Creative, Sweet

Margarita Vovna

Posted by Creative, Sweet

Margarita’s work is a reflection of how she perceives and navigates her world, when experience is projected through art, we begin to see colour in a black and white world. A one woman army that brings together her life’s experience through her studio based work and public murals, we sit down with Margarita to hear more about her journey and her life as an artist.​

Haser: Thank you for joining us, for those that are first time observers of your work, can you tell us who you are and where you’re from?

Margarita: My name is Margarita Vovna, originally hailing from Russia-Ukraine but am a long time Auckland resident.

Nice, I don’t know much about the Ukraine but it’s certainly high on my list of places to visit when travelling becomes a thing again. 

Your body of work yells “I’ve been doing this for a while”, when did you start painting, and what got you into it?

I have painted ever since I can remember. I was instantly drawn to it and the need to create has never waned. 

That’s pretty evident in your work. I know you are quite a versatile artist when it comes to mediums, are you hoping to explore more or would you like to settle on something?

Always more. I’m glad I’ve tried my hand at so many things, it has helped inform some key elements running through my work. But there hasn’t necessarily been a structure in place, I have a reluctance toward putting boundaries on where my work goes and what medium to explore. However I have now arrived at a place where to do it justice, some of this needs to be reined in and refined. There’s three key mediums I’m aiming to level up on. Counterintuitively this should broaden what I can do by simplifying my focus.

There is a large portion from the creative community that probably struggles with that, so I’m sure they will appreciate your perspective. I personally thought my huge spectrum of skills and mediums was a bad thing as it made it hard to identify with anything, but it all serves a purpose and has allowed me more perspective in the long run.

I’m a big fan of your work, and I’ve always felt it carried a tattoo influence, is tattooing something you’d consider exploring?

There are in fact some poor souls carrying my scratchy handiwork on their body (myself included)! 

I’m the same, sorry to anyone that was a victim of my ambitions.

Tattoos always had a strong response on me and in my early 20’s I pursued this pathway, but with apprenticeships being so difficult to get it was a real deterrent. I had friends that were frustrated with that system and were trying to teach themselves but that didn’t hold my interest for long. The lack of control or being able to find solutions easily with such a high cost made this a non option for me. Those were such formative years and I still have a soft spot for flash layout, which I get to explore on big scale without ruining peoples skin!

Interesting, I dropped out of the race because I felt my heart wasn’t in it and I didn’t think it was fair on anyone receiving a tattoo to be tattooed by someone that didn’t care. I love your Tattoo Flash mural on Cross Street in Auckland City.

Every time I see you, you have a different hat on for a different job, and always seem to have multiple jobs on the go, how do you manage that?

I’m not sure I manage it but the pressure can create momentum and motivation. It’s a juggle and some projects don’t get the attention they deserve immediately, that’s been a real tough one to reconcile. It all gets there in the end but takes regular checking in. I’ve let some of that idealism go and just try to do better with each new project.

Good on you, I wish someone told me that this was a normal way of working when I was young, I’ve learned to accept that this is how I work, but I always felt like I never had my shit together. 

Speaking of work, are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m working on a series of large format portraits. Murals and studio works. It’s a big focus for me at the moment. Mostly acrylic and oil paint. High contrast and dark tones with warm highlights to balance. Continuously coming back to portraits I’ve decided to give it a proper chapter as there is a lot to explore personally and technically.

We’re certainly looking forward to seeing where this body of work leads to. 

We talked about your crazy workload, how does that translate to an average day for you?

There is no average at all. In the mix could be some hours painting outside, sitting down to gather ideas for a project. Running around picking up supplies or if it’s a bad weather day I can do some digital work. I’m big on allocating time to physical health and social connection, that in turn keeps the art going. 

Nice work, it sounds like your engine is always running.

What artists are currently on your inspiration feed?

Those closest to me in real life. I’m a sucker for a good story and when people talk about their process, it’s highs and lows. I find that most inspiring.


You certainly sound like someone that completely absorbs everything around you as inspiration, I’ve always found travelling aids that process. Before COVID-19 was a thing, were you able to get many stamps in your passport or are you hoping to head abroad at some point?

I’ve done a fair bit of travel, but last was a motorcycle journey through parts of Canada and many American states. I did two summers with one more run planned when COVID-19 hit. My bike is currently parked just outside of Toronto and I still have every intention of heading back. The road has been very inspiring. I took a lot of photos which is a medium I don’t get to indulge much in my daily life. It set off a series of works based on my experiences.

Awesome, that sounds like an incredible journey. I’m always envious of motorcyclists. When art isn’t at the forefront, what else do you do to occupy your time, and does that inspire the process or do you prefer to keep your art and life separate?

There’s no separation for me between art and life. It may not be so direct but all my hobbies and passions influence the work. There’s motorcycling which connects me to the environment and being in the elements, meeting people on the road. I’ve been periodically involved in Thai boxing and that community for some time now. It’s left a big imprint and I still approach murals with a sports conditioned strategy. I’m currently getting into trail running which I counter with a hearty IPA and hearty conversation in good company. 


What’s next for you, where would you like to see yourself in the near and distant future?

I’m pretty content where I’m at so there is no destination but I feel there is greater capacity in me to do more and better. And if you apply that, all kinds of doors open. Some of my work has introduced me to amazing places and people. I like that sense of adventure.

So true, I find staying focused on my work is the key to opening all the doors I’m trying to open, It organically attracts the right opportunities.

It sounds like you’ve had an amazing journey as an artist, if you had the opportunity, what advice would you give your younger artist self?

Patience is what springs to mind. I’d say be patient and think long term but it’s that youthful restlessness that is so valuable. 

Great advice, you’re full of inspirational quotes.

You mentioned your passion for motorcycles, here at BurgerFuel we also have a passion for machines that pack a punch and disturb societies decibel levels, what’s your dream machine?

My Harley is already a dream machine but that El Camino seems like a much better option for transporting paintings. 

They deserve to be delivered in style. Last but not least, favourite burger from the Fuel?

V-Twin Vege for me!

The V-8 of Vege burgers.

Thanks a lot for your time Margarita, if you would like to see more of Margarita's work you can follow her on the grams or visit her website.