DONKA NUCHEVA ELLECTRA
Born some 28 years ago with a great passion, rather than talent for art. But becoming acquainted from the age of 10 with the work of artists such as Boris Vallejo and Luis Royo got me obsessed with figurative art.
I've spent lots of time copying their work to study how they achieved such a mastery rather than being a good student at class. Which left me being no good at math or any of the sciences.
While other kids were participating in class I was secretly drawing in my notepad, while they were doing their homework I was painting.
So it became obvious to me I had no academic strength and the only path I can travel is in the pursuit of bettering the only skill I've developed this far even though it made no economic sense at the time. And trust me, being a second child of a single mum, never knowing my dad and tasting poverty, even at such young age I was considering economics.
Nevertheless I entered the National High School for fine arts which was an awesome learning experience, even though I still had poor grades at everything, but the art classes.
Becoming better at painting and the necessity of a regular teen having no money for new clothes and stuff made me start working part time as an artist, doing commissions and what not at the age of 14-15. This was even more educational than my education itself as it thought me to work with customers and actually selling art which is just as important as making it if you don't want to join the group of the ''starving artists''. And there was no class teaching this.
I've started painting Trompe L’oeil (illusion of the eye ) murals braking out the boundaries of perspective and became known as the first artist to bring it in to Bulgaria creating murals in hotels, restaurants and private properties. Started giving interviews on tv (videos you see below) and doing everything from sculpture, paintings, murals to illustrating children's books.
And then when I turned 17 life struck me and took away the most precious person and a best friend, my mum. Inheriting a wholesome debt and feeling lost I immersed myself into full time working as an artist trying to fix this and switched to part time student, just visiting for exams so I can work more and graduate.
Shortly after graduating I've met a special someone who was a student in to the UK and with a heart full of hope and adventure decided to move into the UK with her in search of new challenges and opportunities.
And believe me I found them both. It was a year full of struggle as a new immigrant. And at the time laws were not favorable and I had no rights to be an employee so I had to figure out how to be an artist in a new country being known by no one and not knowing the language. I turned poverty into science where I lived on £50 per month after taking care of my bills. And yeah, I wasn't allowed any government benefits at the time and to this day I never took a penny from the country.
Slowly I started getting on my feet again. Honestly during the initial shock I was painting nonsense I didn't even like, it wasn't me. Fear of poverty made me stupid at times. So I focused all my energy at doing what I do best, namely figurative art.
Creating sensuality and romance, things that bring spark to me and my customers.
Social media started to become a thing back then and with it my followers and customers grew.
Many pages with millions of followers started re sharing my art bringing me tens of thousands of followers. Opportunities to exhibit in Scotland and England became to appear.
And these days I can only express my gratitude to whoever is up there and the many thousand of customers I've had who believed in me ant put their trust and invested in my work. Thank you!
Graduated in sculpture and fine arts from the National High School of Fine Arts “Ilia Petrov” in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2010.
Residencies, Workshops & Other education
As a Member of the Association for the Advancement of Arts and Crafts in Bulgaria was chosen to take part in:
February-March 2009 – A judge in the National Children’s Competition on “recipes of her grandmother”, jointly with “Ivital Consult” and the National Palace of Children.
April 2009 – An artist in the National Culinary Festival “Motley table of guests on my city” under the motto “Where Tradition” held in April-October 2010 in 10 villages in the country.
2010 – Water Boulevard of Arts and Craft
As a student at school participated in:
At least 10 workshops in Sofia, Bulgaria
2 workshops in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2008 – Participation - exhibition “In memory of Rembrandt”
2009 – Participation - travelling exhibition which was shown in more than 10 countries in the European Union
2012 – Participation - Lincolnshire Gallery
2012 – Participation - Ardnamurchan Antiques
2013 – Participation - Dunphy’s Gallery
2016 – Participation - Breeze art gallery
2017 – Participation - Light Space and Time Gallery Figurative Exhibition
2017-present – Participation - Macgregor Fine Art Gallery
Interviews & Publications
2009 - “Illusion of the eye (Trompe L’oeil) – searching for recognition in Bulgaria” in Home’s magazine
2010-2011 - Two interviews from different TV broadcasts. The first was in "Po zhenski" on BBT TV and the second in "Shared with Kamelia" on TV7 (the links to the videos are in my Contacts page)
2013 BTN Magazine
2015 Twisted Bodies Magazine
2017 Light Space and Time Special Recognition Award