Martin Grahovski, Michaela, and Borislava Karadzhovi share more about the multilayered project "To Me, To You"
"For me, being emotional is a strength, but it is considered a weakness. It's something that I've tried to fight for many years because this sensitivity that I have is a part of me and it's a trait that I like in myself, but from the situations that I've encountered, sometimes I wish I wasn't so emotional. If I wasn't so emotional, I probably could have saved myself some difficulties." - shares Michaela Karadzhova.
Michaela (Stalker Since 1993) and Borislava (Borislava Made it) Karadzhovi are well-known Bulgarian illustrators with very distinctive styles.
Mihaela has worked on projects of international importance as an illustrator of the book Vagina Matters, published in Bulgarian and English, and has also collaborated with the United Nations, Habitat for Humanity, and world-famous music groups such as Cage the Elephant and Pacific Avenue. She is the illustrator of the first "85th Anniversary of Christo" stamp.
Borislava, on the other side, has worked with global brands such as Hendricks Gin, Absolut Vodka, Cannes Lions, and Telenor. The social projects she works on together with Michaela have international importance and recognition - United Nations, Vagina Matters, Habitat for humanity, and Fine Acts.
In the Visionary TALSK 003, they get into conversation with the young and talented filmmaker and documentary filmmaker Martin Grahovski about our latest collaborative and multilayered project - To Me, To You.
The two sisters talk about their work and what characterizes it. You will also find out more about their third solo exhibition entitled "Love will not tear us apart". In it, the illustrators painted 4-meter-high walls in the Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia, to create an overall feeling for the viewer and immerse them in their illustrations. Even then, in the summer of 2021, the idea for the current project To Me, To You was born - even bigger and more impactful.
On personal recommendation, Karadzhovi contacted Visionary to produce the project idea, which slowly began to unfold in the year 2022. The launch of the project is marked in February by a creative residency at Little Bird Residency, Leshten, where Visionary sent Michaela and Borislava along with the three selected musicians - Grigovor, Gena, and Mila Robert, and the video maker Martin Grahovski to work out a way to collaborate on the project. During the week spent in the mountains, the artists got to know each other, shared and became vulnerable on the topic of mental health, and in particular shared from their personal experiences and point of view what dimensions depression has for them as a particularly severe state of mind, body, and spirit.
Martin Grahovski bravely immersed himself in the extraordinary intimate world of the sisters - their emotions and thoughts, enters their home, their studio, and films every stage of the development of the project. Thus was born Grahovski`s short documentary of the same name. In it, the Karadzhovi reveal their reason and motivation for creating a project of universal significance and importance.
How did the five artists in the project get along together?
What were the "aha" moments in the process and what difficulties did the sisters encounter in the long process of illustrating large-scale works that take the viewer through a deep and personal story?
What is the stigma behind the idea of the project and how does the project aims to "break" it?
Listen to the audio conversation on Visionary's Soundcloud channel: https://soundcloud.com/visionary-foundation
Photos: Mihaela Draganova
Sound recording and editing: Rosen Pavlov
Recorded in Tonstudio2.
Visionary Talks is realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund.
The project is part of the art program of Visionary for 2022 and is realized with the financial support of the National Fund "Culture" - program "One-year grant" - 2021, "Program for the restoration and development of private cultural organizations" - 2021, and the financial support of the Cultural program of Sofia Municipality. Partners of the project are MP Studio; Vox Music; Unicef Bulgaria; SuperhostingBG; Sofia Mobility Center; iPrint.