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Check out Valentine Roter-Svihalek’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valentine Roter-Svihalek.

Valentine, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I stumbled across painting as a therapeutic outlet after having my son. Artistic expression was never a path I saw for myself, but once I started painting I couldn’t stop. Every free second was spent painting. If my son slept, I snuck quickly into the garden and started.

Before I knew it I had so many paintings, my husband, being a musician himself, urged me to have an exhibition. I didn’t believe in myself until a painter friend of his came over and saw my paintings and offered me an exhibition space.

At this point, I started to think it could be possible, albeit slightly insane. I was drawn to the freedom of intuitive art and continued to enjoy an exploration of and obsession with texture. Painting for me is a release of energy, which I’ve always had in excess, without thought of end result. I work quickly, usually laughing a lot throughout the process as I’m flinging, throwing, or smacking paint around. I get a little crazy, but anyone who knows me knows I live life to the fullest and try to find joyful madness in every moment.

After some time and more and more people seeing my creations in my house, neighbors and friends urging and selling a handful of paintings, I decided to go for it. I had my first exhibition abroad in Brno, the Czech Republic in a little artistic corner of town. It was a locals spot in the heart of this creative nook and a friend connected me with the owner who I’d met before. She showed her my work and she was enthusiastic about making it happen. I received such positive feedback from the exhibition it was extremely rewarding and truly unbelievable. I received several more offers for exhibition sites and had my second and third exhibitions shortly after.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I create paintings using a blend of collaging, acrylics, and unorthodox tools. It is really a therapeutic expression for me. Inspiration can come from anything, as it is the emotion which drives me, it could be a nice conversation with a friend, something beautiful I’ve seen, or really anything that affects my mood. My artwork is an expression of feeling, I never start with the end in mind. I just go where the feeling takes me, like entering a transcendental state.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Having lived in four countries (USA, Belgium, Italy, and the Czech Republic) has really given me perspective and particularly the Czech Republic is a very creative place.

Everyone you meet seems to plays at least one instrument and/ or engages in some form of artistic expression. I draw a lot of inspiration waking up in a house on the edge of the forest in Brno, listening to the birds chirping, seeing a true changing 4 seasons-unlike in SD, and just living life at a slower pace feeling more in touch with my own thoughts and in turn the world around.

In my case where I’ve traveled and lived certainly impacted my own path. I would say travel and interaction with the unusual is an integral part of developing as an artist, therefore helping to mediate exchanges between international artists is definitely something that I think could help a place like San Diego develop its artistic community.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Currently, my exhibitions are in the Czech Republic, but after the birth of my daughter I will return and hope to prepare a new exhibition in California. I tend to post most updates on my Instagram account, but also have a facebook page and website with other information.

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