Hi everyone! My name is Tatiana Manukovskaya, I am from Russia. I was born in Saint-Petersburg, have grown, studied and worked there, and then moved and lived in Kiev, Moscow, Voronezh. Now I live with my family in a village, in the Voronezh region.
This phrase you see in the title is probably familiar to you – it is the name of a song, released in 1994 by the American band Sparks. You would ask, what was the reason for me to choose those words and I’ll try to explain this to you. I’ve heard this song on the radio when I was 14 and I loved it from the first sounds, even though I hardly understood what was the meaning of the lyrics.
But since I was a big music fan, I had forgotten about this song carelessly in a few months, I suppose. Years passed, and suddenly, last year, after 25 years (it’s hard to imagine!) I have recalled this song and the first sounds of it aroused in me the feelings I had when I was 14. And I understood that I am standing at the threshold of a new era in my life – again! Because my life has changed completely more than once, and often I envy people who are steadily moving toward a goal or developing themselves in one direction.
Who am I? What am I? I never could answer these questions. I seriously studied choreography, but hadn’t become a dancer; I wrote literary essays and won literary competitions and I hadn’t become a writer or a journalist.
I graduated from the Institute of tourism and worked for the organization of tourist exhibitions for 3 years. I visited many countries and had many connections and chances to develop my career, but I gave up everything and went to another college to study psychology.
And after that, for several years, I’ve been blogging and writing a lot of articles on psychological and philosophical topics, on topics that excite me the most. Sometimes I have consulted people, not as a psychologist, but as someone who can support others in finding their own Self, discovering true desires, and cultivating the courage to follow their heart. However, this activity has also come to its logical end.
And I found myself young again, empty enough and full enough to search for something in me, that was awaiting to awake. I feel myself ready for something new, and I have no idea what it can be!
This is what happens in my soul, my internal life, and on the outside, for many people around me, I am just a housewife, mother of three children and wife. However, recently I surprised many by showing them my drawings.
Ah, yes, finally I am ready to speak about the reason why I am here. To tell you the truth, I’m both proud and very embarrassed that Charlie invited me to be among you. Who am I? What am I? (You remember? See above.) Do I deserve to be called a guest artist, because I’m not an artist at all? These are the questions that can be quite painful. But I decided not to fight them. No, I decided to ignore them as much as possible. They are remnants of the old me. The new me wants to be free from evaluations and excessive self-criticism.
The new me wants to say: Dear Charlie O’Shields, I am very, very grateful to fate that I met you on Instagram, that you organized such a wonderful challenge that gives any person a chance to be a bold creator; that you never pressed, forced, or pushed, that it is really easy and free to draw with you every day (or every other day when someone is lazy like me).
And also many, many thanks for the wonderful community you have gathered, Charlie! My best art friends came from those who challenged themselves through Doodlewash!
That is all I wanted to say. Well, there’s also something I need to write about art supplies that I use. This story won’t be too long, because I’ve only drawn for 5 months and my experience isn’t so extensive. I started from the cheapest “no name” paper and studio watercolors (the intermediate between children’s and artist’s), but very soon I discovered a strong desire to have real, preferably 1-pigment watercolors that are cleaner and more suitable for mixing.
So I began to buy tubes of the “White Nights” brand from our best Russian manufacturer – Nevskaya Palitra (Neva Palette), and sooner added some from the brand Pinax, they are produced in Korea. Pinax also produces very good brushes – mixed and synthetic, and I have some of them for different purposes.
I also started to buy different watercolor paper: I have albums and sketchbooks of Russian brands Palazzo, Maleviches; sketchbooks from Royal Talens (Art Creation) and Seawhite of Brighton. Recently, I won a prize from an Australian company Micador and tried out their excellent 100% cotton paper and very nice watercolors that Koh-i-noor company produces.
So my journey is just beginning, and I think the main thing that inspires me and gives me joy is not the idea that drawing will become some serious activity for me, no. Drawing brought me the main happiness – the opportunity to go back to my roots, to my childhood, to find and understand myself and continue to explore my world every day. I don’t know a better way to date! Thank you all for your attention, I’m happy to join you!