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Artist Showcase: Vira Hohol

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Few struggles are as mentally and emotionally taxing as learning a new language. Any screaming toddler in the grocery store could testify to this fact (or would if it could, no doubt). The inability to communicate in a world of constant connectivity is enough to bring even adults to tears. Grunts, gestures, and temper tantrums may attract attention, but they rarely convey an effective message.

Then there’s art…

For thousands of years, art has been speaking for itself. Artists from every era, culture, and corner of the globe have been able to effectively get their points across through this unspoken dialect. But for Ukrainian artist Vira Holhol, art has been more than just a voice; it has been a teacher as well.

Vira grew up in Ukraine knowing that she wanted to be either an artist or a fashion designer. She was raised in a small town, however, and art education was hard to come by. Still, Vira focused her energy on art and taught herself to draw portraits at a young age. “Drawing always made me feel calm, relaxed, and happy,” says Vira. But, despite her love affair with drawing, she decided to study the English language when she entered university.

This change in direction wasn’t the end of Vira’s artistic journey, however. The detour only made her want to draw more. “Though I drew very rarely then because I moved to another city and I was at home only on weekends, I will always remember the summer of 2011,” says Vira. With more time on her hands, she began to research as many drawing and painting methods as a Google search could throw at her.

In her search, Vira stumbled upon hundreds of great artists and found herself more inspired than ever before. She also signed up for several online art communities and instantly discovered thousands of budding artists like herself. “These sites and these people gave me so much motivation and inspiration,” Vira says. “You can't even imagine!”

Being a student of the English language as well, Vira began sharing her work and talking with English speakers around the world. “I improved my language and drawing skills through communicating with native speakers and very talented people,” recalls Vira. “My two hobbies helped each other.” Art, with its ability to speak volumes without saying a single word, had suddenly given Vira the opportunity to learn an entirely new language.

Vira continues to visit her favorite art communities on a regular basis and gleans techniques, tips, and occasionally a new English word or two. “My goal is just to learn drawing for myself, for personal growth, because it brings me fun,” admits Vira. She doesn’t follow any methods specifically, but rather spends her time experimenting—blending media and techniques to create a style that is distinctly her own.

If you would like to see more of Vira’s artwork, be sure to check out her profile at 5pmc.com.

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