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Bangkok Faces: Galina Nistor, Artist & Art Teacher

Name: Galina Nistor

Job Title: Artist and Art Teacher

What is your nationality and background?

I was born in Moldova – former USSR republic, south west of Russia.  My native language is Russian. I grew up in an artistic family and I have been doing art since I can remember.

What is your profession?

My profession is a healing artist. I show people how to find themselves and heal their souls and bodies through the power of creative expression – art, because without ART, Earth would be just an E…h.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

Key skills in this role is to help my adult students relax and let go of any expectations before doing art.  As a meditation instructor I use various relaxation techniques, such as conscious breathing, meditation and gong baths. In this completely relaxed state, expression comes out easy and naturally. When I work with kids it is not needed as they are generally relaxed about the outcomes, and my main responsibility is to make the creative process itself more interesting, but also develop their art skills further with each, and every class. My main task is to empower them with skills that they can use on their own after they leave my class.

How did you get involved in your profession?

I wasn’t looking to be a healing artist, this profession found me. I have a Master’s degree in World Economy and I have been working for various international economic organisations, such as the UN and World Bank, but never stopped painting and being interested in art. When we started traveling the world due to my husband’s job, I gave up my economics carrier and went back to doing art full time. I found out that there is a big gap in art education in international schools in Asia where the main focus is maths and science and art is often neglected and taught by substitute teachers.

I was asked by many expat parents to organise art classes for their kids in the after school time and my art classes have been a great success ever since. I first started them in Kuala Lumpur two years ago. Very stressed expat moms are also happy to relax doing various art workshops while their kids are in school.

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

Art is the perfect way to relaxation for both kids and adults because it gives you the experience of enjoying the present moment at its fullest. When you create something, there is no pressure from anyone, there are no deadlines and you get completely involved in the process. All other thoughts and worries are gone and your mind is absorbed in the process of painting, drawing, gluing, carving or collaging, printing and so on. Your mind goes into the alpha state, which is very hard to reach by any other means unless you are an experienced meditator.

What challenges do your face in this role?

My main challenge is to convince parents to drive their kids through Bangkok traffic to my home studio in PhraKhanong for an art class. For adult students my main challenge is to get them out of the state of fear of not being able to draw or paint professionally.  That’s why I use relaxation techniques to release all the past fears and just immerse yourself in the process of creation. You don’t need to be a professional artist to create a painting that you can be proud of and hang it on the wall. And I am happy to show my students how to do that.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

I am planning to open a big airy studio for kids and adults, who feel the call to express themselves in creative ways, where they can come and forget about all the worries, relax in a hammock while being immersed in a gong sound bath and of course, create, create and create – pour your feelings and emotions on canvas, paper, fabric, etc. This is when the real healing of the body and mind occurs. I have also created a way to heal people through the paintings that I make for them after we have several reiki sessions and I get to know what aspects of their life need to be healed.  It can be done with colours, symbols and some imagery, very specific for this person. Painting, created with such intent, can just hang on the wall and person, who it was made for, will get its dose of positive healing energy and inspiration just by looking at it. Colours, symbols and images have much more power then we can imagine.

Who or what inspires you?

Nature is my biggest inspiration for creating my own art pieces. Sometimes it’s just enough to walk with your bare feet on the grass and open your face to the morning sun rays. My friend, Melanie, who is a wonderful Kundalini Yoga teacher for kids and adults, Reiki Master and mom of two kids inspires me every day in her way to fulfil a spiritual calling and still remain a very earthy person – great mom and wife.

Only a Bangkok local would know…

Only a Bangkok local would know, that the world only street hawker awarded the Michelin star, is Jay-Fai Cuisine near Rommaninat Park. It is run by 70 year old lady, known as “Sister Mole” for her iconic facial mole and cooking goggles.

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