Wednesday, February 01, 2017

in the studio with tanja zinkl

Hello! My name is Tanja Zinkl and I am a 29 year old artist living and working in Vienna, Austria. I found my way to making art through some detours - I actually started out studying hotel management because I had an insatiable curiosity to travel and see the world. As fate would have it, I did get to work in a luxury hotel in Southern California for 2 years after graduation, but I realized I did not like the monotony and superficiality of the work at all.

Back home in Vienna I found myself working as a receptionist full time again, to make ends meet, while deep inside of me the nagging feeling grew that there was "something more creative" I needed to do, I just did not know yet what that would look like.

It was during that time that I stumbled across a book about acrylic painting. I was immediately drawn to it and intrigued enough to pick up some basic art supplies and to just start experimenting. I've been addicted to creating paintings ever since, following my creative whims and need for self-expression in the process. I took several painting classes both on- and offline, but soon focused on finding my very own style. I love mixing up vibrant colours, dripping paint, doodling, writing and collage intuitively and turning it all into detailed, layered, funky paintings. When I am not painting, I enjoy spending time in nature, dancing Kizomba and planning my next trip.

I love seeing how other artists set up their creative space. Can you tell us a little bit about your studio?

I use a corner of my appartment as my dedicated art space. Currently, my budget does not allow to rent a separate studio so for now I am making this work! I have recently bought a huge table where I can spread out my materials, and where my cat often joins me, I love her company! Sometimes I also work on an easel, and I have some cabinets where I keep finished artwork, sketchbooks and shipping supplies. It's a simple, practical set-up where I can get messy.

What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

In many ways, I consider myself a constant seeker, since I was little I used to ask tons of questions. This curiosity serves me well on my search for inspiration. I know that the more diverse the places are where I find inspiration, the more depth my art is going to have. I am inspired by many things - nature, emotions, fabrics, memories, foreign places, books. I love how all of it can be woven together in a layered painting, the "how" being the drive behind it - how can I put together all those bits and pieces that I found and experiences I had in a meaningful, visually appealing way? 

I am motivated to create because it makes me feel balanced and whole in a way that nothing else does. When life gets busy and I don't get to paint for some time, I always know because I get moody and tend to overthink things! 

How do you organize your creative schedule?

This is something I am currently trying to improve, as up until now, being the typical "free spirit", I have not followed a set schedule. I know that I work best when I have open-ended painting sessions, when there is no other appointment (or bedtime) at the end of it that forces me to stop. I am a night owl, so Friday and Saturday nights work best for me. I keep an ever-growing to-do list of administrative tasks that I work on when I don't have enough time or inspiration for painting, but it feels like a constant pull between the two.

What is a typical day like for you?

I work part time as an Executive Assistant from 9-3pm on weekdays. After that, I like to have a couple of hours of downtime after leaving the office to clear my head before diving into my creative projects for a few hours. I try to have separate days for the administrative tasks and the actual painting time. 
What are you working on right now?

I am always working on building my portfolio and creating original paintings, it is the core of what I do. Besides that, I am currently working on offering prints of selected paintings of mine in my Etsy Shop very soon - please sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when they are ready:

Want to see more of Tanja?
Instagram @tanjazinklart

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