Psychedelic colors and surreal compositions: Interview with Ruta Jansone
Born in 1998 in Riga, Latvia, Ruta Jansone grew up playing in her grandmother’s lush garden, riding her bike, climbing trees, and exploring nature. Inspired by her mother’s creative handiwork and artistic mindset, she naturally gravitated toward making arts and crafts with whatever materials she found at hand. During her teens, this idyllic life turned bleak, and she discovered a form of escape by immersing herself in creating art and fine-tuning her craft in classes at the Janis Rozentals Riga Art School and private tutorials with local painters. Immediately after graduating high school, she moved to Oslo, Norway, where she now lives and works – when she’s not outdoors gardening, skiing, or scuba diving. This fresh environment and culture awakened in her a newfound sense of freedom, confidence, and exuberance that she began expressing through the use of bright colors and vibrant imagery representing the journey of the mind away from pain and toward joy. Drawing from the imagination, she paints euphoric, richly textured floral canvases and collagelike psychedelic dreamscapes that interpret the essence of the natural world and the human spirit. In 2023, she will exhibit in Oslo group shows including the VIA Showcase exhibition Art & Glam.
Inspired by her mother’s creative mindset, Ruta immersed herself in creating art from her childhood. In conversation with the artist Ruta Jansone where she shares how her childhood framed her to be the artist she is today, she shares how she found her artistic style in Norwegian culture, her inspirational women artists and more.
1. Ruta, How would you say your childhood framed you to be the artist you are today?
I’d say my childhood played a significant role in shaping me into the artist I am today. It all began with my incredible mom, who ignited my passion for art from a young age. She was always involved in creative activities, and her artistic talent amazed me, especially her realistic still-life pencil drawings. I used to showcase her artwork to everyone at school because I was so proud of her talent. Witnessing my mom’s creativity firsthand had a profound impact on me and sparked my own artistic journey. I found immense joy in expressing myself through various art forms and continued to explore and develop my skills over the years. It was a natural inclination that grew stronger with time. During my teenage years, I faced challenging times, and art became my refuge. I immersed myself in the art practice as a form of escape, continuing to experiment with a variety of mediums. The collection I’m currently working on beautifully embodies that period in my life. It strives to capture the challenging journey of self-discovery that we all navigate through. Each artwork will serve as a visual narrative, drawing inspiration from a specific chapter in my personal journey, starting from those gloomy teenage years. While my focus lies in acrylic paintings at the moment, I maintain the same playful approach to my art practice as before, experimenting with different techniques and textures. This adds an element of surprise and depth to my artistic expression.
I believe that color can transform our mental state, so as an artist, I’m always working to inspire positive emotions in the viewer by conveying my own joy and happiness with the bright, juicy colors I work with.
2. How do you recharge or rest when you need to step away?
The rest is important for nurturing creativity, so I try to carve out time for activities I love. There are plenty of ways I can recharge, so it’s very important to stay in tune with my body and understand what it needs at that moment. Going for road trips closer to nature is one of my favorites, but sometimes, all I need is to simply have some quiet time at home. I allow myself to do nothing or indulge in activities like watching movies or playing video games. It’s a great way to disconnect from the world for a while and recharge my energy. Taking care of my body is also essential to me. If I feel sore or in need of pampering, I treat myself to a mini date with myself. I’ll head to a cozy café to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and then perhaps book a massage to unwind. I also make it a point to regularly spend time with friends. Overall, I believe in staying in tune with my body’s needs and giving it the care it deserves. Whether it’s going on adventures, enjoying downtime, or spending time with loved ones, finding that balance helps me recharge and come back to my creative endeavors with renewed energy.
3. Ruta, can you name any women artists that are your biggest inspiration?
Definitely! I find the biggest inspiration in the incredible women artists around me, like those within the Female Artists Oslo community. Witnessing their dedication and success in their art careers has been incredibly motivating for my own artistic journey. Being surrounded by such talented and driven individuals has truly propelled me forward. Outside of the community, one contemporary artist that I deeply admire is Elina Sanda Zake, a fellow Latvian artist. We actually studied at the same school, and I’ve been following her journey on social media from the very beginning. It’s truly inspiring to see how far she has come with her drive and passion for what she’s doing. She serves as a reminder that with determination, it’s possible to achieve truly amazing things in the art world. All of these women artists continue to inspire me on a daily basis. Their talent, dedication, and achievements motivate me to continue pushing the boundaries of my own art.
4. How would you say Norwegian culture influenced your art practice?
Moving to Norway was a truly transformative experience that impacted both my personal and artistic growth. It was as if a burst of vibrant energy had been awakened within me, pulling me toward bright, vivid colors. The sudden shift in my art came naturally, taking me by surprise in the most delightful way. It was as if a switch had been flipped, and I found myself drawn to the most radiant and vibrant hues imaginable. The open-mindedness and the incredible people I encountered in Norway played a pivotal role in this transformation. The acceptance, humility, trust, and deep commitment to equality that I experienced left me in awe. Being surrounded by such an inspiring environment fueled my creativity in unimaginable ways. Moreover, immersing myself in Norway’s vibrant artist community significantly shaped my art practice. Interacting with fellow artists, sharing ideas, and receiving support and feedback has been invaluable. Although my life wasn’t without its challenges, the sheer joy and fulfillment that I felt from living here definitely left a permanent mark on my art practice.
I enjoy exploring those feelings from a cosmic viewpoint, with psychedelic colors and surreal compositions that conjoin disparate elements, painting an emotional tapestry about a memory or experience.
5. Do you have any projects you are working on and What message do you want to convey through your Art?
Absolutely! I’m currently immersed in an exciting new project that revolves around the theme of self-discovery. This collection is a deeply personal exploration inspired by my own life experiences. One of the first artworks in this collection is titled “Opinions,” an abstract self-portrait that serves as the starting point for this artistic journey. It delves into the challenges we encounter while trying to uncover our true selves, particularly when the opinions of others tend to overshadow our own perceptions. Through this collection, I aim to convey a message of courage, perseverance, and staying true to oneself. Each artwork within the collection represents a unique moment in the larger journey of self-discovery. By employing vibrant, uplifting colors and abstract figurative themes, I seek to capture the complexity and splendor of the world, reflecting my passion for its multifaceted nature. Ultimately, my goal is to create a body of work that not only catches the eye but also inspires viewers to look inwards. By combining captivating visuals with thought-provoking narratives, I want to convey a sense of wonder, encouraging viewers to embrace their own personal journeys and celebrate the intricate beauty of knowing oneself.
Read more about Ruta Jansone on her Instagram.