Oana Diana Gavrila, a London-based artist, discovered painting in her mid-30’s and, without any formal training, managed to find her own inimitable style by creating unique figurative art.
It all started a couple of years ago, when after a struggle with depression, she picked up the pencil and painting brush at the recommendation of her doctor and started sketching family and friends.
Like any emerging artist, she lacked confidence in her talent despite getting amazing feedback on her works and it was only after her first exhibition that she had the courage to call herself an artist.
By creating art, Oana has reconnected with a long-lost feeling of happiness, calm, joy but also her childhood. She reminisces “When I started drawing, I immediately recognised that incredible feeling and suddenly felt like I was a little girl again, back in my old room!”
Born and raised in Craiova, a beautiful city in the south of Romania, she studied foreign languages and found herself always choosing jobs that had a strong element customer service. “I always loved working with people, to connect with them and listen to their stories. Working as a flight attendant gave me the opportunity to meet so many different and wonderful people. Therefore, I think it’s no coincidence that I love drawing people because I just love human beings!”
Oana is predominately a figurative and portrait artist who incorporates strong graphic elements in her work. Her expressive mixed media works combine oils, acrylics, imitation gold leaf, paint markers and paper all applied in an equally diverse manner using brushes, fingers, paint rollers and paper to create expressive and striking imagery.
Her unique style can be recognised from the combination of natural flowing lines with harsh diagonals, clean crisp areas of colour with layered messy paint and cut out paper. The finished works are a mix of modern and almost futuristic look, whilst still managing to retain a raw traditional aesthetic. She is influenced and inspired by diverse sources including; Fashion, Pop Art, Street Art , Cubism, Art Nouveau, Modernism and Constructivism, all pulled together to create stylised works.
“Art enables me to lose myself and find myself at the same time. Being a self-taught artist can be challenging, but at the same time very rewarding and I love every step of this new journey. Art can save anyone, and it definitely saved me! “
Oana’s first exhibition was the Crystal Palace Affordable Art Fair 29 Nov -1 Dec 2019 where she met amazing fellow artists and a beautiful community but she realised that she was lacking a unity in her artworks. She then started to learn more about different art styles and the more she painted the more she found herself attracted by certain styles.
As a result, she gained more Instagram followers and gained recognition from well established artists.
Oana was featured on trendyartideas.com and during the Fashion week in Paris, some of her artworks will be published in a special edition of the “Oooh” and “Signature” Magazines by editor chief Luigi di Donna.
Oana was also featured in Ma’Nanas Magazine, an online magazine showcasing artists, their art and the Nanasi editorial photo shoots.
The magazine with the full interview can be found here