Esther Franchuk is a mixed-media fine artist from Ukraine. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany, with paintings represented in private collections globally. Esther was professionally trained in classical drawing & oil painting at Grekov Odessa Art School; one of the oldest and one of the most renowned schools of art in the country. After her graduation, she moved to Western Ukraine and continued her studies at Transcarpathian Art Institute for two more years learning about authentic Ukrainian art and folk crafts, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. She was also given the opportunity to go abroad to be part of various art programs in the United States & Europe. One of her most life-changing experiences was taking the Mastery Program at Milan Art Institute in the USA, where she developed her unique style and artistic voice. Most recently, Esther has put together a powerful art series! In Volume 11 of The Turquoise Iris Journal, Esther tells us what inspires her and how to create an art series that is both personal and meaningful.
Esther’s artwork is colorful and vibrant, full of narrative and storytelling. She traveled all over the world to collect and gather inspiration from various cultures. During her travels, Esther was driven to create artwork that would speak to everyone and empower many. To her, art in any form has always been such a unique tool that makes a difference in this world. It doesn’t have language or cultural barriers and it speaks directly to the human heart. It’s a unique way to express the worlds inside our imaginations as well as the world around us, capturing their very essence.
Esther’s paintings are made in the style of abstract realism. She uses mixed techniques and materials like acrylic, inks, graphite, and collage before completing the work with oil paints. Esther loves color and loves to experiment with it. Her style is peculiar and unique. In her most recent series, Esther paints the beauty and prophetic calling of her own homeland. Now, more than ever before, she wants to make the hopeful destiny of Ukraine known to the world. She believes art is a great tool to change the world, to bring beauty and hope to impact all spheres of society.
Keep reading to hear how Esther created an art series with a powerful message.
How to Create an Art Series
Ever since I was really little, I knew with all of my heart that I was meant to do something great. I became an artist and chose it as my career so I could pursue my dream to make a difference and change the world through beauty.
Throughout the different stages of development in my career, I explored many topics, themes, and motifs throughout several painted collections. None of it truly felt like my own artistic voice. It didn’t have that weight behind it that I was longing for. Something bigger was still yet to come.
While competing on the “Outstanding Artist” reality show in the USA in August 2021, I stepped into a whole new direction with my art. In one of the challenges, we were supposed to depict ourselves as a legend, incorporating our cultural background to tell a story.
Back then, I was still struggling a lot to connect to my roots. I didn’t know a lot about my heritage. I was born in post-Soviet times, where there was no such thing as a cultural identity. I knew that my cultural inheritance was (and would always be) my “birthright,” and that’s what I decided to name the painting. It was the first Ukrainian-themed piece of art in my whole career and it felt like a true reflection of my artistic voice.
By working on this painting, I experienced a lot of healing and reconciliation with my nation. I started to see the history, costumes, and language of my people as something really personal and meaningful. I was able to dive deeper, learning about my true roots and recognizing the way that being Ukrainian is my strength and not my weakness.
Coming back from the show and moving forward in my career, I felt an urge in my heart to continue with Ukrainian motifs. I began painting women in traditional costumes, spreading their arms as they become wings. I named the collection “Wings and Visions.” The inspiration for this collection, and the storytelling behind it, came from baroque poetry of the seventeenth century of allegory representing homelands as women. It became the most meaningful project I ever worked on.
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Follow Esther online at EstherFranchuk.com and @esther_franchuk for more.