Week 21 | Artist 21: Created to Create 2016 | Angelina Atlagic, Scene/Costume Designer/Professor
Scene Designer and Costume Designer, Full Time Professor of Scene
Design and Costume Designer at Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Montenegro, Europe
Where were you born?
Stanisic, Sombor, Vojvodina, Yugoslavia
Where do you live/work?
Belgrade, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, Russia, Germany, Spain, Greece. In the past I also worked in Turkey, Italy and Sweden.
What feeds your desire to create?
Creating is a natural need for me. Since I was a child, I loved drawing or making things. As a child, I never saw the world as it was, but I liked to add qualities to it-qualities that I imagined. When for example, as an adult, I visited places from my childhood, it was obvious to me that my imagination changed them. I feel that in the core of my creative practice is this deep need to transform all I see, and only see the world through my own particular point of view.
Describe ways in which your training at Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts positively influenced your creative work?
At the very beginning, I applied to Belgrade Academy of Applied Arts with a desire to learn an artistic craft/discipline, and Costume Design seemed to be a natural choice, since I loved creating clothes. To my surprise, Academy turned out to be so much more than that. Our visual Foundations of study were drawing and painting, as well as many other artistic subjects such as photography, calligraphy, anatomy, theory of the form, among other subjects. A whole new world opened up for me in the field of Visual Arts. I almost devoted my self to painting exclusively, but for practical reasons, I stayed on the Costume track. Faculty of Fine Arts was, from my experience, an excellent school with fantastic professors, which gave me a wide understanding, practice and craft to grow from.
How do you begin working on a new project?
I work primarily in theatre, so the foundation for me is a text. If I am creating for Ballet or Opera, I do historical research, context in which this work was created; I pay attention to all previous productions, as well as which story or fairy tale is in the basis of the script.
If I am working on a play, I read it several times, and make drawings/ preliminary sketches on the script while I read. Deep analysis of the text is important to me, because I feel that without this (as well as serious character understanding and work, and all the scenes) it is impossible to create good Scene design and Costumes.
Which part of the creative process is most inspiring for you?
I love this moment after reading the play and before working on sketches when my
imagination starts working and we are able to find a thread, leading us to the next step of creation. This moment usually happens after days or sometimes weeks of creative struggles, (moments in which I feel that nothing is working the way I hope or imagine), and then suddenly, from a simple watercolor stain on paper, a shape of the future costume appears. I rejoice in those moments. I know that after an idea happens, I will be able to complete the sketches and start making costumes soon.
I love moments of finding textiles, or details/accessories that inspire me. Especially when already in the first preliminary fittings, I visualize the shape of the imaginary costume. I also enjoy seeing costumes on actors and dancers, since this helps them receive another layer of connection for the character.
The best thing about being an artist is…
I love the fact that creating is play, even though process is often difficult, the foundation of all the work is play, just as when we were kids. To be an artist means to protect and keep the child in me alive throughout this life. Whenever work stops being play, it becomes a job, the only way to survive, and it stops being interesting for me. I also love working in foreign countries, unfamiliar places and people with whom creating a play is a new experience-so I am not not able to predict results. Moving on paths that have already been walked on makes me bored, so I try to avoid accepting jobs that make me feel this way.
To be an artist for me means to live in a world without borders. Even during times when Serbia was under economic sanctions, I was fortunate to easily travel around the world (Europe, United States) creating my work.
What aspects of work feel like struggle working with self?
It feels hard, during the process of creating, while I push self to expand my own limitations (and I do this with each new play I work on). I do not like to repeat solutions from my previous work. I used to be shy and not talk about the fact of how hard I work while creating Costumes or
Scenography. I used to hide that during the process of creating. I sit for days and weeks in my Studio, walking in circles, searching through books and magazines, or searching on TV channels. I have finally accepted and embraced that this painful period of creating is a normal part of the process for every artist and that we all experience this strange anxiety in awaiting for idea to appear.
Uncertainty is the hardest part for me since I am never sure if the idea is going to appear, no matter how hard I work or research the new project. Usually, the idea happens almost at the very end, just before I am about to submit my sketches. Unknown to me how and why, the idea appears and not only the idea, but clear guidance on ways to present it. This moment that I experience is in conjunction with the most beautiful moment of creation and the hardest one; this moment when we feel deeply connected with the world of ideas and when all seems possible. It is a pity that it only lasts for a brief moment.
Links to Work
In 2016, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2016.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2016
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.