FEATURED ARTISTEvgenia Osmani
Evgenia showed an interest in art at a very young age. On her insistence, her grandparents enrolled Evgenia into a ballet studio at the age of 5. She would cut out all the photos of ballerinas from newspapers and magazines she could lay her hands on and carefully glue them into a special album, and at the same time, she attempted to draw all those beautiful poses.
“I remember putting a photograph of a ballerina on a window pane with a blank sheet of paper over it trying to trace it, but the window was so cold that the pen wouldn’t work. So, I had to figure out how to draw it. Even at that young age, I was mesmerised by the human body and anatomy. I found it beautiful.”
While in school, Evgenia’s notebooks were covered in little drawings and doodles, she drew and painted incessantly. Around 10 she attempted her first portraits. The sitter was always the same – her younger sister: the poor child would obediently sit for hours for the aspiring artist.
Despite all her creative ability, the idea of further developing her skills never crossed theminds of her parents or even Evgenia herself. Evgenia’s parents wanted a “solid” education for their daughter and a “serious career”. After leaving secondary school, Evgenia followed in her grandmother’s footsteps and chose to study law. By the time Evgenia graduated with a Law Degree, Ukraine had begun to change: new opportunities were arising and new horizons opening up. At the age of 22, Evgenia left her native Ukraine under the pretext of further studying English in London.
London was a breath of fresh air – a place where you’re free and can be anything you choose to be, as long as you know what that is. It didn’t take long until Evgenia started to study Graphic Design at the London College of Communication. It seemed like the perfect combination – visual arts that can be practically applied anywhere.
“I cannot describe the feeling when I got to my university on the first day. It was like entering a sacred temple that I wasn’t allowed to enter before.”
Upon graduation, Evgenia worked in fashion, printed media and advertising, including one of the world’s leading advertising agencies – Grey Worldwide. Evgenia developed as an Art Director, Graphic Designer and an illustrator, while working for clients such as Nokia, P&G, Visa, GlaxoSmithKline and BAT.
“Out of all the projects I worked on, it was always the projects that involved sketching and drawing that attracted me the most.”
Evgenia’s interest in painting was reignited when she met the artists Anna Maschak and Olga Brown. Evgenia started painting again and taking lessons in Olga Brown‘s studio.
Shortly after, Evgenia was invited to participate in the exhibition of Ukrainian Artists in London.
“I remember walking around the exhibition and stumbling upon a painting by Nataliya Zozulya. I looked at the painting and realised: I must take lessons from this artist because that’s what I aspire to be able to do.”
The rest is history. Evgenia started studying in Nataliya Zozulya’s studio in Kingston in 2017. Nataliya Zozulya was a Professor from the Ukrainian National Academy of Fine Arts & Architecture, the very university she wanted to go to as a child, and gave Evgenia a formal understanding of the classical approach to painting, and the foundations of fine art.
Since then Evgenia gave up her job as a graphic designer to concentrate solely on
Evgenia works almost exclusively in oils. Still life is one of her favourite genres with an occasional landscape. But her main driver is the human shape and form and the genre of choice is undoubtedly portrait.