A small diary with watercolor drawings and short messages hangs on the wall at eye level immediately to the left of the door in the narrow hallway to the gallery of Credo Bonum. They are like nonchalant epiphanies, notes of everyday life, pieces of visual strays and a glimpse at the their author’s perceptions of the fleeting moments of reality. On one of the pages against the backdrop of blue sky, mountains and a lake reads – tomorrow I’ll be lost, again on purpose. On another page, in beautiful soft colors against the  contours of a window hangs laundry as if freshly washed and written next to it – so just stop, look and be with the others again. Near the diary there is a whole, through which one can peep and see in the distance another painting with a secret message. This is her work Outside In for Credo Bonum Box.

This is how we discover the beautiful and moving world of Daniela Yankova’s drawings. At the same time straightforward and somehow bared of superfluous ornaments, as if to provoke a quiet turmoil and gentle rebellions, but also loaded with the power of a delicate and sensitive eye, finely tuned to capture the intersections of the heart and the surrounding world. Her works are mostly shaped with gouache, acrylic, pastel, pencils and markers. They resemble a photo converted into a warm picture. The painting Your Comfort Makes Me Feel Uncomfortable was included in the group exhibition Art Start – young artists to follow in 2020.

Daniela Yankova / shadowschaser lives and works in Sofia. Surprisingly for her current professional creative endeavors, she first completed a bachelor’s degree at the National Sports Academy and holds a diploma as a volleyball coach. After working in the field for about a year, a series of accidental circumstances sent her to New Bulgarian University, where she enrolled in a master’s degree involving graphic design. While still studying, she started working at one of the major advertising agencies in Sofia at the time. She actually never graduated, but gained more than ten years of experience in the industry.

“I’m self-taught as a designer and as an artist, I think that’s my way – I can’t study organized in a group,” admits Daniela.

In these extraordinary coronavirus marked, we have a brief conversation with Daniela on the occasion of Melba Live # 10 and our special print issue, in which we use her illustration ClapClap. We are finding her at home, “I draw some things that have struck my mind today.” Like her approach towards drawing, Daniela is laconic and straightforward, and at the end she endows us with a bunch of great illustrations.

When and how did you realize that you’d like to pursue your talent?
I have no idea. I guess I still have no idea what I am. At one point, I was tired of explaining to myself what I can and cannot do, being part of a huge group of disgruntled, angry and repressed people. So I stopped, made the reverse turn, and gave myself completely to what I always did and at one point I didn’t do it for 1001 reasons. It took me a few tries and a long time to get there.

Which three words best describe your personality, your work and your style?
Sincerely, shortly and quickly.

What motivates your work? And how do you keep your creative enthusiasm alive?
I have no idea. But I try to diversify my interests and never stay in one place for long.

The best advice you’ve ever received?
To stop hurrying, to slow down. But also – it is the worst.

What are some of your favorite rituals as part of your creative process?
Have my coffee and tidy up around me. Messiness blocks my thoughts.

Plans and highlights for 2020?
Larger formats, various media and more often walks out of my comfort zone 🙂

What is your advice to other creatives?
I myself need a lot of advice. But let’s just say that I wish everyone (me included) to respect the work of others. To take oneself seriously in moderation and to always be honest and open to others. Or if it has to be in three words (I liked this game) Respect, Honesty and Curiosity.

Melba Live Hits 10

Tell us about time flying by fast! Without noticing, it’s been two years since we started gathering favorite local design heroes into regular meetings, during which they share details of a new project and lift the curtain of some behind the scenes creative work processes. Open and engaging to everyone with an interest in visual culture, Melba’s live events have become anticipated occasions to learn more about the power of design and how the discipline contributes to our overall well-being.

In our jubilee 10th issue, we sought to present projects that are team-driven and dependent on the interplay between different talents and abilities.

Kapka Kuneva barely needs introduction. Distinguished on numerous occasions for her artistic design of books, specifically embracing the paper as a medium to shape illustrations, she teaches at the National Academy of Arts “Book and Print Graphics”. Last year Kapka Kuneva gathers a star cast of contemporary female artists each one to draw a portrait for the book”I am a Bulgarian” by the writer Petya Alexandrova. The publication gains instant popularity, and in February the works of art had their own focus in the exhibition “History in Portraits – 40 Women Who Changed Bulgaria”.

Yana Tankovska is among the well-established and recognized contemporary designers of jewellery and interior accessories. Several years ago along with some other close colleagues of hers establishes the gallery FORMAT. Their team goes through a variety of professional challenges and closes the location only to resurrect it last year in kvARTal. Such vicissitudes teach the most important lessons in life, and Yana has something to share about how to manage a collective creative activity, what dreams may turn into and the normality of leaving a favorite project..

Delcho Delchev is one of the brightest transformers in our milieu. An architect by education and a tireless activist by heart, he is one of the founders of the famous Transformatori group. He subsequently turned his attention to an even grander adventure – the establishment of a Bulgarian branch of the international SmartFabLab. Thanks to numerous collaborations and openness to experimentation, the laboratory has become a successful incubator for meaningful prototypes, some of which are already being mass-produced and marketed as sustainable products. Delcho will be in the company of Nona Tsekova and together they will talk about some of the bright collaborations in SmartFabLab.

From the very beginning of Melba Live Fashion Days has been our friend and supporter, for which we are extremely grateful. Together we always strive to have a small surprise for the audience related to the work of the designers of the Melba Archive. This time, it will be a poster-zine with an illustration by the artist Daniela Yankova.

We will be happy to see you on the 17th of March, 2020 in Generator.
Link to the Facebook event.