Creativity Spotlight: Seka Owen
Our Creativity Spotlight series features advice on artistic practice, inspiration, and a glimpse into the worlds of artists working in a variety of disciplines.
Seka Owen is an abstract artist, born in Croatia and now based in Canada. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and the Alberta Society of Artists, and her works have been exhibited around the world.
"My advice to other creatives is to trust in yourself, focus and believe in your work, have the courage to stand for your personal convictions and never give up."
Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
In 1955 I came to Canada with my husband. At that time Lester B. Pearson was prime minister, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. I said to myself this is going to be my country where I will live my life and I will be very happy here.
My desire was always to be a professional artist. However, my parents never approved of this career, so I chose microbiology as I was intrigued with this invisible world and inspired by the work of Louis Pasteur.
My fascination with life under the microscope was an easy transition into the world of abstraction.
My passion for art was always within me and I decided to attend the University of Alberta as a mature student with great enthusiasm and dedication. I studied Fine Arts, majoring in painting, printmaking and Canadian history and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1977.
What inspires your work?
In my work, I am guided by a keen sense of my own personal direction and identity. To paint a picture is an exploratory extension and a keen interest in the world. In other words, it is the interpretation of my inner world in which my senses have transmitted to me and my subconscious has retained.
Inspiration for me is through self discipline, motivation and courage to move forward into the unknown.
We all have a story that is part of our lives, as I too, have my own. All I know for sure, is that I have to be true to my own personal convictions and always strive moving forward.
What advice would you give to other creatives?
My advice to other creatives is to trust in yourself, focus and believe in your work, have the courage to stand for your personal convictions and never give up.
Advice I received a very long time ago from an established artist was to “keep my brushes clean”. I found that quite amusing and have never forgot those words.
It is important that I walk my own path and I chose my own tools, which are special sponges, creating my own personal expressions.
Plug time! What have you been working on recently?
Prior to the global pandemic, I released a book “Seka Owen, Four Decades” of my career in November 2019.
Since March 2020, with the global pandemic of COVID-19, I have been producing work in isolation in my home studio. I continued to explore and produce being influenced by the current global situation.
I completed 4 circular (tondo) pieces which were made of hand made paper. I know the virus is circular in shape and through my subconscious and movement of hands, these pieces have become my interpretation of the current global pandemic. I have named these four pieces, “COVID-19 Series of 4”.
I continue to focus and produce in my studio during these difficult and uncertain times. It is a very surreal time for all.