Nikolina Petolas is a graphic and web designer from Croatia. With over 10 years of experimenting with various segments of photography, from portrait and still life to landscapes and macro, she felt the desire to expand her vision out of the possible photographic framing and therefore complemented her photography with her designing skills in order to create complex photomontages as a way to express her ideas.
Where do you get your inspiration?
There isn’t one specific thing that I get my inspiration from. It is usually a combination of all sorts of things, which then I combine until I get a scenery I love.
I am surely influenced by my surroundings, people and their behavior, nature and animals, dystopian landscapes and steampunk environments. I always enjoyed sci-fi sceneries and fantasy themes, so I guess all of that is in one way or another presented in my visual stories.
Subconsciousness is also very much present in my work, although I wouldn’t know why or how much it is dominates. Although I plan my works and try to approach them in strategic steps, sometimes I am just not satisfied with results. In that case, the work takes a different form from which it had in the beginning and then I decide to go with the flow.
Which is the relationship and influence beetween your cultural backgorund (country, studies, etc.) and your artworks?
I think our surroundings, as well as lifetime memories of various experiences are the greatest influences.
There are plenty of old military buildings in my country, which were demolished and abandoned after the war, where I shot some of surroundings, that I used in my art. It is always sad and inspiring at the same time to find such structures.
I love to give some new meanings and form to places or things that once had some different purpose.
I travel whenever I can, and collect photos for my work in all sorts of places, but many of my photocomposites are based on photography I shot in Croatia.
What are you much focused in?
Although I spent over a decade doing photography and digital art, lately I am expressing my visions with traditional painting methods. Photography has some limitations, which I try to overcome with painting and during the process I discover every day some new things about myself and my art. It is a completely different process of approaching problems than photography, and I find it at the same time challenging and very rewarding. I hope I will find more time to dedicate myself to this medium.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art/freelance career?
There are constant struggles when you are an artist, especially self taught. There is no one to ask in which direction to go, what to do, how to solve a problem. There are constant decisions you have to make… Everything is trial and error, and mistakes are often costly and discounraging. But that is also a learning process and I guess there is no way around it.
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession?
To be patient and persistent, to learn from your mistakes, to be open to new things and projects, and most of all…to enjoy what you do. I also learned to enjoy isolation and spending time with myself, which is obviously necessary when doing creative work.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too?
Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of discipline involved, maybe sometimes even more than creativity. Creativity is just a start and to get the work done…that is the discipline and commitment. One cannot exist without the other.
Are you currently work on new projects?
Yes, I am working on several paintings and also developing new concepts. There are also few digital works that are currently on hold, until I find the time and ideas to finish them.
Artist Website > nikolinapetolas.com
Facebook > facebook.com/NikolinaPetolas
Instagram > @nikolinapetolas
Twitter > @nikolinapetolas