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Meet Bogdan Shiptenko, our Unity winner

Meet Bogdan Chitenko, our Unity winner

Toward the end of 2022, Artfinder launched our latest art competition in partnership with our friends at Natural Earth Paint. Here, our artists were given the opportunity to submit artworks based on the theme of ‘Unity’. We received hundreds of amazing entries and based on a public vote of 10 shortlisted artists, Artfinder's Bogdan Shiptenko, won first prize. Today, we speak to Bogdan to discover the inspiration, ideas and creativity behind his work.

Could you first introduce yourself to our community?

My name is Bogdan Shiptenko. I am 28 years old, from Ukraine. I have been drawing since childhood, but began to seriously engage in painting when I became a student of the Artistic and Graphic Faculty of the Kryvyi Rih Pedagogical University (2011-2017). I love watercolour and often paint with acrylics. I like to experiment with markers and graphics, and my favourite subjects are figurative art and city scenes. In my work, I cover themes and actual events with the help of many figures in my paintings, whilst the background in most of these paintings remain laconic, which emphasises the expressiveness and importance of the figures in the work.

How long have you been on Artfinder and how has your experience been so far?

I was accepted here by the curators in the spring of 2022 and I am happy and grateful that I can exhibit on this platform. Artfinder allows me to show my work to a new audience and motivates me to draw new paintings every day and publish it regularly. I like the work of curators on Artfinder, and I am glad that there is such a feature as the weekly Friday chats, in which Artfinder picks a topic and most of the artists share their experiences about it on our forum. This allows you to find out how other artists create, how they live and what techniques and methods they use in their work.

What were your initial thoughts when finding out the theme was 'Unity'?

When I read about the competition, I was pleasantly surprised and wanted to take part in this, because at that moment I had worked on new canvases. But when I read the theme of 'unity', I had a clear association with my recent painting 'Talk about the war', where I showed the unity of all Ukrainians. This artwork took three months to create, namely the search for references, because most of the images in the picture are taken from my life. I carefully planned the composition, with a focus on the rhythm of the plot, so that it would be harmonious and exciting for the eye.

How do you feel your entry reflected the theme?

Of course, it is up to the viewer to decide, because in part I paint for people. But I think that my entry accurately and honestly covered the events that are taking place in Ukraine. The most important thing is that it be seen by as many people, from all over the world, as possible. After all, art should bring to the masses not only aesthetic satisfaction, but convey the idea, the meaning of the work and its philosophical message.

What is your creative process when starting a new artwork?

Usually ideas for new paintings come to me in a random place: on a walk, jogging, or in a cafe. After the idea, I'm looking for references - sometimes I already have them on my phone in the form of photos I’ve taken earlier.

I think about the format and size. Most often, I think longer not about the size of the work, but about its orientation, since the content determines the volume of the painting.

Usually, I try to boldly sketch what I think is necessary, because when I start to be afraid of the picture or take it too seriously, nothing comes out. You have to be bold in embracing your ideas and not be afraid to stain the canvas. The picture must catch the eye of the viewer. An idea of the final work should be in your head of course, but for the painting to turn out well, you need to enjoy the process itself and think less about the result.

When the picture is completed, I take a picture on the iPad and test on the tablet what I could add. And then, if I consider it necessary, I add it to the work itself. The most important thing is to be able to know when to stop. The picture should not always be finished, the rest will be thought out by the viewer.

Do you have any final words you would like to share with our community?

I would like to thank all the people who voted for me, I saw every vote. Thanks a lot! It is very important for me. I also wanted to thank the curators of Artfinder and the whole team, for being so responsive and pleasant to work with. I want to wish all the creators cool ideas and their successful implementation. Enjoy the process and create impressive works of art.

Cover image via Bogdan Shiptenko


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