Neva Balnikova has an easily recognizable and an inimitable style – unorthodoxic combinations of materials, forms and messages to deliver the statement piece you would wear or just admire. As she is a self-taught designer, Neva spends a considerable amount of time analyzing and researching technologies of work. Neva’s power is the unusual idea that comes in the form of brooches, necklaces, rings and bracelets. To develop and successfully push forward her projects, she relies on various collaborations with other artists, jewelers and gallerists.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m Neva from Sofia. I studied at a language school, after which I switched to visual art, specialty animation. I don’t know what provoked me to become a designer, may be the discontent of my poor drawing skills.
Do you remember what you dreamt of becoming when you were a child?
At 6 I wanted to work at the National Bulgarian Bank and deal with banking.
Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your professional development?
My diverse family background of friends with different talents, interests and thoughts. I have seen experienced examples how spaces, objects or clothes can be changed if you have the proper feeling for details, for example the use of lighting, a mirror or even just a button.
How would you describe your work?
My works are big, sometimes they irritate with their weight, the play with the senses of the viewer, sometimes you can place them at your table as a monument. I try to present an aesthetic that is on the one hand is natural, rough and uncouth, but on the other hand is convenient to use. The recent tendency in design and architecture is minimalism, however, in a jewellery piece the connection between nature, earth and cosmos should be visible. It should contain pomp, richness and constant movement.
Tell us more about your work process:
I count on good organisation. The time that is invested into the idea sometimes is less than the one needed to fill in the gaps for realizing the details. I work at my studio alone, which is part of my home. But various parts of the work are sometimes are in the hands of certain specialists. The drawing helps me remember the elements, but in other cases I start right with the material itself. Nevertheless, experimenting is the best process and does not recognize exact time exact time as a concept.
Who are some of the other Bulgarian designers whose work you admire and follow?
Raya Stefanova, Rrrub and Garderob, Nikolay Sardamov, Tzvetelina Alexieva, Lubri, Yana Lozeva, Michail Novakov, Missirkov/Bogdanov, Hristo Savov, Iskra Blagoeva, Stefan Nikolaev, Stella Vassileva, Ani Vasseva.
What is the professional achievement you are most proud of?
I currently find happiness in various forms of collaborations. This approach is new to me and apart from that – is an example of communication and finding a richer common language. A successful realization of a project is when ideas continue to live and evolve and infect other followers and supporters, find their material use so that they are not encapsulated and left isolated under a blanket.
What is your dream project?
I’d like to create artificial mutations of typical household items. Items we cannot live without but we often forget to see, even though they are in constant use, which leads to rapid wearing out and comic developments.
What are some of your most recent plans and projects?
They are all related to development.
What do you expect from your Milano participation?
I’m interested in the criticism that my work will meet there.