Artist Spotlight

How Sasha Zinevych uses community to make her a better artist

Sasha is a Ukrainian girl living in Poland. She grew up in a very artistic family of photographers and actors, so she cannot imagine her life without that creative sparkle lightening up her days. She is into creative memory keeping, art journaling and sketching.

How do you live a creative life?

I feel like these days, everything I do evolves around my creativity.

Let me explain.

It’s not like my grocery shopping or cleaning the house is a creative act (although, you can definitely make it one if you try to 😉, but even these mundane activities are filled with thoughts about my journals. When I go grocery shopping, I think how I can use up food packaging or stickers on fruit for my art projects. When I clean the room or my workspace, I find forgotten scraps of paper, magazines or a lost pen which always sparks creativity.

See, I believe that you don’t have to be a full-time artist to have that artist’s mindset and have fireworks of creative sparks going off in your head every half an hour. 

Do you put your life into your art journal? Or is it focused on technique?

If we talk about my art journal, it is mostly focused on technique or material that I am using at a specific moment. Although, I admire people like Vanessa (@dansmoncrane), Molly (@mkranthony) and others who wear their heart on the sleeve in their journals. Those books seem magical to me! I document my life in memory keeping journals, which are a mix of a scrapbook, a journal, a sketchbook, an art journal and a brain dump.

What is your biggest barrier to creating?

My laziness and lack of organization, for sure. Oh, also, the fact that I consume too much inspiration instead of practicing my own art skills. Have you ever experienced that? It feels like every cell of your brain is filled to the brim with other people’s beautiful creations, and there is no space for your own ideas.

How do you get over that hurdle?

It’s tough. I love getting an insight of other artists’ creative journeys, and at that moment I falsely believe that I will switch off my phone and get to my art table right after getting that dose of inspiration. But that rarely happens. It sucks you in, and then you are out of time for arting, or too tired, or whatnot.

What I’ve been doing lately is getting to my journal BEFORE I open any social media. This way, I make sure I train my own creative muscle (and it’s hard, since it’s so out of shape from always getting boosters and not working on its own) or use up those countless ideas that are already stored in my brain, thus clearing it and making my head lighter.

What has been your biggest lesson when it comes to creating art?

My biggest lesson is that you won’t become a better artist by just thinking of what wonderful things you can create.

You have to GET TO WORK!

It’s the same as enjoying the idea of having a six-pack, but not doing a single exercise for it and eating crap. Create the worst, worse, OK, better, good stuff every day, until you finally get to the point where you actually creating that beautiful stuff from your dreams.

What is your favourite art journal page you’ve ever made? Why is it your favourite?

It is a difficult question for me. I have always been that girl who can never answer the question about a favorite singer, music band, film actor. I just don’t make favorites. I have a bunch that I really like and feel kind of proud of, and some that I think are weak.

Still, every page I have ever made has taught me something and made me a better artist.

Although, if I really have to choose one that I would hang on my wall, it would probably be this contrasted herbs one which I created following Julie’s (@juliemarriottart) tutorial during Get Messy Season of Connections. I feel like it is very me, since I like creating contrasts in m journals and really enjoy painting floral shapes.


Have you ever actively disliked a page you’ve made? What did you do with it?

Yes! There is this one page in red colors that I cannot help, but feel iffy about. I don’t know what it is, maybe, the red color, or the fact that it’s too busy and doesn’t feel like “me” at all. I remember that after I created it, I thought of never showing it to anyone and just saving in my journal as a lesson to myself what not to do. But then, I posted it to Instagram just to demonstrate that bad, ugly work is a part of the journey. Surprisingly, many people liked it. Still, every time I scrolled through my Instagram feed, I would notice that one red spread and it would make me unhappy. So, eventually, I archived that post.

But lesson learned –

even when you think you’ve created the ugliest piece of art ever, there will be people who will think it is beautiful.

So, share it. And then archive if you absolutely have to 😉

Have you ever been through artist block? What did you do to overcome it?

I think I have those regularly. What helps me is switching the creative activity.

So, if I am tired of art journaling, I will start more active memory keeping, or wipe the dust off my sketchbook, or learn how to draw with alcohol based markers, or take an online art class. It always gets me out of the creative rut. Right now, I am not drawn to my art journal at all, but I am very excited every time I hold my chunky memory keeping journal in my hands. So, I pour my creativity there, until one day my brushes and gesso call to me again.

What’s the best art advice you’ve ever received?

Hm… Artists tend to give the best advice ever, seriously! So, it’s not easy to remember just one. But I think it would be this one from Caylee (@cayleegrey) – use your favorite stuff. There is no point in hoarding your favorite art supplies, use them now, right at the moment when you absolutely love them. This is the best way to reflect your personal taste and style in art at a particular point in time. A few months later you might not be into that stuff anymore, and you will simply give or throw it away. So, have fun with it NOW!

What does community do for your creating?

Every time I am asked what my favorite part of Get Messy is, I immediately answer – the community.

I wouldn’t be the artist I am now without all these beautiful, generous, sincere people.

They are the ones who gave me confidence to share my art in the first place. They gave me motivation to experiment, grow and build new relationships.

Who would you like to celebrate in the Get Messy community?

Every. Single. Artist.

But if I need to choose one person, I would give a huge shout out to Molly (@mkranthony) for fearlessly sharing her story, feelings, good or bad, and strength.

She inspires me not only as an artist, but as a person. She has such a magical way to tie her words to her art that leaves your soul sparkling with warmth, compassion, and humanity. 

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Sasha Zinevych

Sasha is a Ukrainian girl living in Poland. She grew up in a very artistic family of photographers and actors, so she cannot imagine her life without that creative sparkle lightening up her days. She is into creative memory keeping, art journaling and sketching.

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