Art is therapy – Věra Kosová

The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.

by Madalina Dragos

Věra Kosová is a young visual artist in whose compositions the emotions are palpable and the use of non-colors accentuates their depth so that the viewer is easily transposed into those universes painted by her.
Thus, Věra presents us her world where she metamorphosed her mistakes into good purposes, where she twisted the wrong into good in her reality and even more, she is trying to help other people to make this change.
In this interview we meet Věra, who I would say paints with her soul, but she tells us that she paints with her heart, and her artworks speak for themselves.

Věra Kosová

Q: Who or what inspired you on your way?
A: I find inspiration in many things and people. I meet many people and listen to their stories. But I found the strongest inspiration in music, especially the music of Lara Fabian. Thanks to her music, I learned to listen to my heart in my work. I like to say that I don’t paint with my head, but with my heart. Thanks to her music, I also got rid of my demons. She inspired me not only in my work but also in my life.

Q: When you paint, where do your thoughts go?
A: Mostly I try not to think too much. While painting, I give space to my heart. That’s what I want to hear the most during my work.

Věra Kosová

Q: From your compositions I see that you are passionate about anthropomorphic motifs, what do you think about people and humanity?
A: I like meeting new people and getting to know their character. But I certainly have no right to judge them. No one has the right to judge others, for example for how they look, what their orientation is, what their past is or even how they behave. We don’t live their lives. I like to ask them questions, listen to their problems and concerns. They are happy to have someone to confide in or cry to. I hate arguments or conflicts I’d rather try to understand people than argue with them. We are human and have the right to make mistakes. We are not perfect. It is important to be able to say sorry and admit your mistake.

Q: From what I’ve seen, most of your compositions are in black and white, what do you think about black and white?
A: It’s a wonderful contrast. Opposites that attract. Basically, they can work only together. These colors complement each other. The colored pictures are beautiful without a doubt, but I see more depth in the black and white ones. Those two colors give them soul and emotions are revealed.

Q: What is your first drawing?
A: I honestly don’t remember the first drawing. However, I do remember creating artwork on Grandpa’s car, the wall, or the floors. They were more like engravings, not drawings. I scribbled on everything I could get my hands on.

Q: Which artist do you like the most (past or even contemporary)?
A: My favorite artist is Vincent van Gogh. I was very interested in his pointillism technique and especially his life story. I was also interested in Honoré Daumier’s paintings. I often practiced the art of drawing on his paintings. I also really like the drawings of Paul Cézanne and the early period of Pablo Picasso.

Q: I saw you struggled with your addiction, do you think our depressions can be or turn at some point into something motivational to push us to be better?
A: I dare to say I even know it. Anyone who does not suffer from depression cannot imagine what goes on in the head of such a person. This person then seeks some escape from these feelings. I used alcohol as a medicine, which is perhaps the worst option. I drank almost ten years. Then when I found myself in psychiatry, I discovered a talent in myself that I had suppressed for many years. Thanks to art therapies, I discovered that passion and art gained a meaning for me that I lacked in my childhood. I started to believe in love again. These moments were very intense for me. This whole experience took me a huge step forward. I don’t see it as a bad thing. On the contrary, I am very grateful for all of it. What I mean by this is that people can do anything if they learn to perceive themselves. When they come to terms with themselves. It’s hard, but these are the things that make us stronger.

Q: I see you as a fighter and you are also very young and I am glad that you had the strength to overcome your problems. When did your depression start?!
A: Thank you so much. I appreciate your words. I think the turning point came in high school. I chose a major that I thought would be the best for my future, but I was wrong. Already in the first year, I knew that this study would not bring me anything, but I wanted to finish school. After I started a job, the depression got worse. In my first job, I fell in love for the first time, but it wasn’t mutual. This person rather abused my feelings. I became very introverted and I hid my feelings inside myself and the problems got bigger and bigger. Doses of alcohol increased. Finally, I was at a stage where I was drinking 1.5 liters of hard alcohol a day. The body cannot withstand such an amount. After one day of involuntary abstinence, I collapsed and ended up in the hospital with a head injury. It was a miracle I was alive at all. After that, I went straight to psychiatry. And that’s where my new life began. I got a second chance at life and I don’t want to waste it.

Q: I myself think and say that: “Art is the lifeline when we walk with a broken boat through the turbulent sea called life”! You say that “Art is therapy”. Did you discover your art and painting skills on your own? (was there someone who taught you) and how did you feel during your exhibitions?
A: I totally agree with you. You said it beautifully. I knew about my talent since childhood, but it was high school that stopped my development in this field. At that age, I didn’t even have a passion for art, nor did I have any hope of succeeding in it. In short, the little heart still wasn’t beating in the right rhythm. I want to say that if it wasn’t for depression and addiction, I might never have found that passion. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. I attended a few art clubs in my childhood, but I never stayed for long. I learned everything by myself. Later, an art therapist in psychiatry became my lecturer, thanks to which my paintings appeared in the first exhibitions. I am still in contact with her today, but I am more or less working alone again. I have no assistant or sponsor and I only have a tutor occasionally. I arrange the exhibitions, transport and material by myself but I’ve gotten used to it over the years. It is an even more beautiful feeling when the exhibition is successful. It’s true that sometimes it’s a lot for me, but I enjoy it. I know that makes sense. At the exhibition I am relieved of all the worries. Especially when everything goes according to plan, I really enjoy every moment of the exhibition. I like talking to people about art and listening to their opinions. Their enthusiasm or even criticism are a reward for me.

Q: What do you think about artists/being an artist?
A: I met artists of different types. Some of them are very extravagant some are very introverted. In general, I think that artists can perceive reality and the world around them in a different way. They are more sensitive, have more empathy and perceive little things and details that another person might not notice at all. I met many artists among psychiatric patients as well. This confirms to me the sensitivity and indeed the uniqueness of each artist. Each of us is actually an artist of our own life.

Q: Do you like math? (do you have a favorite number, and if so why?)
A: It’s strange that you asked this because I was thinking about a favorite number recently and I couldn’t come up with any that stood out. I don’t like mathematics very much, even though it was part of my field of study and I took it in the matriculation exam. I was more interested in literature and history.

Q: Do you like animals?
A: I love animals. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pets, but my grandparents had a farm in the village and I often went there on holidays when I was a child. They had many animals. But I love horses the most. My grandfather taught me to ride horses, he also taught me to ride a horse-drawn carriage. Basically, I grew up among animals.

Q: If you had a superpower what would it be and what would you do with it?
A: I wish I had the power of telepathy. I would like to know what is behind some people’s behavior and maybe save them some suffering. I know that life is not easy for anyone and there are many people who do not talk about their problems and that is why a lot of mental suffering occurs. I would love to have the ability to give them back their passion for life and the strength to follow their dreams.

Q: What do you think about angels?
A: I’m sure angels are among us. They watch over us and help us in difficult times. They spread joy and put smiles on our faces. They assure us that there is still good in people and that there is still a lot of it. But everything is not just white. On the other side are those demons too. It is up to each of us which of the two we want to follow.

Q: If you were to write a note to a very young (or old) person, what would you write?
A: I would write to a young person to believe in their dreams and their abilities, to treat people with respect. Mutual respect and humility are very lacking in people today. I would write something similar to an old person. To respect the opinions of young people. Although, old age is synonymous with wisdom, it is not always the rule.

Q: What was your happiest day?
A: I don’t have to think too much. It was the day I finished a series of drawings called Despite Fate. It’s a series of drawings about my addiction journey. A huge burden was lifted from me that day. It was a very intense and liberating feeling. Recently, a story was created for these drawings, which I wrote on a few pages. It is an autobiographical story of addiction, self-discovery and hope.

Q: How do you see the art in the future?
A: I would like to travel and discover art in the world. I would like to develop further, gain experience, learn from other artists and improve myself. I would like to support necessary institutions and communities with my art, not only in my country, but also abroad. Today, however, the future is so terribly uncertain that I prefer to let myself be surprised by what life has in store for me.

Q: Do you see yourself doing only art from now on?
A: Definitely yes! The art has become an integral part of my life. Currently I am trying to focus on charity exhibitions. I want to support non-profit organizations with my exhibitions. There is a whole project about addiction called Despite destiny where I try to go into mental institutions to give hope to people who find themselves in a similar situation as I once was. It became a kind of mission for me. I will certainly not be poisoned by failure. I will continue to paint even if my paintings are only to hang on my wall at home. I want to give people the best that is in me through my work.

Věra Kosová participated in:
Group exhibitions:
Paths of the soul
2019, Cultural Services Center, Svitavy, Czech Republic
Paths of the soul
2021, Cultural Services Center, Svitavy, Czech Republic
Lech’s touch
2022, Still life Gallery, Praha, Czech Republic
Paths of the soul
2022, Cultural Services Center, Svitavy, Czech Republic

Individual exhibitions:
Despate Destiny
2021, former monastery, Jimramov, Czech Republic
Despate Destiny
2021, Cultural Services Center, Svitavy, Czech Republic
2022, Bar The Space of The Earth, Praha – Smíchov, Czech Republic
Art – An Addiction I don’t need to be ashamed of
2022, Bar S.O.V. A, Praha – Letná, Czech Republic

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