying still.
Bring us all together and eventually tearing us apart.

What got you into art?

What got me into art initially as a kid was probably curiosity and the joy of creating but what got me into art more seriously was this one event about four or five years ago when I was pretty lost and without direction, at a friends party talking to a person with whom I was never particularly close with. We talked about life in general and our futures. Having explained to her my situation she asked me to come with her to this one atelier to which I said I would come.

Not thinking much about it at that moment, but it was a small event that pushed my life into a whole new artistic journey in which among other things I also found purpose. Looking back on it I am still amazed at how small and sudden of a happening that was and how easily it might have not happened. Yet it did and it transformed my life.

The Last Tree

When did you start making art?

I don’t remember exactly when but I probably started making my first small artworks as a very young kid if that counts. Later on, then those works just matured. And it was about three years ago when I got a real sense of what kind of art I want to make, and when my artworks became very personal to me.

What is your creative process like?

My creative process starts first and foremost with living life and experiencing. Feeling the widest range of emotions as deep as possible. Then I go into a state of mind where I am being present with those emotions as I can and I start making something without any plan. I let my intuition guide me each step of the way, and it feels like the artworks are coming to life by themselves while I am merely observing it happen.

In this way, I find the subconscious can come through and have its role in the artwork. After that, I observe what I have created and I reflect.

I try to understand my own creation and what it says. If what I have created resonates with me on the deepest of the levels then I will take that artwork into the final stage where what I have created spontaneously now I create again deliberately and consciously.

Planning it, gathering references, creating sketches for it and thinking about how to develop further the visual aspect of it as well as the meaning of the artwork. Having all that in my mind I set to work trying not to be too rigid and still allowing myself some spontaneity in the making of the final version.

Is there something or someone that inspires your work?

Among visual artists, Elly Smallwood, Alex Grey, and Eric Lacombe are the biggest inspirations. Other then them I find music very moving as well as the words from my favorite philosophers.

What’s your favorite medium to use?

I tend to go from one medium to another almost all the time, mixing them as well. So I really cannot pick one favorite, each has its own advantage and it depends on my mood or what I want to do.

Natalija with her paintings

If you could collaborate or meet anyone, dead or alive, who and why?

I would so much want to just talk with Alan Watts and maybe then create a work that would come out of the discussion with him. Knowing about his love for the arts I would also guess that he would not mind that.

What’s next?

Next for me is to continue growing as a person and embracing as much life as I can. Out of that, my future artworks will come.

The human project.
our collective work, our collective task.
chosen by none yet performed by us all.

An interview with Natalija Sari Djakovic, conducted and edited by Isabella Presnal.

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