By Alyssa Laube
About: For Transylvanian painter and poet, Hajni Yosifov, art is all about self-discovery. Her paintings (“painted diaries/journals”, or “dreamscapes”, as she calls them) use bold colours and heavy texture to evoke emotions of love, wonder, and struggle. Despite starting out her artistic career as a jewellery designer, Hajni has found her true passion in painting, and will be exhibiting at this year’s Expo.
When you mention the “idea of existing” as a key concept in your work, what do you mean?
My artistic journey is more than seeking; it’s a chance to go on, deeply and permanently, into the idea of existing. Art is how I record life.
The way that you’ve described your work on your page is quite poetic. Do you write poetry?
The dance between words and pictures is unlike anything else. Nothing compares with the discovery of your own verse, and some of my paintings gives my mind the power of words. “The Dreamer” is my self portrait in words.
Which artists inspire you?
There are many inspiring artists, but none touches my heart and soul like Emily Carr.
How did growing up in Transylvania (and then moving to Canada) influence you?
When I came in Canada in 1990, the course of my life changed. My first show happened to be at Hamilton Art Gallery, where I met the gallery Director, Ted Pietrzak. His encouragement and guidance led me to the most rewarding journey as an artist. That was the beginning.
How did you get started in jewellery design?
At the end of the high school I decided to become a jeweller. It was a fascinating process between melting gold and polishing the final piece. The finished piece always became someone’s treasure.
How did you discover that painting was your true passion?
Painting must be my true passion, because I paint after working at my job, even if I don’t have a showing or commissioned piece. I’m painting when I’m hopeful or hopeless.
Would you describe your work as abstract and why/why not?
I don’t consider my art abstract because abstract art seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colours and textures without representing an external reality. I call mine “dreamscapes”, because when I paint, my intention is to touch an emotional chord with such intensity that I can’t distinguish if it’s pain or happiness.
How do you like to use colour and texture in your art?
My inspiration comes from a thought, building textures and bright colours, and then balancing with soft pastel.
You’ve participated in over 190 exhibitions. Is there one, or a few, that stand out in your memory and why?
After over 240 exhibitions, each of them is important. I had so many amazing moments and met so many people that inspired me.
How do you think that your work reflects the “awakening of life”?
I’m collecting bits of nature, human forms, and sparkles of light and putting them back into my artwork romantically. The awakening of life is an endless wonder.
How have you found your “new self” through your art?
I’m an artist; this is what I do. My art is the bridge between me and the world.
Why is creating art important to you?
My art gives me the courage to be vulnerable, and to be myself.
What will you be showing at the Expo?
At the Art World Expo, I’m showing my recent work. As a collection, each painting orchestrates the mood and story behind it. The theme, ”Shades of Love”, echoes through each of them.
You can see or purchase Hajni’s work at this year’s Expo, or:
Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor Twin Peaks Construction!