Having worked as a secretary for a number of years, a combination of professional and private circumstances encouraged Vlasta to study painting in Ljubljana. She successfully completed her studies in 2016 thereby obtaining the academic title of master of visual arts. That year she started her own business.
“I turned that was up that point a hobby into work thereby making my dream come true. When the company I had been working until August 2012 went bankrupt, I realised that this ordeal is my chance so I decided to study painting at a private academy in Ljubljana. When I finished high school, I enrolled into the Faculty of Law, which was an utter failure. I dropped out during my third year and got a job, but painting was always my hobby. In 2000 I became a member of the Croatian Association of Fine Artists and my status as a painter was recognised. In 2013 I graduated from a Zagreb business school and got a degree in small entrepreneurship management thereby acquiring basic knowledge related to running your own business. Given that at the time the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) listed me as a long-term unemployed person, I was eligible to apply for a Self-Employment Small Value Subsidy in the amount of HRK 25,000.00. The funds were approved and in November 2016 I registered my business entity under the name “VLASTAART”, this versatile artist says while talking about herself.
Photo: Marko Prpić/PIXSELL
Vlasta designs and makes unique fashion jewellery using different materials (hand-painted and cut silk petals, satin, organdy, silver-laminated, stainless steel and brass wire, metal, glass and Swarovski pearls, semi-precious stones, corals, nacre, etc.). The jewellery is intended for every day, special and business occasions.
“I’m extremely happy when a woman sees herself in my jewellery, when she recognises the effort and love with which I make it,” Vlasta says.
Vlasta also plans and gives courses in painting and drawing aimed at children and grown-ups alike. The courses are held in Zaprešić and Zagreb so Vlasta managed her find her market niche. Painting is her biggest passion and she says she loves the very process of working on a painting. When she finishes working on a painting, the creative process starts anew… She’s always learning both when it comes to visual arts (art therapy seminars, various conferences related to visual arts) and entrepreneurship (seminars, business conferences).
“Unfortunately, visual arts in Croatian elementary schools has been reduced to just one class period per week, which is extremely little. That’s why we are faced with a disconcerting situation that nowadays quite a lot of people are functionally illiterate when it comes to visual arts, meaning they can’t read a piece of art. I’m happy that my visual arts workshops are attended by people who want to spend their spare time doing something useful, want to master drawing and painting and become better at it. Aside from an academic approach to drawing and painting, my workshops also enable people to learn the basics of visual arts theory, we use a large number reproduced paintings of both foreign and Croatian painters, which enables participants to acquire a broad knowledge when it comes to visual arts. I’m especially happy and content while working with kids”, Vlasta says.
Recommendations are the best kind of advertising for Vlasta. You can find photos of her unique jewellery and paintings at her website www.vlastaart.hr and her Facebook page Art by Vlasta. You can also come to her working space in person and order a personalised floral decoration made from painted silk petals (a necklace, bracelet, brooch or earrings) to match the colour of your dress.
“I’m primarily an artist. Considering that the visual artist status hasn’t been thoroughly regulated in Croatia, artists have to register some kind of a business entity in order to be able to sell their work. That’s why I started a craft so that I could do business legally”, this lovely artist from Zaprešić concludes.