CELEBRITY AND ARTIST INTERVIEWZ
Artist Profile: Nata Ibragimov
Nata Ibragimov is an artist like no other. Be it through visual art, body art, or her performance career, she utilizes her talents to innovate and express her craft. Our own Nerdz Newz Correspondent @PenBxtr interviews Nata Ibragimov.
Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m Nata Ibragimov, a visual and performance artist, currently based in Las Vegas.
You are incredibly talented in many ways. How did you come to learn of all of your talents?
As a child, I was a competitive rhythmic gymnast. The skills I learned in the sport eventually led me to a full-time career as a circus performer. I also have a degree in illustration, which is what led my art career.
I was fortunate enough to combine the skills and talents together, so my creativity and visual art skills come in handy when I’m creating my performance pieces, and vice versa, my performance career inspires a lot of my art. It all goes hand in hand.
A friend of mine said that every part of you is art—you look like art, your body moves like art, your brain creates amazing works of art. How do you see yourself?
Hah, thank you. I don’t really plan or think of what my art looks like, but I do put a lot of myself into it, so it’s no wonder that it shows through my work. I think most artists put themselves into their work. There is even a term for it: “Meraki”.
A few pieces of yours seem to remind me a bit of Margaret Keane. Who are your major influences when it comes to your artwork?
I do love Margaret Keane’s work. I have a large number of contemporary surreal artists that I love and follow, but I can’t say there is a specific influence in my work. I actually put a lot of effort not to look at too much work by other artists, because by being inspired there is a chance to start imitating them, and I don’t like that. I’d rather come up with my own style and technique.
Your hoops acts are gorgeous. I watched the videos online and was stunned by your talent. Where did you learn such a talent, and where can we see you perform?
Thanks. I was a rhythmic gymnast for many years. After retiring from the sport, I taught myself circus hooping through YouTube and a lot of trial and error. At the moment, I work as a freelance performer, so I take projects as they come along. Due to the pandemic, a lot of big show projects have come to a halt, so there isn’t a specific show to go see.
Your tattoos are stunning. My favorite one I believe was inspired by Singing in the Rain. Which tattoo is your favorite that you’ve done?
I love tattoos that come from my original art. I recently did an illustration of a sad clown that’s become my new favorite piece.
I went onto your Etsy site, Delicately Odd https://www.etsy.com/shop/delicatelyodd. Could you explain how you go about designing and making your art pieces, such as Munch and Ocean? Needle felting was just a hobby I picked up while on tour with a circus company a few years ago. Spending hours on the road gave me a lot of time to try new things. I created one little creature and people seemed to like it. So, I created a few more. Eventually, I opened an Etsy shop and found a couple of artisan gift shops in Los Angeles to sell my creatures. Lately, I haven’t been spending a lot of time on creating creatures because the other art forms have been taking priority.
You are already so busy with everything you are working on. However, is there any kind of art that you want to pursue but haven’t tried yet?
Realistically, I have no time for anything new at the moment! But I’d love to paint a mural one day in the future. It seems intimidating and way out of my comfort zone to paint that large, but then again, everything I’ve done so far has felt impossible at some point, so I’m keeping an open mind for when that opportunity arises.
I found you on Instagram, and I saw your website and YouTube videos. I also found your coloring books on Amazon (which are amazing!). Where else can we see your work?
My website is the best place to find my work. I consolidate it all there and have links to all the other platforms (www.nataibragimov.com).
What is next for Nata Ibragimov? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
My goal for the next few years is to become an established tattoo artist with a long waiting list of clients. And
as far as performances go, I hope to become part of a creative team and performance team for a circus show, so I can use all my skills in some capacity.
Nata has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She also has a background in competitive rhythmic gymnastics. These two completely different skill sets have facilitated her in her life as a circus artist, where she can share her imagination with the rest of the world.
Artist Sebastian le Fay - Full interview
Our own Nerdz correspondent @PenBxtr interviews artist Sebastian le Fay.
Sebastian, social media is flooded with individuals taking pics, applying makeup, and conducting how-to tutorials, but your work is vastly different. How would you describe
"I like to think of my work as something special that everyone could do. I don’t say it to diminish what I do, but rather that the materials I use are easily available and the concepts can be followed for inspiration. I believe I do more than most which makes
my work special, but still do less than others so my work doesn't become daunting."
Who is your audience?
"The quick answer would be everyone. Being creative is good no matter your age. I believe it’s rather healthy for the mind to be creative, so instead of focusing on one group I hope to inspire all I come across."
When did you first become aware of your creative talent?
"If I asked my parents they would say I have always been creative and I’ve always known that I liked to create; no matter what it was. My awareness of any talent is harder to specific on because to me, I just make things. We understand talent by comparing one person’s work to the next, but art can’t always be compared as it can be so different."
You are known for using recycled and upcycled materials in your art. How important is sustainability to you?
"It’s a big part of who I am; on and off social media. I have overall three reasons for my passion for sustainability: 1) I care deeply about nature and so want to do my part
to protect it. 2) I’m quite critical of hyper-trends and fast fashion. Trends happen so fast that before the package arrives the trend is over. That ain’t sustainable. 3) Me recycling and using the same things in my art over and over partially came from need
as I simply couldn’t afford to buy anything new. I developed a skill to see potential in what I did have."
I love all of your work, but I have to admit that my personal favorite is Reclaimed by Nature. It is visually stunning. Do you have a personal favorite?
"My favorite changes as my mood does. Though there is one I have always liked; so old it doesn’t have a title. (I’ll attach it with the email) What I like about it is the simplicity of being covered in gold. When I look at it I feel perfect. My imperfections
aren’t covered but highlighted. I see it and am reminded that they aren’t mistakes, they are who I am. We are all imperfect perfect beings."
Your videos are brimming with interesting hacks, such as using eyeshadow color to
paint your nails (so that your makeup and nails match), or using Post-It notes to create elongated fingertips. Where do you draw inspiration from?
"Anywhere I can. Getting inspired happens from encountering and being around something that can inspire you. Surround yourself with people that can inspire you. Watch movies and TV with interesting visuals, read about history and religions from every corner of the world. To get new ideas you need to meet something new. That,
plus a pinch of insanity, is what gives me my edge."
What piece of advice would you give someone who is looking into self-expression through social media?
"Always remember to do it for the art, the community, and the development of your skill. All of us can and before fallen into the trap of getting focused on the numbers; who gets more likes, etc. This can blind you from why you started to begin with, so keep reminding yourself that it’s the art that matters."
You conclude each one of your videos with your tag line, “Stay safe. Be Kind. I’m here.” Can you explain the significance of that statement and what it means to you?
"It comes from my own past pain which has taught me to be there for others. “Stay safe,” means that we should take good care of ourselves because we matter. “Be kind,” is a reminder to behave with love towards other people. Only by being kind
towards the people you meet can the world change for the better. “I’m here,” lets everyone know that they are never alone. If they don’t know who to turn to they can turn to me. Previously in my life I didn’t feel like I had anyone I could turn to and so understand that loneliness. I now do what I can to make sure others don’t experience that feeling."
Is your art and/or jewelry for sale anywhere?
"For now I can only say, not yet. I have many times thought of making a business. The problem: if I sell what I make I can’t recycle it anymore and lose that essential part of me and my art. I might start selling or do commissions, but no binding promises for now."
What’s next for Sebastian le Fay? Do you have any new projects in the works?
"I always do. I have more ideas and projects going than I have time and money to make them. With all the things I want to do I am basically constantly behind schedule. I dearly hope to day be able to make a living from my art, thus enabling me
to really make spectacular works, but until then I’ll put in work whenever I can."