Behind the scenes

In short - these are handmade sketchbooks and ink drawings done by me, Arta. How did it start? While studying architecture, I couldn't find a sketchbook that would have everything I wanted: the right size, the right paper, and one that opens properly. There was only one thing to do - make one myself.

Having my own sketchbook in the bag everywhere I go encouraged me to draw more. This eventually led to returning to drawing again and selling prints of some of the more interesting work. The subject is the one closest to my heart - architecture. Eventually the process of sharing the work and sketches became a way of taking the viewer on a short journey to the very specific location of each drawing.

The technique of black and white ink drawings was always attractive for me when looking at other artists work. Daring to work with a pen directly on paper was the very opposite of my character. The wobbly and chaotic line work became rebelliousness against the fear of making a mistake. It's an attempt to break the notion of right, wrong and proper. Many lines that are seemingly all over the place in wrong directions come together to create the final image, reflecting the personal experience of living life through system and stereotypes.

What once was a small hobby has grown into quite an exciting adventure, and it gives me an immense pleasure to share it with you now :)


2021 - "The hidden diversity of zaježová".

Kaviareň, zaježová, Slovakia

Imagine a world where everyone is just like you. Exactly like you! A world where you can't learn anything new or be surprised.

When I think of it and how boring that would feel, I am eternally grateful for all the variety that exists in the world. I don't draw people or their abstract personalities but I like to draw buildings and it turns out they can tell the story of people and their uniqueness.

**To see more click here.


La Ermita de San Sebastián, Spain.

The nomadic life had brought me to Cervera del Maestre. A small village near the East coast of Spain that was hiding something like an architectural treasure for my eye. Stone walls, clay tile roofs, abandoned doorways, and some exciting life behind the doors of a few very humble facades.

A few month later, views of the streets and stories from the experiences were shared with the locals in this small exhibition. I always felt so welcomed in this village. I was happy that  through sharing my drawings of a something so familiar to them, I can return something back to the people and in the process keep creating new connections and hear even more stories.

2020 - "PRIMA CHE P'ARTA. Notes of the architecture around La Trappa".

Ecomuseum La Trappa, Italy.

These drawings are recordings over one month of my  volunteering time in Italy, building called "La Trappa". I was looking for the ways to present the vernacular architecture, and the specific details of the walls of this old monastery that carry a story of the unfinished dreams; the closed window and door frames, pre-prepared arches above the future door openings and gaps in the stones ready to be in-filled with the timber beams for the new floors. The scale and materiality was new for my Latvian eye, so this became a test, experiment and a great drawing lesson.

A special place next to this grandiose old monastery takes the small cheese farm that is located east from La Trappa, 15 minute walk away up the hill. It is a place where some of my working days were spent, a place that has been the small neighbour of La Trappa for two centuries, continuing it’s traditional way of cheese making just the way it was when it all started...

**A special 'thank you' to the hosts of La Trappa - Giuseppe and Nazarena as well as Elisa from the small Alp family farm Alpeggio Fontanelle for giving me the space to share my work and teaching so much about the local food traditions