We had the good fortune of connecting with Olga Leshchinskaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olga, what inspires you?
I am heavily inspired by nature. Nature has so many beautiful colors. The cotton candy sunsets, the lush forest trees, the bioluminescent waters, the endless colorful and brilliant patterns of the butterfly wings.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I like to think of my art as a mixture of impressionism, realism, and abstract. My favorite things to paint are trees, water, and sunsets. I used to take art lessons as a child, and I would always be drawing different figures and still life objects. It was mostly for fun at the time. Once I reached college, I stopped doing art to focus on my education and trying to find what most people defined as “a real career.” My parents discouraged me from pursuing art as a profession because they, like many, associated an art career with the “starving artist” stereotype. So, I got a job in the IT field. I haven’t made much art for 15 years since I stopped. About a year and a half ago, when I picked up the paintbrush for the first time in all those years, I was immediately hooked. I realized that this was the passion that has been missing from my life. I have since then been painting as often as I can. I have built my website on my own, started attending art fairs and markets, I have set up my tent at local street fairs, started collecting emails, and built networks and relationships. I still have long ways to go where I want to be. I still need to supplement my income with a day job, for which I am very grateful to have. But I made sales and built connections, which gives me confidence and the willpower to continue pursuing my dream of being an artist. It’s a journey, and with every small step, I go further, I learn something new, and I discover something about myself that I haven’t known before.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to: 1. Disneyland – The “happiest place on earth”
2. Ventura Beach – for the beautiful sandy beach and a great little town to shop and dine
3. Malibu – Also for the beautiful beach and shopping and dining. One of my favorite places to eat is Dukes of Malibu
4. Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens – Gorgeous botanical gardens with so many variations of plants.
5. Descanso Gardens – Similar to the Huntington, but a bit smaller and more romantic. It’s got so many Oak trees and camellias of all kinds.
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?
First and foremost, my biggest supporters are my husband and my 7-year-old son. They are my number one fans and admirers. The second shoutout goes to my artist friends who, like me, understand both the joys and struggles of being an artist. We always help each other out and share any opportunities one might hear about, and always give one another love and support on social media. Lastly, I want to give praise to a book I read called “Art, Money, Success” by Maria Brophy. It has probably been the best book I have read so far on tips and advice for making your art career be successful.