Olga Oreshyna is one of the few people that managed to transform her passion into a way of life. Our hero of the day defines herself as a Canadian emerging Artist who is deeply passionate about woodworking. Her works consist of giving a second life to abandoned pieces of wood. The result? Original decorative panels, perfectly fit for modern interiors with a personality. Enjoy Olga’s success story and tell us if you love her environmental-friendly work as much as we do:

Tell us about how you became interested in woodworking.

  • It happened when we were choosing a design for our living room wall. Stone seem to be too heavy and cold, plastic seem to be too soulless and wood seem to be cozy and warm! It took us about two months to make the mosaic on the entire wall, after which I realize I could not stop! The wood magic took over me!

What is your main line of work and how much time do you dedicate to your woodworking passion?

  • At the moment my art is my main line of work, I spend the entire working day making my panels including some weekends as well. Preparation of wood (sorting, drying, cleaning, and cutting) takes up most of the time. Moreover, because my panels participate in a lot of galleries, the installation and opening nights take up a lot of my evenings as well.

Where do you get your materials?

  • Many granite & marble companies use rare kinds of hardwood to transport their expensive products in. After they dispose of hardwood that served its purpose, I pick it up for my use! My trips to industrial sites around Greater Toronto Area are quite often because I need a lot of different hardwood pieces for my mosaics.

What do you feel when you are working with wood?

  • I feel the energy that was accumulated in trees throughout hundreds of years, by the sun, water and soil.

What other passions did you have along the way, and how is this one different?

  • At some point in my life I was very passionate about painting and landscaping, but nothing gave me the same satisfaction as from my panels right now. I found myself in what I do, and I enjoy creating each and every day.

Not many people manage to transform their passions into money-making activities. How did you start selling your work?

  • My starting point was to go to all my favorite interior decor stores in Toronto and introduce my work to the owners. I met a lot of great people and got a really good feedback, which boosted my ambition to continue my work.

How do you promote yourself?

  • I am very active in applying for exhibits at private galleries, art shows, juried competitions, grants, festivals, fundraisers, you name it! You can find the detailed list on my website, under the Exhibitions & Awards for more information.

What is your target audience?

  • My target audience is: 1) environmentally aware and try to make sustainable choices & 2) people who appreciate unique art

How do your customers react to your art works?

  • One of my favorite things about this industry is to observe people’s reactions to my work! The facial expressions, the comments are way more important to me than monetary compensation. Being appreciated is one of the greatest feelings in the world!

What do you think is the general secret of converting a good idea into reality? What was yours?

  • Believe in yourself  always gets the job done! And that’s exactly what I did.

Do you have any advice for all the Freshome readers out there reading this interview?

  • Be passionate about what you love and treat nature with respect!