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Portugal • born in 1996

Biography and information

Smolkina Darina was born in Shepetivka in Khmelnitsky region, but studied and grew up in the capital city. This small town was the place where she grew up, her mother and grandmother's home where her mother would come for the summer with her only daughter.
Being an only child in the family Darina was quite modest and quiet, her parents did not spoil her, but she herself never needed anything.
The time she spent with her grandmother in the countryside was always the most special in the life of a young artist, there was more space and freedom compared to the small apartment in Kiev, where she and her parents could fit into a one-room apartment and Darina herself used to draw at night in the corridor while everyone was sleeping.
When she was six years old her parents sent her to an art school at the age of seven in a regular high school. Her father always wanted the girl to study sculpture, it seemed to him that the figures she made from plasticine were very special, but after 10 years of art school and already a teenager Darina decided to go to college somewhere and chose a profession of graphic designer. "I always wanted to work in an office, teamwork seemed like something very fun and productive," she said. But a month before graduating from college, she fled to Portugal.
"I didn't finish college because I felt it was now or never that I could leave Ukraine for Europe, and everyone wanted to go there, and I wanted to, I needed to see what was behind the scenes!"
After arriving in the capital of Portugal the first year was very difficult, she is only nineteen, the level of English she had was not good enough to communicate with the locals and Portuguese, which she had learned a few years before, was not useful at all. This year was very unproductive for her as an artist, she began to make drawings to order, which she did not like because she had difficulties communicating with the locals because of the language, and the Russian-speakers living in her city often were very unpleasant and repulsive to her.
A year later, she moved to Porto, where she began working in a cafe, there was a creative crisis and a crossroads between continue to work as an artist or look for something else.
A few years later, she moved back to the capital and began seriously pursuing a career as an artist. Her chosen genre
gave her the opportunity to reveal herself and her hidden inner world. She is now working and developing, to this day living in Lisbon, making big plans for the future and pursuing art.