I grew up in Vladimir, Russia, but when I was 12, my mom and I packed our bags, sold our tiny apartment, and moved across the ocean. With not much to our name, I learned to face challenges, financial hardship, and the lack of belonging that comes with being an immigrant.
At a young age, I had to face fears, struggles, and uncertainty. I was painfully shy and embarrassed about my "Harry Potter" glasses and hand-me-down clothes. But one thing that kept me going was my art and a faith in something beyond me.
It helped me process painful moments, sadness, and fear...but creation goes way beyond the canvas. I believe each of us has been given the power to fulfill our dreams and create lasting change in our lives.
It wasn't easy for me to get here. I was always the shyest kid. I would get nervous about raising my hand in class, and if you told me ten years ago that I would have an art career I'm in love with and a creative business, I would laugh and probably spit out my rosé kombucha!
In 2011, in debt with no job prospects after graduating from art school, I found myself crying every day. I was rejected from every job and exhibition I applied to and ended up serving pancakes for a living. I thought I failed. Deep down, I knew I was meant for a bigger life, but on the outside, my life was a hot mess. After several years of struggle, odd jobs, painting on the floor of our studio apartment, I had a lightbulb moment.
One day, I got the idea to start my first magazine, FreshPaintMagazine.
I didn't know it at the time, but this was when everything changed—the moment I chose myself.
IF YOU READ UP TO THIS POINT, YOU PROBABLY THINK, GREAT YOU DID IT, CONGRATS!
THE STORY DOES NOT END THERE.
IT TURNS OUT MATERIAL AND CAREER SUCCESS IS NOT ENOUGH.
Through incredible support, healing, and a journey of sobriety, I can stand here today and serve this beautiful community of creatives to be a witness that change is possible, no matter how dark your life is at this moment. Healing, abundance, relief, and confidence in your unique journey are what I want you to experience in this lifetime. Because I got the support I needed, I want to offer it to you.
Now my purpose is serving a community of artists through my podcast, magazine, Art Queens membership, and coaching. I believe I was put here on this planet to be an example of what's possible, even if you come from humble beginnings like me.
I can't wait to witness your incredible transformation and celebrate with you. If there's one thing I can leave you with before we get started, it's this: You are worthy of your dreams; you are worthy of being loved and feeling good every day you wake up and walk into your studio or stand in front of a crowd sharing your unique gifts. Choose a bigger life so that as we heal, we can make an impact beyond the canvas together and help others do the same.
With Love and Light,
Years after manifesting some exciting dreams like my dream studio, car and income, I was struggling with addiction, trauma wounds and a deep sadness that I couldn't seem to understand.
It took time for me to realize that our whole life is a canvas, and we must nurture every part of our being as artists, not just the studio practice.
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