Interview with Zara Manucharyan, Painter

Artist to Artist by © Rocío Heredia

Please tell us something about yourself, and what did you dream to be when you grew up.
I was born in Yerevan, capital of Armenia and grew up here. When a child, I did not dream of becoming something special, I just knew I would become an artist.

Would you tell us about how you became an Artist? When were you first aware of your artistic talent?
My mother dreamed of making me a musician, but all her efforts failed. I tried to escape the piano and drew on music sheets.

How or where did you learn to express it? What is your formal background?
I grew up in a very intelligent and well-read family which has its impact on my esthetic development. I painted wherever I found chance: on the walls, on sheets of paper, even in my Mum's students' test books.

Did your parents give you the encouragement you needed? Were there other artists in your family?
When at last I broke the family defense my parents eagerly gave me all the encouragement I needed. There were no artists in my family, but my Grandma was good at drawing.

If someone has your gift of Art, should they go to Art School and why?
I think if someone has artistic abilities he must at least try to go to Art School. If life proves Art is not his business he will have to give up.

At what age did you decide to become a fulltime artist?At the age of 12 I went to Art School where I studied for 4 years.

Would you give us your personal definition of Art?
Art is very subjective. For me it is an absolute freedom of mind and emotions, and freedom of self-expression.

Were there any artist(s) or mentors perhaps, who in particular influenced you in your career?
When I was a student of Yerevan State Art Academy we had a visiting graphic painter from America Armenian by birth. He conducted several lectures on print graphic, which decided my future style. Since then print graphic dominated in my art.

Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire?
There are a number of artists both historical and contemporary I admire but I prefer contemporary ones (Kandinsky, Miro, Arshil Gorky etc..)

What is the inspiration behind your Artworks? What stimulates your imagination best?
Any change in my life stimulates my imagination and , of course, any interesting trip can become the source of new creations.

Please, define your style.
I don't like to assign myself to any category or style, but I suppose my Art style can be defined as abstract.

While looking through your Portfolio, I find you work several mediums and techniques such as monotype, mixed media, painting, etching, ceramics, etc. I'm tempted to ask you which one satisfies the most your core and how does it influence your creativity?
Most of all I like etching with its different techniques, but it is very hard to work in this field in Armenia due to the absence of any technical possibilities that's why sometimes I satisfy myself with monotype, dry needle est.

What qualities determine your choice?
Etching demands great patience, hard work , lots of time, but unfortunately I don't possess any of these qualities. I just love this style and that's it.

What intrigues me is that you have been creating Art for over 20 years, since you were a little girl. What was your first work of Art? I'm curious to know if you have a picture of this work? I have kept my childhood works, but I have no the photos of them to show you.

Being an artist since you were a child, do you think you have missed something from the magic of childhood years. If you had a chance to choose your path in life again would you make the same choices?
Just the other way round. All my childhood magic and dreams I carried adult life and realized in my works. And if I had a chance to start anew I would choose the same path.

Has there ever been a time when you wanted to put your work as an artist on hold, while you try another profession?
I have never regretted in my choice.

How would you define the obvious evolution in your style from the very beginning of your artistic career since now?
I went deep into the technical details of print graphic.

Which challenges do you confront as an artist?
An artist confronts many difficulties on his path in a developing country, where Art is not in great need yet.

What have been the favorite projects to date in your career, and why? The international workshop in Apt , France in 1996, where I came to know different painters from different countries, where we painted together, discussed ideas and had a joint exhibition.

What do you hope visitors to this exhibition at BTDesign Art Gallery will bring away from it?
Visitors to BTDesign Art Gallery will have a chance to see a big collection of works of international artists and as to me I hope some will get interested in my works.

In what ways do you feel the Internet will affect today's or future Art? Do you feel the Internet is more positive or negative or neither in this aspect?
I consider that personal contacts and live exhibitions are better, but on the other hand internet gives a wider opportunity of information spreading and wider chance of promotion.

What is your purpose as an artist?
I think self-expression must be the purpose of any artist.

What is in the present of Zara Manucharyan? Do you have current projects you wish to present here?
I don't know what Zara Manucharyan is at present. I have a lot of ideas and plans, but the most ripe is the personal exhibition I am going to have.

If you could offer one bit of advice to the young promising artists what would it be?
I would advise a young artist to have two strong hands to work with and a strong forehead not to break the head when trying to break the wall you want to go through. And always listen to yourself and less to others.

Finally, How do you feel you have been blessed personally from embracing the life of an Artist?
I am sure Heaven blessed me when I chose to be an Artist.

Dear Zara, me and I am sure our viewers, appreciate your time and responses to our questions.

Copyright Note: Interview © February 2003 Rocío Heredia. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is forbidden. Originally published on BTDesign Art Gallery. Banners by Barbara Tampieri © BTDesign Art Gallery. All Rights Reserved. Throughout this website all artworks, images, text files, or other material is all copyrighted by Rocio Heredia and/or named authors, and may not be used elsewhere on the net, within other websites, or in print, without the written permission of the site owner and/or author. For express permission to copy articles, please contact us.