A talented person is talented in everything. This expression could not be better suited to our current companion - a young Azerbaijani artist Narmin Abdulayeva, who despite her age, was able to confidently express herself in art. She does not limit her creativity with stringent frame, believing that art, as well as talent has no boundaries.
In this regard, we note that Narmin, is the owner of the grant of Azerbaijan Union of Artists (2012), a member of the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan (2011), a children's illustrator ( the company "Chashiglu-Multimedia"), designer in "Chicheym" Children's Theater, winner of many prizes and awards (youth Award (2012), Young professional (Competition held union, 2015)), whose paintings were exhibited not only in Azerbaijan, but also in many countries around the world.
As a fashion designer she has released several collections of designer clothes "Jeans", "Spring Wreath", "Camouflage", "Boys of our yards", "Winter Clothes", etc. Being a regular participant of exhibitions organized by the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan State Art Academy and the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan, hinired Narmin I, II and III places. To summarize, the artist has more than 70 awards, certificates and diplomas. Meet Narmin Abdullayeva.
- Narmin, how did your passion for painting strated? As a child you probably, as many other children, loved to draw, did not you?
- My passion for painting began in early childhood. As far as I can remember, I always sat with a pencil in hand and painted something.
However, unlike other children, in my case - it was not just a hobby, because I painted for hours without making a break for a snack or rest, until the work was fully completed. That what my mother told me, I was only 2-3 years at that time.
- Were there any artists in your family and how the family reacted to your choice?
- Despite the fact that our family had a lot of talented and creative people who showed interest in the fine arts, none of them, unfortunatly, become a professional artist. My grandfather was very creative, but not engaged in arts. My parents also painted when they were kids, but their passion has not passed to the professional level. Prehaps this is why, seeing my desire and interest in the fine arts, they have crreated all the conditions for me to be creative, and always supported me.
- When you finally decide that the painting is your fate?
- Ar the age of seven, my mother enrolled me in a children's art gallery named after Tofig Ismayilov. At age of 9 I had my first solo exhibition. I always believed that I would become an artist in the future. As a child, along with painting, I performed in the theather. The children's theater "Chicheyem", where my other Rena Kerimov is a director, together with my brother Hasan we tried ourselves as young actors, played a major role in many children's plays.
However, I have never visited the idea to quit art and become an actress, despite the fact that well known figures of Azerbaijani theater and cinema were inpressed with my performance at the festival of children's plays and they predicted me a great future, advising to go to the Art Institue. Therefore, learning about my desire to become an artist and plans to enroll into Academy of Arts, they were very surpised.
- However, you did enroll in the faculty of art and design - specialized in artistic weaving. Why?
- First, I studied at the Faculty of painting in Art Gymnasium. My teacher really wanted me to continue education on the same faculty, but in the Academy of Arts. However, I decided to become a fashion designer and already several times had participated in fashion festivals. One of the most significant events was the music contest-festival "Baku Autumn".
For the first time a promising young fashion designers were allowed to make costumes for the young performers. Taking in to account the victory gained by me in the art competetion, the organizers have decided to entrust it to me. However, it was necessary to prepare the original collection, as my opponents were professional designers, and at the time I was in high school. Therefore, on the advice of educators, I presented clothes made from batik. Inthis case, I got help from Enver Garayev and my first teacher Pahila Mamedzade.
It was first collection in my life and I can not not to mention valuable advice and support of Marina Malikova. At the end of the contest, I received a special prize of the music festival "Baku Autumn". Participation in this contest affected my final choice. I decided to enroll in Academy of Art, where I received a bachelor's degree in art weaving, batik learning.
- How successful were your university years? Did you like study at the University?
- The years I spent at the Academy rpoved to be very valuable and interesting. The desire to get as much knowledge from each teacher more tied my fate with creativity. Thirst for knowledge and learning was so strong that even when I was just a first course student, everyone knew that in the future I will continue studying in a magistracy. My main goal was to gain knowledge, so I spent all my time, even free time, in the studio, trying not to be distructed. Thus, all my time was entirely devoted to creativity.
- In regards to graduate, your specialization became a theatrical decor. Why did you want to learn the profession of a theater artist?
- Even after I grew up, my love for the theater has nor passed. Theatrical decor was very close to me, as the theater scene, scenery, costumes are an integral part of my childhood and adolescence. These years were filled with emotions, have left their mark.
- Let's talk about year 1999, when you have received a gold medal, taking first place in the exhibition-contest in Japan, which was attended by representatives of 144 countries of the world?
- From the moment when I became serious about art, I felt it's my duty to partisipate in all competition and festivals. My mother and teacher helped me in this. There was no competition, where I had not been involved, but unfortunately the years of long and hard work were not compensated as I was expecting. I repeatedly was returning home after exhibitions in tears of disappointments that I did not win. But year 1999 was a turning point for me, when my work had been appreciated at the international festival and exhibition, held in Kanagawa, Japan.
I took the first place among the members of the 144 countries and has been awarded the gold medal for the first place. Unfortunately, because I was sending my different works to all possible sompetitions and festivals, and did not save my records, I do not remember which work I have received this prize for. This victory has allowed me to express myself, and then I began to be in the spotlight. Interview on TV, invitation to shows, news papers articles. Then I bathed in the glory. But if seriously, this victory encouraged and stimulated me, allowing even more to believe in my strength, knowing that I can succeed if fully given to what you love to do...
- In year 2012 you received grant of Azerbaijan Artists Union. What you have received the award for? Was it a contest?
- I have participated in various exhibitions, both in Azerbaijan and abroad, and has become a multiple winner of the Republican art exhibitions. Subsequently, I stopped enjoying competitions in Azerbaijan, where I regularly receive at least first or second place, as seen the come people's faces expression of disappointments. I did not like fake smiles of other participants, when they were congratulating me. Sometimes I ask members of my family to present me at exhibitions. Year 2012 was pretty good - I became the winner of the Youth Award. In the same year I was accepted into the Union of Youth Artists. Because of my accomplishments, I received a grant from the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan.
- Starting year 2014, you are hosting the famous TV program "After Shchool", together with the People's Artist of Azerbaijan Arif Huseynov on Azerbaijani TV channels of AzTV and "Culture". What is this program about? And how did you become a host of the show? Do you like to be on TV?
- Please note that for 12 years I was the head of the fine arts studio at the Youth creative center of Nizami district of Baku. One day, the director of the Center Lala Aliyeva said that we were invited to the program "After School", which was conducted by our beloved folk artist Arif Huseynov. I, along with the students, came to the studio of TV channels "AzTV". During filming, seeing my love for students, as well as noting how closely I watch the process, program editor and director of Uzeyir bey Gulaya Aliyeva and, offered me to take part in this show.
From that moment on, I become involved in every episode of "After School" with Arif Muallim, and unwittingly, has become a host of this program. At present, show is aired every Sunday on TV channel "Culture". During the program, we talk about the life and work of legendary artists, reveal the secreats of arts crafts. One of the main goal of the program is to educate young viewers, show them the spirit of patriotism and love for the country. We explain to our viewers how usefully spend time after school, raise interest in the fine arts and give good advice ro young talents.
- You have successfully participated in exhibitions in Azerbaijan, Turkey, USA, Russia, Iran, the Netherlands etc. Were these exhibitions group exhobotions or solo? Do you like exhibit abroad?
- You are correct. In the past, I used to just send work, then later began to attend, both in group and solo exhibitions in the counties you mentioned. And received a total of more than 70 diplomas , awards. Of course, to attend on the opening days abroad is always an honor. Today, I am doubly pleased, because now my students continue to glorify Azerbaijan. And they won more than thirty medals (gold, silver and bronze) at the most prestigious international and national competitiona and festivals.
- In March of this year, the Vienna International Centre you had joint exhibition with Dilshad Imranov. This titled "Echoes of Colors" exhibition became the first, in 50 years of VIC activities, exhibition representing Azerbaijan. Share with us your impressions on the opening day. Did you like the way local audience reacted at your work?
- A year ago, I was awarded the first place in the category "Graphics" in the exhibition "Tolerant Youth of Azerbaijan:, in which connection I won the right to represent Azerbaijan at the exhibition in Austria. As for the exhibition held at the VIC, it became a truly great event in my life. The main organizer of the exhibition, the coordinator of the club of arts at the VIC, scientist Bakhtiyar Sirajov, the only Azerbaijani, who occupies a responsible position in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), did his best to organize this event at the highest possible level, and made it happened.
Please note that to hold an exhibition at the Vienna International Centre - is an honor for every artist. Our exhibition got high-ranking officials visitors, representatives of diplomatic missions, employees of VIC and other art lovers. The exhibition was very warmly accepted by the local public. Working on the paintings devoted to Novruz holiday, I was aware of the responsibility, and was realizing that I represent Azerbaijan at the world level.
It was noce to see when my paintings evoked interest among the guests. Many of them shared with me their experience, ask questions and congratulated me, among them was the head of the Art Club at the VIC mister Raymonda Nadera, who was a wonderful man. I found that VIC have enployees from around the world and to hear their opinion about my work is priceless.
- Let's talk about your creations. You often use such the topic as Baku and Novruz Holiday. What attracts you to these topics?
- I was born and raised in Baku.I am a patriot of this country. I like to paint on the national theme. I consider it my duty to paint on a patriotic theme, show the beauty of our nature, to present the originality and uniqueness of our customs and traditions. Therefore each of my painting of the subject I write with love, trying to put into it a piece of my soul.
It comes from childhood when I liked our national holidays, Azerbaijani fairy tales, folklore, legends, proverbs and more impregnated with national colors. I love the traditions, customs, games and activities related to the Novruz Holiday.
- All your paintings are in bright rich colors. What attracts you to such a bright palette, and how do you manage to balance the harmonious combination of colors?
- I like bright and rich colors. This is reflected in my paintings, and developed garments collections. I do not know why, but I can not be limited to a few colors. In my work is always a combination of a large number of colors is observed. Perhaps this is due to my inner world. I can see the surrounding reality itself, including the nature, people and animals in different colors. This world to me is in not black and white but multicolor. With regards to compliance with the balance, I can safely say this is due to the strong and experienced teachers who taight me, and most importantly, I always wanted to be their worthy follower.
Also note tht I do not like to copy someone else's style or manner. Every creative person - individual. So I always try to develop my own handwriting. I want my paintings to be different from the picture, written by other artists, and most importantly - to be immediately recognizable. If a person, by looking at my pictures, feeling relaxed, I'm happy. There are several works that make myself feel pleased. Every time I'm looking at them, I'm glad that I was able successfully combine the color.
- What artistic direction you keep in your work? Your picture is difficult to confuse with works by other painters, tell us about your interesting original unique style? How did you come up with it?
- There are lot of different painting styles, many of which I'm impressed with. Each artistic direction have something that attracts me. I find it difficult to carry my creativity in any particular style. I believe that in the course of a long work I was able to develop my own style. I like to create a little dreamy, but coupled with the reality work. This is the way of my expression. Everyone knows that artists paint their paintings in accordance with the times in which they live.
Process and events in our lives and in the word, have a special influence on the painters, and I'm no exception. Perhaps in five yearsI'll be working in a completly different style, who knows. But most importantly, my creativity will always have a warm, positive aura, love and hope for a brighter future.
- On your pictures very common to see a pomegranate, a symbol of Azerbaijan. Why do you like this fruit so much?
- The pomegranate - a symbol of abundance and prosperity. This is truly a unique fruit that is inextricably linked with me, which shows that, under normal appearance hides a rich inner world. With its simple appearance, it's gut is comparable to the beuaty of the princess, and the inner wealth enough for all. I'm very glad that I was called Narmin. When I sign my pictures, I will depict a pomegranate - pomegranate dream city, pomegranate family,love grenade. Adherence to this amazing fruit goes through all my work.
- Which artists do you admire?
- The history of art has many legendary artists. I'm fascinated by some of them. Their works represent a great school for me. My favor ones are Leonardo da Vinci, Gustav Klimt, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and others.
The work of these artists is peculiar. There artists have earned worldwide fame, finding love and acceptance around the world, hitting the hearts of people with their masterpieces, which filled up the treasury of world art. From Azerbaijani painters I love creativity of Sattar Bahlulzade, Mikail Abdulayev, Togrul Marimanbeyov, Maral Rahmanzadeh,Beyukaga Mirzazade, Tahir Salahov, Farhad Khalilov, Agali Ibrahimov, Arif Huseynov. I can watch with delight the performance of each of them, trying to learn something in each staged smear, every movement of the hand of the great masters.
- You also work with batik, don't you?
- Unfortunatly, today I have no time for batik, because I do not have a workshop. So I dream of having my own studio and spend half of my time for work with batik. However, partially realization of this dream comes through the collections of children;s clothes, which I do for the " Chicheyem" theater production. My drawings and patterns adorn these suits, which is why thhis clothing as design, arouses the interest.
Collections for young actors were repeatedly getting all kind of awards and prizes. In 2015, the year of my composition titled "Flower Wreath" was awarded second place in the nomination "The most beautiful flower dress" in the "Festival of Flowers".
- Narmin, per your view, is it a fate to be an artist?
- Everyone chooses his own way, their direction, their profession. Fine art - is my way. Painting - my life. It is amazing art form helps me to express my thoughts and felings. I'm grateful to God that he helped me to find my calling in life...
- Will you share with us your plans for the future?
- I do not want to talk in advance about my plans, because our life is full of unpredictability, and therein lies its charm. At any moment life can give us a new opportunity that would change everything. So the main thing - is to continue to work, to be creative, to do the exhibitions and never stop.
- What are your dreams?
- My big dream, as I mentioned already, to create in my own workshop. An artist without a workshop is like a man without a roof over the head. I also want to be exposed all over the world, and I would like to go down in history of Azerbaijani art as the artist-woman. But it's not as easy as it might seem at first glance. I believe that to achive this goals I need to work until I'm able to hold a brush in my hand...
- Narmin, thank you for the interesting conversation. We wish you success and exhibitions in prestigious galleries and museums around the world.
- Thank you! Honestly, it was the first such detailed interview. At some point, I felt like a star. Thank you for your interesting questions and for your interest in my work.