Interview with Sladjana Buhovac

“I should have followed my heart long ago but it’s never too late to start again”

Sladjana Buhovac is a talented figurative sculptor from Sarajevo based in Canada. A few years ago, she rediscovered her passion for sculpting and decided to sculpt non-stop. Sladjana shares her work on Facebook and Instagram and her community keeps growing and admiring her fascinating sculptures.

This artist is constantly working on new projects. Sladjana seems to find inspiration in daily life. She can sculpt a bust of Julian Assange in clay or a Morgan Freeman portrait in terracotta, but also a beautiful mermaid in the sand or a peculiar snowman after a snowfall. Recently, she has taken advantage of technology in social media and has created short clips to show a complex sculpture of Adhira and Leo’s kiss or the details of her new Venus—sometimes with beautiful instrumental music in the background.

Sculptures by Sladjana Buhovac (image posted on Instagram)

In this Q&A sculptor Sladjana Buhovac shares with PoseSpace how she started her career as an artist, what inspires her, why she uses our models and shares valuable advice for artists interested in sculpting:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I was born in Sarajevo in former Yugoslavia. I started drawing at a very young age and everywhere we went I always had paper and pen with me. I loved design and wanted to get in secondary art school in textile design. As admission exam, we had to draw, paint and sculpt. When I went to see if I got in, I was accepted as a sculptor, not as a designer. I was surprised and confused but it soon became clear to me that they recognized my talent before I did. So I started studying at the University of Fine Arts in Sarajevo but my first year was interrupted by war. We left Sarajevo for Belgrade, where I continued my studies of fine arts and got my BFA major in Sculpture in 1997.

You have mentioned on Instagram that sometimes you start a new project before finishing your previous sculpture. What inspires you? What makes you feel that urge to start a new sculpture?

What most inspires me is the human figure. I kind of gave up on my art after moving to Canada and started sculpting again just a few years ago. There are so many things I wanna do to make up for lost time. And since I can’t work with live models at the moment, finding your website was a great inspiration with so many great models and poses so good that while doing one pose I can’t wait to start a new one. I highly recommend it for sculpting since you can see poses from all angles.

Sculpture by Sladjana Buhovac (image posted on Instagram)


What were you doing before you decided to sculpt again?

After moving to Canada I enrolled in a program that lasted 1 year in the local College, which was more of a workshop for sculpture. I did portrait in stone but I never finished it. I was overwhelmed with depression at the time due to some family issues and moving to another country contributed even more. Later on, I worked in restaurants and retail stores until my husband and I opened our own upholstery business in 2002. He is the real master of his trade. I had my corner in the shop set up for sculpting, but I wasn’t much inspired. He taught me how to sew and I learned very quickly and became very good at it. With all the beautiful fabrics I had around me, I started designing and making my own handbags which I sold on the craft market on Granville Island. I tried sculpting over the years, but that wouldn’t last too long. I participated in one contest at Stage Gallery in New York with a portrait of Camille Claudel I did from photos I found on the internet. I received a letter from them that my work was an honorable mention in that competition. Still, that wasn’t enough to push me forward. Then, when my son was born in 2007, I dedicated my time to him for several years.

Real inspiration and ignition of my passion for sculpting again came on one of my vacations in Cuba in 2015. I was on the beach and started sculpting life-sized women in the sand. That was the turning point. When I returned home, I got some clay and started sculpting portraits of my friends from photos. And I knew that this time I’m not giving it up ever again. I just love sculpting with clay. I love working in stone too but that is a very slow process and with clay I can do sculptures in one day. My living room is my studio for now.

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

I hope in some near future to exhibit my work to a larger audience.

What digital device do you use to see PoseSpace.com’s photos?

I mostly use PC since the screen is larger than other devices, but I also use my iPad from time to time.

What advice do you have for young artists who have an interest in sculpting?

My advice is to never give up on your art. Don’t listen to others, follow what inspires you the most. When I studied fine arts in the late nineties, figurative sculpture seemed like a dying field. Everyone, including my classmates, were pursuing installations and abstract work and I felt totally lost, I got a gift that nobody was interested in. So it seemed at the time. I should have followed my heart long ago but it’s never too late to start again.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sladja.sculpture/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sladjasculptures/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Tim Skinner

“Changing the lighting on a sculpture is the same as rearranging the paint on a canvas. As sculptors we need to sculpt with this in mind. Light is literally our paintbrush”

Tim Skinner is a Canadian sculptor who also enjoys photography and collects vintage cameras. He has lived in warmer lands—Australia and Israel—, and tried, unsuccessfully, to study auto-mechanics and join Photography School. However, he did become an accomplished graphic designer and discovered his talent for sculpting a few years ago. His sense of humor precedes him and his sculptures are the best proof of this artist’s great talent.

On his Instagram account, the sculptor shares images of this works of art, his charming cats and models—Todd and Max— and special equipment like his Fujinon 75-150 f4.5. Tim’s website features a wonderful quote from famous Japanese writer, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, that seems to guide us to his aesthetic interest: “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.”

Sculpture by Tim Skinner using Nedah036 and Candace029 as a reference  (shared by artist)


In this Q&A sculptor Tim Skinner shares with PoseSpace the details of how he discovered his passion to create sculptures, who are his favorite models and explains why light is so important when displaying a sculpture:

You are a self-taught figurative sculptor. Can you tell us more about how you got into art?

I’ve always been interested in art. I really enjoyed drawing but it never came naturally for me. It wasn’t until many years into a career as a graphic designer that I accidentally discovered sculpting while playing with plasticine with my kids. It occurred to me that I was having a lot more fun than they were.

At that time I had lost interest in art and considered it to be far too self-indulgent for grown-ups, so I discounted the notion of pursuing sculpture. A lifelong friend persuaded me to persist with sculpting, his point being that one should demonstrate by example to our kids that personal growth is valuable and worthwhile —not necessarily self-serving.

That was about five or six years ago. My first sculptures were embarrassing, but I felt this was something I could get better at, with enough time and practice.

Can you tell us about the process of making your sculptures? Do you have any rituals?

I have no formal training so I’m not an exemplar by any means. I started sculpting with drywall compound, the stuff they stick to walls to cover seams. It was messy and dusty, time-consuming and awkward; but I already had it on hand.

Some time later, a friend gave me her recipe for homemade wax/clay —a fantastic modelling material. I sculpted with that for years, but mould-making and casting is time-consuming and expensive. All I want to do is sculpt. That other stuff just keeps me from sculpting.

So recently I’ve switched again —to epoxy clay. It’s like bread dough until it cures to a rock hard consistency. This is ideal for me. The epoxy clay is applied like an exoskeleton over a rough wireframe or foil armature. So basically, I rough in the general form, a section at a time, with fresh epoxy clay, then once it cures, it becomes more like a traditional stone-carving process.

Once I’ve settled on a composition, I start looking for reference material. My workspace and my methods are not well suited for live life-model work. The model would likely expire from tedium or old age before I was done. So I use general observation (people watching) and photo references.

It’s commonly believed that photo references are inadequate compared to live in-person models. I do not hold this view. I think if the life-model’s pose is recorded thoughtfully it can be a very compelling asset. That’s why I’m sold on the PoseSpace service. The high-resolution 360-degree image sequences are an essential part of my workflow. They’ve helped me to get to a level not possible with only single static images.

You also have a passion for photography and the images of your sculptures on social media are very artistic. Could you explain how you combine these arts?

Photography, when done correctly, can force us to consider lighting. Changing the lighting on a sculpture is the same as rearranging the paint on a canvas. As sculptors we need to sculpt with this in mind. Light is literally our paintbrush. I hope my photographs inspire other sculptors to become more particular about how their work is lit. It’s vitally important. So often I see fantastic sculptures ruined in hideous ways by thoughtless light. I always like to see a photo of my work in a client’s home in order to verify that they’ve lit it properly. If someone rearranged the lines on a drawing, the artist would go bonkers. Sculptors don’t seem to be given nor do they expect that same consideration. I hope my photos help to drive that point home.

Sculpture by Tim Skinner using Anaiv222 as a reference  (shared by artist)

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I rarely rely on one pose sequence for any given sculpture. Usually a few. The gesture from one model and the musculature from another perhaps. My Library of PoseSpace downloads has a few poses by AnaIv and also KeiraG. That is not by mistake. If either of these models has something approximating the pose I require then that’s what I will choose. Both AnaIv and KeiraG have outstanding muscular definition. That helps me to accurately transfer their musculature to my armature. I think it helps me to concentrate my study on one or two models generally, because that familiarity helps when I have to extrapolate how the figure would look when I inevitably go off-script.

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

Absolutely none. Everyone is very supportive and encouraging.

What advice do you have for young artists who have an interest in sculpture?

I’m not a commercially successful sculptor, so any advice I might have relates to an artistic pursuit rather than a career pursuit. Of my sculptures, the ones that seem to resonate the most with people are the pieces I made by indulging my own desire. So-called “legitimate” subjects and processes should be viewed as suggestions. Never take credit for mistakes that turn out well. Encourage people to handle your sculpture. They are objects. The experience is enriched exponentially when people touch the form.

Tim Skinner’s website: https://timskinnersculptor.crevado.com/portfolio

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tim_canadian_sculptor/

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/timskinnercanada/


Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Matti Vesanen

“The detailed sculpting of the face or hands is challenging but when you get it right, it takes the whole sculpture to a different level altogether”

Matti Vesanen is a 43 years old sculptor from the south of Finland. He imprisons human nature in fascinating resin, plaster, bronze or wood structures. The majority of his artworks explore the nude female figure from different perspectives, emotions and living moments. His sculptures are versatile, you can find them in private collections or public spaces, in gardens or in living rooms, in a 13-meter-high Corten steel relief or an 8cm tall bronze figure.

This Finnish artist is constantly working. He regularly shares on Instagram his works in progress and you can explore his techniques and his sculpting process on his website. Matti is always participating in expositions and exhibiting his works of art in local places and events. Also, every year —since 2013— he holds the annual Autumn Exhibition in a property of his own. Last August it was called “Immortals” and visitors could explore around 20 pieces of art inside the house and in the garden.

“Shipwrecked Madonna” by Matti Vesanen using PoseSpace photography as a reference (shared by artist)

His work has undoubtedly grown and expanded in the past few years. In this short Q&A interview, Matti explains how he got into art, the challenges he faces while sculpting and how his technique has evolved:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

As a kid and teenager, I went to an art school for children and youth but never thought I would be an artist. I trained and worked as a mechanical engineer. When I was 26, I started sculpting as a hobby at the local community college, where they had a live model; I still go there to this day. Gradually the idea of becoming a professional artist sort of grew on me and I began to do sculpting, first part-time, then full time.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your perfect environment to sculpt?

I do listen to the radio, mostly classical and rock music as well as talk radio. My studio is a fairly peaceful place without too many distractions. With two young kids, it’s a haven!

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

In my work I try to achieve a natural, unforced effect so that the pose wouldn’t seem rigid or artificial. You also have to consider all the possible directions from which you can look at the sculpture. A pose can look perfectly fine from one angle but strange from another. The detailed sculpting of the face or hands is challenging but when you get it right, it takes the whole sculpture to a different level altogether.

“And moss grew all over it” by Matti Vesanen using PoseSpace photography as a reference (shared by artist)

How did you discover www.posespace.com?

Around 2011 I was looking for model photos on the internet; I had previously used photos from another internet source for my work, but PoseSpace was better than the others. I could purchase single poses without subscribing to an annual membership. Most importantly for sculpting, the website provides the most camera angles of a model, much more than other similar websites. Seven years on, this is still the case.

How has your style changed over the years?

These days the surface of my sculptures is rougher, less polished than what it used to be. Now I often patinate the surface while my earlier work tended to have a more even and monochromatic finish. I find that patinating and visible layering of paint give more depth to the sculptures.

Website www.mattivesanen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vesanenmatti/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004514388768

Interview by Andrea Miliani