Romanian soul spread between Zurich and Berlin. A spirit who needs to set creativity free to thrive emotionally. Writing is her favourite way of self-expression, but when words fail, she tries to use her hands and transform small things around into tiny bites of life and meaning. Call it therapy, call it art, call it whatever-you-feel-like. It's just a way of being. Meet Oana Dumbrava, with whom ART NOW! embarked on a fascinating journey into the world of #microart.
ART NOW!: Oana, what exactly inspired you to create the first #microart?
Oana Dumbrava: Inspiration was coming in bites. I kept collecting colourful pieces of cardboard, aluminium, stones, cork and plastic stoppers, broken cups, and tiny pieces of wood that I particularly liked. I was trying to picture in my mind how I could use and combine all these different materials but didn’t have a clear idea of that. Once I dared spread them all out on my living room carpet, my imagination unleashed. I guess I felt the need to create something with my own hands, no matter how useless, imperfect, and strange. And it was amazing to see how so many little things were subject to creativity. Especially those things that we sometimes refuse to throw away.
AN!: What was your first #microart made of?
OD: Once I found a wonderful thing written on a page in a magazine “more poetry is needed”. I recycled the magazine but refused to throw that page away. I just came home from a walk in the woods with a bunch of leaves and tree branches, got that page in my hand and some other magazine stripes. This is what came out, my first #microart made of cardboard, magazines, leaves and pieces of wood.
AN!: How does your creative process look like?
OD: It is like a microfeast of the senses. More than a talker, I’m an observer. I let myself easily be dazzled by sounds, words, smells, colours, textures, and shapes. I gather ideas, materials, without a specific goal in mind until at some point, I really need to digest everything. To give birth to something and make space for other ideas to come. Otherwise, I get restless, my mind gets crowded, and I feel emotionally blocked. I usually begin from a very small piece and set my imagination free for whatever comes along. I guess the secret for me is not to aim for something in particular, but to let myself be surprised by the outcome.
AN!: What does #microart bring to your life?
OD: I think that any creative process can bring balance to our life. Anything that challenges our imagination and helps us detach from our everyday routine. We are challenged to do that as children and then, as adults, we just stop. What comes out of my hands is a genuine expression of my creative self, one that allows emotional sustainability to thrive in my life. Beyond any artistic value, it simply helps me live. And the more I #microart, the more I get in touch with my own feelings and with the environment around me, and the more I see and touch everything with a certain awareness.
AN!: It is the first time you publish your artwork to a bigger audience. What does it mean to you and how does collaboration with ART NOW impact your work?
OD: It is indeed the first time and I still can’t believe it. Sometimes micro and macro artists need time to understand more about what they’re doing, and these kinds of encounters are essential. In my #microart I have been decomposing the environment by proposing different ways of #lookingaround at things inside our domestic household. And I realized it brings fun but also environmental awareness. Together with ART NOW! and Summer with #microart I hope we can inspire people to play with materials and to start looking at every little thing and resource with more humbleness and respect. I feel #microart can have its own #micromagic in helping us see beyond things and start #macroacting. And who says NO to magic? ❏
Inspired? 🤏 ♻️
Can't wait to #microart with us? Extract material or an object worth reminding us all about, create a #microstory around it, and send it via email. The stage of our art blog and social media is yours!