The Canvas of Life: A Conversation with Nude Yoga Girl
Exploring a unique blend of digital and traditional mediums, Nude Yoga Girl's work, including the standout piece "Bella Vita," reflects her deep connection to self-expression and personal growth. In our conversation, we delve into her artistic evolution, the influence of her Italian experiences, and her recent venture into digital art. Please note, this conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
AOTM: “Bella Vita” showcases a significant departure from your traditional style. Can you delve into the reasons or experiences that prompted you to explore this new artistic direction?
NYG: I’ve been passionate about drawing since a young age. Creativity and art have always been a part of me. I started my studies in industrial design, but photography became my primary focus 10 years ago, as I quickly turned it into a profession.
A few years ago, when COVID-19 started, I discovered traditional painting. With 12 years of experience in using Photoshop, I decided to get my first professional graphic tablet this year. I aimed to paint digitally in a way that would resemble my canvas paintings. I’ve been grateful for the response my digital paintings have received over the past 3-4 months. Since I have been painting more traditionally, it feels natural to also make the physical artworks available.
I don’t have any specific expectations, but I’m very excited to see where this new part of my journey takes me. I love the feeling of “flow” that I get when creating; it feels very meditative.
AOTM: You mentioned that your time in Italy, both past and present, has deeply influenced your artistic expression. Can you share a specific memory or moment from Italy that resonated with you while working on “Bella Vita”?
NYG: This painting takes me back to my first summers in a mountain village in Northern Italy, where we had big family dinners outside. There was always wonderful local fruit for dessert. In Italy, I experienced a unique relaxation and warmth around a large table. Guests were often casually invited from the village, and although everything was delicious, there was no great stress about serving and presentation. Being together was the most important thing.
AOTM: “Bella Vita” is described as your most intuitive and abstract painting. What challenges or freedoms did you encounter working without a set plan in mind?
NYG: I think painting without a plan is very liberating, fun, and interesting, because at the beginning, you have no idea what the end result will look like. As a very sensitive and intuitive person, I’ve recently noticed that this kind of free painting from the heart and soul suits me best. Rules, precise plans, and striving for realism can limit imagination and creativity. One challenge I encountered was knowing when to decide ”now it’s ready”. I worked on the piece on several different days and often wondered if it was complete. But in the end, I believe you have to trust the strong feeling, which at least for me, comes at some point, that now it’s ready.
AOTM: The addition of oil pastels to an acrylic painting offers a unique texture and depth. What inspired you to incorporate this medium, and how do you think it contributes to the overall feel and story of the piece?
NYG: The title of the work, “Bella Vita,” means beautiful life, which encompasses many different feelings and experiences. I wanted the work to embody both chaos and harmony, representing life in various colors. The addition of oil pastels enabled me to create several different textures that fit my vision of this relaxed and cheerful dinner in Italy, set against a somewhat harsh environment.
AOTM: As “Bella Vita” represents the start of a new narrative for you, can you give us a glimpse into what themes or motifs might dominate your upcoming works?
NYG: As mentioned, Italy holds an important place in my heart, having lived and spent several years there. Its culture, rich colors, the light, and the way of living inspire me greatly in both photography and painting. The themes are pretty much the same: I’m fascinated by the human body, facial emotions, naturalness, history, natural colors, fruits, and plants. I have also been creating some oil paintings lately and am very excited about it.
AOTM: Throughout the dynamic trajectory of your career, can you identify a turning point or pivotal moment that reshaped your professional vision?
NYG: The most significant turning point in my career happened while I was studying theoretical philosophy at university. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t see a profession in it for me. I struggled with what I would become when I grew up. Reading Brian Tracy’s book gave me an insight. I started thinking about what I would like to do for a job if I could do anything. I began to plan my future based solely on my passions and what makes me happy. I decided to do everything I could to spend a large part of my days doing things I love. My entire career has been about creativity, art, and content production, following my intuition and heart, and fearlessly and unashamedly changing course if inspired by something new. It has led me to where I am today.
AOTM: What foundational principles or philosophies have guided you, especially during challenging times?
NYG: I believe you can’t really fail, as everything educates or teaches in some way. The most important thing for me is to try and experience. I’ve learned in life that there’s simply not enough time or energy for everything, so it’s crucial to prioritize. Experiencing exhaustion has taught me the importance of gentleness and setting my own limits, while mental challenges have increased my empathy and understanding towards others. In difficult times, I tend to isolate myself, but I’ve also realized that people need people. Open discussion, community, and helping and supporting each other are invaluable. We are all constantly learning in this world.
I believe everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I try to use my strengths while recognizing the importance of self-knowledge. Recently, it’s been a particularly challenging time as I was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago. This diagnosis answered many questions I had about myself. I’d like to talk more about this one day, but I want to give myself more time first.
AOTM: Lastly, as you venture into these new artistic realms, how do you envision the continued interplay of your yoga practice, your art, and your deeply held beliefs on self-acceptance and the human form?
NYG: Everything I create is a part of me, and it relates strongly to my life and my experiences. I want to tell my story through my art but in time. I hope people will be able to see how everything connects together in the future because, in my mind, it certainly does.