Anastasia Netrebine was an exchange student from Finland who recently attended Winthrop as a sculptor. She plans to return to Winthrop as an MFA candidate in the future. This interview was conducted in December 2012 before her return to Helsinki, Finland.
What brought you to being an art major?
After graduating 9th grade (in Finland you only have to go to school for nine years) I realized that art was my best form of expression, so I applied to an art high school and got in. It was a good experience, but after three years, I still needed some time to decide what I wanted to do, so I decided to apply to an independent art academy for another three years. After getting my artisan degree I knew that this is what I wanted to do so I applied to Winthrop. Now here I am in America, staying an extra semester and doing what I love. I have met so many wonderful people and feel a special kind of connection with those who share my passion for art. I feel at home among artists.
Who’s your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor is Alf Ward. He’s polite, well-mannered, he knows a lot and is happy to share his knowledge. Every time I meet with him he has something interesting to tell me, stories about people he knows or knew, stories and memories from Europe, travels, jobs, music, art, everything. He has a good sense of humor, too. He has an ability to figure out what each student needs.
Who are your role models?
One of my role models is my mother. She’s a strong, confident and very wise lady. She has taught me a lot. We have many things in common. We’re both very conscientious, stubborn and hardworking. I am very thankful to her for doing her best and raising me to be the person I am today.
Rachel Whitehead, Helene Schjerfbeck, Hugo Simberg, Marita Liulia, Antony Gormley and Ann Hamilton are my artist role models..
What is your favorite album/ lyrics/ band?
It changes a lot and depends on what mood I am in. I love Queen, Muse and Incubus. I’m also a big fan of North Eastern Brazilian music, forró. I really enjoy listening to classical music from composers like Tchaichovsky, Vivaldi, Verdi and I love Maria Callas, she is a opera singer. Detektivbyrån, Beirut and Yann Tiersen’s music are really good too. My favorite Finnish bands are Miljoonasade and Egotrippi. Right now my favourite lyrics are from the song White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes.
If you were giving someone a campus tour where would you take them?
I’d take them to Rutledge! It’s like a second home to me. It’s where all the cool kids are and where the magic happens.
What are your favorite websites?
My favorite website is Ffffound!, because whenever I feel uninspired or need ideas or just something to look at, I go to my trusty image gallery. There are thousands of pictures and photos of all kinds, not just art pictures. Sometimes something completely irrelevant can trigger your brain and you get an idea for a drawing, painting or a sculpture. Looking at pictures builds up your visual bank.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Growing up has been a challenge and letting go of the past. Overcoming my fears about the future, art and life. Living in another country and in a foreign culture for over a year has really changed my perspective. I’ve learned a lot about myself and life. It’s painful sometimes, but it can also be wonderful. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What advice do you have for incoming freshman?
Don’t take your time here for granted! Try your best and learn as much as you can. Work hard, try to have fun and don’t worry so much. You have all the time in the world. Just enjoy the ride.