My name is Leya and I’m an artist from Slovenia.
Ever since I was a little girl my parents encouraged my creativity and sent me to an art class early on where I created my first sculpture and as the years went by I tried myself in many different areas of art but my chosen profession was as a professional makeup artist and I worked on film sets and commercials for a long time.
Somewhere in the meantime, I decided to try myself again at sculpting and when my mother, who is a painter, asked me to join one of her exhibitions I began to create more sculptures.
I guess this was when I realized it’s true what people have been telling me all along that I always had an interest for many different things because at roughly the same time I also found one of my other passions, which was dancing and I grew at the same time as a sculptress and as a dancer.
The amazing thing is how one of my expressions seems to be connected to another. For example, I started sculpting animal forms like horses and bulls of which I also loved taking photographs. On the other hand, I also created sculptures of dance poses and dance couples.
So you could say that different types of art seem to impact each.
Right around this time my partner whom I met, where else but dancing, was also becoming interested in filmmaking so naturally we both realized that this was something we had wanted to do for a long time but never got the chance to.
That’s how I actually became a cinematographer and it was a confusing time for me because I had to try myself at everything regarding filmmaking to find my place. So we again decided to shoot a dance video for ourselves in order to learn as much about the filmmaking process as possible.
There are three things that I learned at this time and the 1st was that I was not comfortable in front of the camera, 2nd that I loved to shoot with a camera and 3rd that I really enjoyed editing and color grading.
In the next few years, I kept sculpting and also had a chance to work on many more film type projects.
I kept learning in all of the fields where I work and like my partner keeps reminding me that a person doesn’t need to know everything but they just need to have enough knowledge to work with the tools they have at their disposal.
As a dancer, I became a performer and learned how to perform in group choreography and this was something that reminded me of shooting on set which is also like a kind of choreography. And on set I learned about camera angles, framing, blocking, movement and lighting. Movement and the game of light and shadow work the same way with sculpting. Where you add or take away parts of a material to create a form or shape that is reminiscent of something.
Recently, my partner pointed out a few of these things to me that got me thinking. He said that I shoot and edit the same way I approach sculpting. That I see what I have to work with, then I start putting it together and then take a moment and sleep on what I’ve done.
This means that when I approach a new sculpture I have to visualize what I’d like to create and then use the materials to create the form that I had visualized. This is sort of the same way I approach a shot. I try to visualize what the shot should look like but instead of using materials to sculpt the form I use composition and lighting to show the form and convey its meaning.
So I kept thinking how things that I love to do are connected like sculpting, makeup, dance, photography, film, etc. and what actually binds all these together and I guess for me it is motion and depth.
Sculptures are motionless forms but when I sculpt I try to create motion in them and create a life-like appearance. This got me thinking that maybe a sequence of two-dimensional images like film might be in some way similar to a motionless sculpture and if filmed in the right way the images come alive. So, both shooting something and sculpting something are similar to a dance choreography where everything has to happen in the right way to express its meaning.
I then kept thinking that it might not be enough to have good images because maybe the magic really happens when you assemble them in the correct order. Just like sculpting is assembling or extracting the correct pieces to get a final form that works not just from one direction but has to work from any vantage point.
With both art forms, it’s visualizing something that doesn’t exist and then finding a way to communicate its meaning to someone else that they can grasp onto in a visually pleasing way.
Sculpture by Leya
So what does it take to create something? Skills, passion, talent or time?
I think it takes some of each to be successful in any kind of art form.
Cinematography is art, it is photography of moving pictures.
Maybe each art form that you play around with benefits the other art forms that you work with. Like when dance teaches you motion and how it relates to music in the same sense as filming something or even editing it together is a sort of dance or maybe a choreography of a story. The same way how two-dimensional images show depth and form with light and this light creates forms in sculpting as well but with the use of materials.
So if I’m a sculptress who likes to give my sculptures depth and a sense of motion, this works the same way in my photography where I try to give depth to the images and then with editing the footage I create motion. They both show a story regardless if it is a sculpture that a person can look at from any angle or a story behind an assembly of images.
One with form and shape and the other with a montage of two-dimensional images both playing with light and shadow.
Sculpture by Leya
Ask yourself the following questions, and answer honestly.
I believe that in the same way that people impact each other with their moods, emotions, conversations, creativity and physical interactions so does art, and one art form always brings a different and fresh perspective to another.
Finally, you must have passion. I have always approached all my art interests with passion and I think that passion could be one of the key ingredients.
We should never be afraid of trying and learning something new that we are interested in and like because it might be the one thing that helps us grow in all other fields of our lives.
May they be artistic or not.
Originally from Ljubljana, Slovenia a small sub-alpine country in Europe I began my film making journey in the makeup department and after years and meeting a kindred spirit with whom I shared my love for film making started learning and expanding my knowledge of cinematography as well as together producing multiple music videos and then eventually short films.
Film making is one of my great passions because people have always described me as an artist at heart as I am originally a sculptress. So composition and lighting come naturally to me and my aspiration is to work as much as I can in the filed of fictional film and other cinematography related projects. You can see more of my creative endeavors on my artist reel.
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