I found Sara’s artwork on Instagram and was completely stunned by them. For me, her paintings are just radiating power and energy, in an empowering way, but they also have a certain calmness and peacefulness to them at the same time, which brings you down to earth and a bit more back to yourself again.
For the following I asked Sara if she wanted to do an interview with me:
Luna Maluna Gri: Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
Sara Ziai: Hi, my name is Sara. I’m 17years old, living in Vienna. I dropped out of High School last year and made the decision to rather invest my time into my art and mental health. Throughout the pandemic, I created and improved my own art style. I also started to tattoo people.
LMG: How and why did you start painting?
SZ: I’ve always liked to draw, but when I was around 13 I really started to consciously create art. I think my sensitivity is a big part of my artistic identity. I am convinced that there is an artist in each of us, but that some have practically no choice but to act out that side to the outside world. Due to the many influences in which school played a major role for me, this side came more and more to light and was like a door from reality for me.
LMG: What role does painting play for you?
SZ: For a very long time I was afraid of not being an artist enough and of not wanting this choice of career enough, but over time I realized that it is natural and healthy to not just lean on one pillar. for me, it is impossible to limit myself to just one of my hobbies. painting is one of the many things that make me myself. Without painting, I wouldn’t be me.
LMG: What does your creating process look like?
SZ: Most of the time I work without a sketch and just by feeling. I try not to attach too much importance to flawlessness because I like it when you can see that it wasn’t machine-made. That is why I personally prefer sticking to classic painting and not digital art. I like to listen to good music when I’m painting. When I feel comfortable and relaxed, it is also reflected in my art.
LMG: What inspires you?
SZ: Basically my family and how I grew up inspire me the most. When it comes to art, Jagonte is a great inspiration because I just love his work. I find smaller artists with maybe not that many connections in the art world, inspiring. I love to see how these artists often reach and influence many more people.
LMG: Is there something you want to change about the art world? If yes, what and why?
SZ: For me, art is so subjective. I hate to see art getting judged. In the first week at art school, I was asked why I was here at all and was told I wasn’t a bit creative. Theory can be learned but I think the subjective negative thoughts of others actually only prevent you from trying out more and discovering yourself and your art.
LMG: What do you think is/are the role/-s of artists and art in our society?
SZ: I think that art plays a very important role in our society since for me art is something very personal, I think that it can lead people back to themselves. People have the need to express themselves in some form and that is where art plays a major role.
LMG: What artist/artists would you like to meet (dead or alive) and if you had one question, what would you ask them?
SZ: I think when it comes to that question it’s between Kanye and Salvador Dali. I’m a big Dali fan and I’m sure I could think of hundreds of questions, but I think I’d rather ask Kanye West a question that would probably have less to do with his art and more with his being as an artist with his mental state.
LMG: What does a normal creating day look like for you?
SZ: When I feel that today would be a good day to create something I try to avoid negative influences which could be social media, for example. I try to get myself into a calm relaxed mood and just start. Most of the time I want to finish one piece at a time, so it rarely happens that I start painting a canvas and then leave it for days to finish it.
LMG: What was your reason for becoming an artist (if there is a specific one)?
SZ: I don’t want to say that it is “my destiny” to be an artist, but I do think that creating art for people is more of a need than a decision.
LMG: Do you think there is something you can bring to this world through your work as an artist which you couldn’t in any other field of work?
SZ: I was always afraid of the future and decisions. Meanwhile, I trust that everything I need will happen as it should. That doesn’t mean that I’ll sit around and wait, but I think trust in the future is very important. I notice that my attitude towards art can take away worries for many people around me.
Copyright to all artworks and photos: Sara Ziai