Tatyana Dilmac is a Ukrainian artist. She converted to Islam and lives in Turkey now. Tatyana was born in Kyiv in 1987. In 2010 she graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, where she was actively engaged in drawing and graphic, ceramics and sculpture arts. In 2015 she graduated from the Academy of fashion design Unimeks. The artist is currently living in Sakarya.
Her pictures capture bright life moments difficult to reproduce by visual techniques. The light plays very special role in her art pieces, forming an extraordinary visual richness. Tatiana is well acquainted with the techniques of, so called, decorative and applied art. Many people mistakenly believe that this kind of art, unlike the “elegant”, and “pure” art, takes lower place in the ranking, because of its practical usage. But if you look at the small masterpieces, created by Tatyana (which she signs, as Tata Tint), you’ll understand that is a mistaken belief. Her works also, like paintings or sculptures, affect feelings and emotions. Through evoking the associations, they not only give esthetic pleasure, but make a viewer think, appeal to the best he/she has. The artist's tastefulness transforms even simple toys (she has made quite a lot of them) into heartwarming symbols reflecting the pure perception of the world, trustful openness to it, like we feel in a childhood. And at the same time it makes us think about the fragility of life, about our responsibility for the priceless gift the Creator gave us at birth. Probably, it would be difficult to enumerate all art types and techniques young talented artist uses. These are graphic art, painting, toy making, and painting of her handmade leather things (bags, wallets, etc), incredibly beautiful jewelry...
Tatyana Dilmac gave an interview to our special correspondent.
I was born in Kyiv in 1987. I grew up here. I graduated from The National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, faculty of Arts. In 2015, I graduated from Unimeks Fashion Design Academy. I am married, and have two children. In 2015, we moved to the homeland of my husband in Turkey.
When did you identify yourself as an artist?
During my whole life I have been drawing or painting something. until recently \ my first drawings, which I made in 2 years old age, were quite visible on the upholstery of my parents’ apartment front door. I painted on everything I saw- furniture, wallpaper, floors, and when my parents took away my paints, I scratched the drawings on the wallpaper. Moreover I cut, stitched and sewed everything came into my hands; took to pieces all equipments and tools with Daddy’s instruments. Mom really did not know what to do with me! And by the way - now, having two children like me - I understand what a challenge I was for my parents!
What part of your life is art?
The art is not a part of me, no! This is what I consist of! I consider that this is because of my “inquiring mind”, as new ideas are always in my head. I want to try everything by myself. Sometimes, I see a new technique in a painting or a craft - and somehow I immediately understand how it works out. I don't even need to find out anything - I just want to try it right now and I can't change that.
Does everything work at once?
Of course, failures and blunders happen sometimes, this is common for all of us. But I love art. It lets us create and try something new! This is a great experience. I am learning in such way! I call myself a “one man army” because I can draw a portrait in one evening; I can work with any technique, and I can drill holes in the wall and prepare a three-course dinner in half an hour!
Speaking of the dinner, many people think a woman, falling in love with her work, leaves her family without due attention; Immersing herself in a creativity (as in your case), she is far from an everyday routine. Is it your case and what does your husband feel about this?
My husband supports me in everything. He helps with children and in my work. I think I am so lucky. As for me, he is an example of an ideal husband and Muslim! In a marriage, the woman’s success directly depends on the man’s desire to help her! Saying to the wife “do whatever you want” is not enough - you also need to give her such an opportunity! Sometimes you will need “to look after the kids”, free up some time, just leave her alone for some time. Nobody sets free a wife and mother from her duties, and without any help the woman will be stuck in the everyday routine and she will be not able to do anything else.
And what do the children think about their “creative mother”, who turns a house into an art workshop?
The family, of course, suffers from the "creative mother"! There are a lot of marks in our apartment, indicating “the mother was here"! When I start drawing a new painting, the children immediately repeat after me and our apartment transform into an art workshop. They love to draw, and my daughter has already sewed her first thing. She is 7 years old now and makes good progress. The son also does not lag behind. In his 4.5 years he even has his own drawing technique!
Coming back to your husband’s support, in many patriarchal families, a woman believes that her only task is to bring comfort into the house, cook, clean, serve, and there is no need to realize her potential in something else, get a profession, build a career or engage in social activities. There is still (unfortunately) the opinion that such an approach is exclusively inherent to Muslims - although this is far from the truth, and Islam, the first world religion enshrined the rights of women, has nothing to do with it. This is most likely the relics of pre-Islamic times, of "male chauvinism", which is also inherent, by the way, to followers of other beliefs... Nevertheless, to what extent in traditionally Muslim society women are ready to realize their rights prescribed in the Koran?
Sometimes, indeed, I witness some Muslim families, where a woman wants to realize her potential, but she is afraid, and not yet self-confident. Moreover, her husband turns down all her initiatives. He doesn’t want to step over his ego or pride and just to give his wife, at least sometimes, opportunity to be involved in other occupations than cooking and cleaning! I am rather talking about an older generation, than mine. Thanks God, now the situation is changing step by step. But how many talents of women with unrealized potential, we will never see! Hobbies, handicrafts, creativity are what self-realization, study, new knowledge, and profession actually are for a housewife! After all, this situation among the women of the modern world deprives us, Muslims, of “half of our potential”! I am very sad to see the women who are not “allowed” to find themselves and their vocation, despite of their desire.
Let's be fair. Although such cases still happen, they are not systemic. Aren’t there enough successful Muslim women who perfectly combine both the self-realization, as mother and wife, and their professional and social activities? Aren’t there enough women, who gratefully accept Supreme’s gifts, – I mean talents, abilities - and develop them, remembering that the Lord gave us this life, and this world, as a loan and our task is to preserve them?
Yes, I often meet other women, who are successful, independent, self-realized both in a profession, and in a wife and mother role. I feel sorry for those Eastern women, who were not allowed to study and get an education! I often meet such women here, in Turkey. Maybe after my words, people’ll shower “stones” and critics on me, but we’ll understand the deplorable situation these women happen in very soon. Men, give a chance to your wives! Do not limit their lives with household duties and cuisine! Let it be just one “squeak” for the women defense, but thank you for letting me say that!
What is art for you?
As for me, art is a chance to capture and describe the beautiful things, created by the Almighty, on the canvas. There is nothing more perfect than world and nature, created by God.
How could you call your painting style?
I paint in impressionist style - I like to catch the moment of the first impression while admiring the beauty. When you meet a sunrise or see a sea for the first time – there is nothing to compare with this first impression. I never fantasize and never paint in the surrealistic style. I think there is no need to create new forms or images on the canvas, the Almighty has already created them. And they are so magnificent. Everything has been already done for us, and we will never create anything to compare with it!
Nowadays, it is difficult to hide in the “ivory tower”, painting or practicing other arts in the world of winged sentiments and creative aspirations, which is far from the everyday routine of practical calculations and daily problems. Anyway, a commercial part is also important. It includes additional funding and, a rate of the artist relevance as well. And nowadays the pragmatic Pushkin’s words: “The inspiration is not for sale, but the manuscript is” are no longer perceived as the slogan of an unprincipled cynic...
I often make paintings to order. Of course, such works are different from works made by my choice and desire. Sometimes, I have to force myself to draw something my heart isn’t in, but that is nothing to do with. Everyone needs a “piece of bread”, no matter how pragmatic it sounds. But it does not mean that I made these works somehow with no care. No way! Of course, it is impossible to think about the painting only as a source of income. It is unbearable for a creative person, so I often give myself a break between the orders and draw what I want. I make toys; make and sew bags, brooches, silk scarves. I often sew clothes for myself and children. In general, all my creative activities change from one to another, so I never bother myself, because it is very important not to burn out.
I imagine how ill-wishers will begin blaming: she moved far away and was forced to earn a “piece of bread”, here you are a Muslim husband, whose religion requires to maintain the family...
I’ll say I absolutely don’t feel lack of money, and, as I have already said, my husband is an example of an ideal Muslim, an ideal husband. And when I work "to order" or for sale, I assert myself in such way. This is also important for a married woman, whose husband completely keeps the family. It is important to feel “your” money, earned by your own forces. It is important to know that you will not go to smash in this world if you stay alone. It is important to believe in yourself and to realize your full potential. And I know that my husband is proud of me.
Can you describe your “targeted audience”?
It often happens: I imagined, what I would make, and supposed at once that maybe it would take a long time to find a buyer for this piece of work. I understand that it is impossible to please everybody. So I would choose to be unique than to be loved by everybody! When you made something very extraordinary and individualized, then be ready, perhaps, not everyone will understand your work.
You have been living in Turkey not long ago. As an artist, you have developed in a cultural environment unlike the Turkish one, grown up in other traditions. Having moved from Ukraine, did you, figuratively speaking, feel a “clash of civilizations”, a “culture shock”? Or, on the contrary, it was a case of collaboration and mutual enrichment of the Ukrainian and Turkish art esthetics and artwork traditions?
Being an artist is very difficult in another country. You have to deal with different culture, and customs. Sometimes people don’t understand you. When I decided to move to Turkey, I didn’t know what I would face. Another lifestyle and traditions often dictate to a woman what to do. Nevertheless, this situation has begun to change recently. People are more often interested in new techniques; learn new types of professions and hobbies. There are many courses, opened for housewives, in Turkey. Here they not only learn a new hobby, but acquire a real profession. We, Ukrainians, have much to learn from them. Of course, I would like to tell the whole World about my Homeland, about the beauty of Ukraine, and about its talents. Ukraine will be always in my mind, even if I live here all the time. I am always ready for new projects and beginnings.
By the way, the Turks really like our “Petrikov painting” and I have plans to start teaching this technique here in Turkey. I always wanted to introduce the world to the beauty of the Petrikov painting. I think it very accurately reflects our Ukrainian culture.
Do potential buyers have to come to Turkey to see or purchase your works under the Tata Tint brand?
Everybody is welcomed to buy my works at the online gallery in Turkey at the Gran Pazar souvenir market in Istanbul, or through my Instagram and Facebook pages
Do you consider yourself to be a fully realized creative person?
I have just started the path of self-realization. I do not feel the completeness in occupations at all. There are still a lot ahead, a lot of things I have not tried and studied yet. I absolutely don’t want to sit still even for a minute! Perhaps, by my example I’ll show other housewives who want, but are afraid, to start their self-realization, that you always have to go forward, take control of the situation, say your fear and insecurity - go away, I can do everything! Well, what we could lose at the end? - Our opportunities, that’s all!