A leather artist of clarity, focus and talent
Aiman Sagatova – Exhibition
Who are you as a person, Aiman and what tells you as an artist?
In my life I have been living in different countries and different cultures and I speak several languages, so that may tell something about my background, I think I’m quite an adaptive and flexible person. In the case of artistry – that was always something familiar in my family, like painting and drawing. We’ve always had oil paints and such in the house and I remember as a kid, I was always sneaking in my mom’s boxes where she stored paints, pencils and brushes, I loved that
expensive stuff! It was sowjet time and wasn’t easy at all to get these paints and equipment, since there was no internet. You had to have a long ride into a bigger city to buy all that painting equipment.
I recall that one time when I was very small, maybe around 5 years old, I had taken oil paint and expensive brushes out of my mom’s box (without her permission) and painted our neighbors front
door…and my mom had to go and wash their door! Well, I was thinking I was doing something really nice! I was always serious about doing art, hahaha! However, my parents never thought of me
doing art and craft for a living, so I had to go to the university and study full time for four years and I’ve been working as a technical translator and linguist for 15 years before life circumstances got me back to art and craft. I’m a person of quick and straight decisions, normally not pondering too much about things or struggling with changes.
What’s your special attitude when it comes to the material you are working with?
I prefer to absolutely use high quality material. That applies to the leather I use as well as it applies to the tools I’m using.
Once you have tried out cheap material and found out about the frustration that brings, there’s no other option but spending a little more money on a proper quality. And I like to have lots of
tools and even more than that! When I am asked what I wanted for christmas or my birthday, my answer is always “tools”. And actually I also have some vintage shoemaker’s tools I really like
to use, since they are just practical, of good quality and well thought over concerning their design. I like “slow” tools, since I like doing genuine handy work.
Aiman, what do you think made you the artist you are today?
I think it’s actually a few things, I had experiences with many other materials besides leather to create art, but I somehow really got affected by leather, it’s a warm and challenging material where so many nice things can be created from. It has also taught me patience. And since I’m a completely self- taught leather artist, the learning of all the different processing steps has given me the opportunity of developing into the artist I am today.
What is the reason for you choosing leather to be your favorite material for your artworks?
That’s a bit difficult to put in words, I may say it’s a “feeling for the material”. I have tried and worked with several other materials before, even silver, metal, wood and other fabrics, but the first time I had a piece of leather in my hands, I could really feel it, it was a special kind of feeling that none of the other materials I ever tried out had evoked in me.
Where does your journey as an artist lead to?
My aim and wish is one day to make shoes. Custom shoe wear of really high quality. But at the moment I can’t even think of how to fit this into my work schedule. And I also would like to pick
up oil painting on of these times. As far as my leatherwork goes, I think an artist develops with each and every item that leaves the work desk, and so will I…
Aiman, thanks a lot for that “sneak-peek” into your personality and skills as an artist, and for your precious time!