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Abstract Art as a meditation tool

Interview with Oliver Hojas

Image by markus spiske on Unsplash.com


A few months ago, before embarking on a road trip from Slovenia to Türkiye through the Balkans, I got in touch via a Facebook page for digital nomads with Oliver, a Swiss guy living in Sofia. We decided to meet once I reached Bulgaria. Oliver creates abstract art and talking to him brought back memories of the time from kindergarten to around 13 years old when I, too, was passionate about painting. As this meeting was inspiring for me, I decided to share his testimony in this article for La Mente Pensante in the form of an interview, hoping that the colors of art without borders can motivate my readers as well. Enjoy reading!


Who is Oliver Hojas?

Please share with the readers some information about yourself, like your name, age, where you are from, where you are living at the moment and anything you consider noteworthy.

My name is Oliver Hojas, I am 28, and I’m originally from Switzerland, but I’ve been living in Bulgaria for six months. Right now, I’m back in Switzerland because I had some exhibitions: first a group exhibition and on November 30th a solo one, which will be really big. After that, I’ll probably go back to Bulgaria, but also, I’ll be travelling a lot. Well, I say a lot, but it depends on where I go. Maybe I get a nice apartment in Bulgaria or somewhere where I feel really good because it didn’t feel so good in my previous apartment in Sofia. But we will see, I’m still not sure about how to do it. I guess in December, I’ll go back to Bulgaria for a while though, and I will see from there.


One good reason to start doing art

When did you start doing art?

I think it was end of 2017 and I do abstract art. I wanted an outlet where I can let out my emotions and feel good, and art gave me a space where I could just be. Back then I had a lot of negative thoughts about myself, about my life. I wasn’t feeling very well. I felt somehow lonely most of the time. Even though I knew I had a lot of energy, somehow this energy was blocked by the negative thoughts.

So, I was feeling very lonely, and art gave me this outlet to just be, it was almost a kind of Meditation. I became distant to my thoughts, and I could observe them, but not engage in them and be affected by them. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot about myself. I also started doing abstract art because I’ve always been a perfectionist with myself and everything and always judged myself for never being good enough. Abstract art gave me a space where I could express myself with no right or wrong, and that’s what I needed. To provide a specific example of my art in the very beginning, I made a yin yang painting and my mind started telling me this is not round enough, this is not good enough and so on and so forth. So, my mind started judging again, but I’m referring to the early stage of me being an artist. Then, I decided it would be abstract art so that there is no right or wrong and there is a surprise in it: you never know what will happen, you don’t know what will come out of it, but the end result was always very exciting, because you literally didn’t know, you couldn’t even imagine what would come out of it (That just reminds me I need to follow up with a customer).


Abstract Art that inspires

Considering this is a magazine aimed at psychology and personal growth, how is art a medium to achieve this?

Art helped me not even to really release emotions, but it was for me like a meditative state where I had distance to my thoughts and emotions, and I was just totally in the moment, while losing the perception of time, and this gave me space to just be. And it felt good! Even when I was feeling bad, I had this distance where I was very present, and I wasn’t thinking anymore. Thoughts kept coming and going, but I wasn’t engaging in them. This was all very interesting, but this is the first aspect. The other aspect is that it has become my full-time job and that’s a huge personal growth. First, I realized that art is what I love, and it makes me feel good. I’m a creative person and I must express myself creatively. I cannot live without doing it. I can do it for a while, but it always comes back and I always need to do something with my hands. I think it’s very healthy to do something with your hands, especially nowadays that we all use our computers. When you do manual work, you get back to the moment when you’re grounded because you’re doing something with your hands and it’s a beautiful thing, and you create something.

In my opinion, art is an expression of what life is, because I believe we all create our reality in this world. We are artists and creators of our reality as we imagine it and as we want it. This can be related to the law of attraction but it’s not the main topic now. However, what I want to say is when I do art, I tap into being a creator. It’s an amazing thing that you can take canvas and colors and create something that is in your mind even if it’s a feeling – so maybe not that concrete – but you can take something from the invisible and make it visible. This is what I love about art. For me it’s about tapping into being the creator of my life, and an expression of who I am, and my world, my feelings, my beliefs, everything.

Since a while, I’ve been reading a lot of books and I’ve done a lot of work on myself. All this is basically reflected in my art. Most of the time my art is an encouragement, it’s positive, it’s uplifting because that’s what I want to put out in the world. I know that many artists create when they feel bad, and this happened to me too, sometimes. But then I realized that there’s enough darkness and bad things in the world, so why would I need to put my negative emotions into the world for people to see and absorb them. Another form of art which is a form of expression is music. People resonate with musicians who express pain and negative emotions through music because people feel pain as well. However, I think that whatever we focus on more, the more we get of it. I don’t want to put my pain into this world. Of course, I do also feel pain and frustration, like we all do, but I want to create when I feel good, and I do feel good most of the time. That’s what I want to put into the world because that’s what I want to see more, and that’s what I want to support. So, I put color and beauty and abundance: all the things I want to see in the world. I want to put them into my art, and this comes naturally anyways, because it’s an expression of who I am, and I want to put this out into the world and inspire people with that. It feels like I’m doing a coaching just with art. The way I name my paintings, and the descriptions, and the stories they tell about my art, these basically give encouragement and inspiration. I have a lot of different artworks, for example the abundance paintings, the golden ones, they’re meant to express the feeling of abundance which I always wished, and was always longing for, and attracted to a certain degree: freedom and abundance, and the latter can of course always be more. That’s part of life because we grow, we expand, we want more; that’s normal. This is what I put into my art, and this is what people feel and breathe. This is what I like as well. I think we are all individuals with our own paths, so I like using art as a medium to inspire people, and somehow coach them. I like doing coaching as well. I’m always happy to help people. But I think we learn a lot more from stories. We all know what we want to do, where we want to go, what we need to do. We all have this intuition, but sometimes we cannot listen to it, or we forget about it. So, I hope my art inspires people – like a fire or something that sparks – just by looking at it, by reading the names, by reading the stories of the paintings, by reading my story. This way, instead of telling people what to do, I do, and then they can take what they want from my art, and maybe get inspired to do things differently, or to dream bigger, or to follow their desires and their hearts.


Note

Article also available in English: Arte astratta come mezzo meditativo.


Andrea Ferri Autore presso La Mente Pensante Magazine
Andrea Ferri
Interprete | Traduttore | Nomade Digitale
Bio | Articoli | Video Intervista AIPP Febbraio 2024
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