We had the good fortune of connecting with Marina Karpova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marina, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’d say finding the balance is critical for any creative person, at least it proves so for me. When I started painting, a couple years ago, I was so much amazed with the new world I had discovered for myself! Before I didn’t know I could paint. Even more, I didn’t know I could create art that people would be willing to buy to decorate their home and to give it as a gift to their loved ones and colleagues at work, I couldn’t imagine there would be people willing to follow me on social media for inspiration, for entertainment and even to learn from me.
All that just crashed upon me within a very short time. Even though that was far from what you’d call an overnight success, still it was so new and significant to me.
Needless to say support from my family and other people was very encouraging, adding to my tremendous inner desire to try myself in the new field and being inspired by the ocean and coastal views every day.
So I dived into creativity, “head over ears”. First I was painting at nights, after I put my baby to bed. Then I learnt to find time for painting after dinner besides keeping that night routine. Then I started painting on weekends, often sacrificing joining my family for a walk or a visit to relatives.
That was how it was, no right, no bad, just it couldn’t be any other way for me, I was learning and I had so much to learn! 24 hours in a day seemed not enough.
It definitely took me a while before I came to a more regular schedule where I would balance my work life. And I’m glad that happened naturally, I mean with no real burn out. Just little by little I started noticing how my physical condition was affecting the quality of my work, requiring more time and extra focus. Also, sometimes it was hard to make a plan being overwhelmed with lots of inspiration, ideas, etc when I was eager to try all mediums possible and to paint every view I liked. Besides, I was really feeling upset to say the least when I was staying at home painting instead of spending weekends with my family. The initial happiness of having no distractions for some hours and being able to dedicate all that time to creativity gradually disappeared.
Now I know what actually works for me. For example, I know my key sources of energy: time with my family, being outside, visiting places, meeting people, time for self care and relaxation. All that gives me energy and motivates me. When I am happy and grateful for all that quality time, I feel recharged and fueled and that translates into quality of my work. Some of my recent most successful paintings were created in one go, so amazingly easily, just because it was the right moment to work on them.
As the proverb goes, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So my advice to all my fellow creatives, and beginner artists in particular, would be to take care of yourself, listen to your body, check you inner energy level and always find time for people and things you love. Then your creative process will be much easier and happier.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m completely self-taught. I paint with acrylics on canvas, paper, wood. My biggest inspiration are coastal views and the ocean. I’m particularly proud of my signature collections of miniature paintings.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many amazingly beautiful places in San Diego and around that my must-see list is endless. However, my favorite ones, of course, are all along the coast. I love Bird Rock and Windansea Beach, small but so picturesque and breathtaking. Also I love Encinitas and Moonlight Beach, by the way a tiny 2″x2″ miniature of that beach with the lonely palm tree was one of my first minis that sold. Finally, Point Loma and Coronado are among my sources of inspiration that never fail. Boats, waves, reflections on the surface of the water. What else a marine artist can ask for, right?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents, husband and daughter