We had the good fortune of connecting with Valentine Svihalek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valentine, how do you think about risk?
I’m all about jumping heart and head first, an approach that ensures I’m always learning and growing. I believe this is essential for a creative. Discovery, pushing the boundaries, necessitates our willingness to dive in to the unknown over and over again. If we are not sensing, observing, developing, evolving, unearthing, creating, sharing… what’s the point?
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 studied philosophy and education in San Diego. Honestly though, I feel like I always had one foot in Europe and one in California. People tend to always ask, so what are you then? Where are you really from? But these parts are equally me. Bella Valentina Art developed as a result of the isolation that came with becoming a mother. Finding myself in a village in the Czech Republic with a new baby not speaking the language was a huge shock for a social San Diego girl albeit a bit of a bohemian type. Now, I’m exploring, processing my own experience and turning that energy and emotion into a way of living well, openly, vulnerably. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I believe there is power in that, particularly through connection. My work inspires an affective and energetic approach to life. I walk a thin line here, I know, as affective approaches are on the edge of dismissal. You know, emotional women, but actually, I believe it’s a huge source of power. I cultivate this through a community I founded as well, where I connect and mentor creatively driven women.
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?
San Diego has so much to offer, but I draw a lot of inspiration from nature and human connection. I love wandering through Balboa Park with friends, visiting tide pools and beaches like La Jolla Shores and going for sushi. Some days are more about chilling out, so grabbing a beer oceanfront at Lahaina and searching for seashells and sand dollars along Mission and Pacific Beach. I also love the view from the University of San Diego and feeling a bit of history roaming around Old Town and grabbing Mexican food. Heading back up to San Diego State to go hike Cowles Mountain is also a must do for me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to some amazing artists I had the privilege of being in a critique group with through the Artist Mother Podcast; who have since become much more. Isadora Stowe, Ellen Burgin, Robin Kenny, and Marianna Edwards are not only amazing artists but also generous, inspiring, and open individuals.