03 January 2020

Featured Artist: January 2020

The new year brings new Featured Artists to pcPolyzine. Our first Featured Artist of 2020 is the talented Ludmila Bakulina! 

Ludmila Bakulina is a polymer clay artist originally from Ukraine. For the past 8 years, her and her beautiful, friendly, and happy family have been living in Thailand. Ludmila is a happy wife and mother of two wonderful children! She loves to create beauty with her hands and then gives it to people to make them happy! She tells pcPolyzine that when she creates her art, she puts a piece of her soul and her good mood into it.

We asked Ludmila some questions and here’s what we learned:

pcPolyzine: How did you get into polymer clay?
Ludmila: More than 8 years ago, I had just found out what polymer clay was! I ordered some pieces of finished product from the internetsome jewelry (necklaces as I remember) and some figurines. The figurines were of penguins for my husband and they were pretty nice. But I was not satisfied with the necklaces. I was waiting for something amazing like what I saw in the pictures. I got really poor quality. It looked like the works in the pictures did not belong to the seller. And I was very disappointed. Then I asked myself "why can't you do that by yourself?!" And I decided to try. 

I started to try different techniques, but my favorite at that time was flower making, I especially loved to make tiny roses and then finish them into chained bracelets.
After we moved to another country (Thailand), I still played with polymer clay, but not too much, just from time to time. But, as I didn't have any official work here (in Thailand) and I had a lot of free time, I decided to start to learn about polymer clay and practice every day! This was really fun. Everything I made in that period I gifted to my friends and just girls I met in my life.

Then I started to make some video tutorials and this was when I understood that I wanted to be a full time polymer clay artist. 

pcPolyzine: How long have you been working with polymer clay?

Ludmila: I stared to work with polymer clay in February 2012. Such a long time ago. Now, I work with clay almost every day and I'm still practicing and improving my skills in different techniques. I love to create interesting jewelry pieces from polymer clay, to find out new techniques, and of course new ways for using those that are already well known.

pcPolyzine: How do you come up with an idea for a project—do you plan it out or just start working?
Ludmila: The way of creating the new piece of art sometimes is pretty long, and sometimes it is born very fast. First, I'm thinking about the Big IdeaI'm thinking "I want to create something new and unique, something different, but still beautiful and harmonious!"

Then I choose the technique I want to try or use in a different way. And then, I usually think about the ideas which came to me some time before. I have lots of different ideas in my mind and once the time has come, I'm starting to work with the idea I choose.

Before starting to work with clay directly, I'm dreaming and "working" with that idea just in my mind. I close my eyes and imagine all the creative processes for making that piece I want. That whole process can take two to three days before I will get to my work table and will take the clay in my hands.

After that, I turn off my "talking/thinking" process in my head and I'm giving free rein to my hands. They can create what was "drawn" in my mind. That's probably why I'm not voicing in my videosI'm working in silence. Just list Masterpieces of Nature are born in silence!

pcPolyzine: What inspires you to create pieces in polymer clay?
Ludmila: For making my art pieces, I get inspiration from the nature around me: flowers and trees, sky and rivers, valleys, forests, and mountains! Also, other great polymer clay artists inspire me as well!

The nature of Thailand is very beautiful and diverseevery forest and mountain, every river or sea beaches are just amazingly beautiful! I'm in love with rain forests on the top of mountains, rainy season, and fully flowered parks. I love the mountain rivers very much.

After our trips to nature, I'm full of inspiration and energy to create new, beautiful pieces of art with a natural look. My phone is always full of photos and video clips with amazing nature landscapes, skies, and plants.

Of course, another way for my inspiration is the other arts and artists! I look at a lot of pictures with different art. I love to look at the photos with pottery art, as well as pictures with real stones and finished jewelry pieces that include real stones and gemstones. I love to learn and to get inspiration from metal workers as well as leather workers, too!

pcPolyzine: What’s your favorite piece or project you’ve made in polymer clay?
Ludmila: I like many of them. One of my favorites from my vase projects is the Labradorite Vase (stone imitation technique).

I also like my last projects with Faux Leather Phone Cases. Another of my favorites is a Book Cover in leather lamination technique. One other favorite is a unique "heart photo pendant, open locket" in stone imitation technique.

pcPolyzine: Does your work have a theme or message?
Ludmila: None haveI'm not sure yet.

pcPolyzine: What are your favorite (or most important) tools you use when working with clay?
Ludmila: My polymer clay pasta machine and my handmade textures.

pcPolyzine: Do you have any advice for new artists to polymer clay?
Ludmila: Never give up! Practice, practice, practice! I believe everyone can be creativewe just need to cultivate this in ourselves, like any ability!

pcPolyzine: Ludmila, your work is beautiful! Thank you taking time to share with us!

To connect with Ludmila and see more of her work, visit her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or pop over to her website!

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