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Is it possible to go from painting to sculpture in the blink of an eye? The answer is yes. That's what Sandra Eterovic does with her works: what at first may seem like a simple painting, she then turns into an authentic sculpture. With a pop, vintage aesthetic, a little bit of humor and an explosion of colors, Sandra is focused on representing quotidian scenes using all kinds of materials – nothing resists her hands and imagination. As Sandra says, something that can seem very boring to someone, can be funny or interesting for someone else. Oh! The best of all is that, if you like her work, you can buy it at her Etsy store and also ask for a costumised order. Go ahead and discover the original universe of Sandra Eterovic. 
Who is Sandra Eterovic?
Ha! This is the first time that I have been asked that question! Sandra Eterovic is the daughter of a couple who emigrated to Melbourne from an island in Dalmatia in the late 1960s. She doesn’t feel that she quite belongs anywhere, but she sees that as a good thing, because you notice interesting things when you are an outsider.
You’ve said that you feel more comfortable under the term “maker” than “artist.” Why?
I feel that, to be an artist, one’s work should have a “mission statement,” and be quite conceptual. While some of my work does ask questions, other pieces merely seek to give aesthetic pleasure.

In your work we can appreciate a pop, vintage vibe. How would you define your aesthetic?
Probably exactly as you have described it! I try to imbue a sense of humor to my work, with a little sting in the tail.
We can read in your site that one of the main objectives of your blog is to inspire new artists. Who inspires you?
It is a cliché to say that anything can be inspiring, but it’s true. That is one of the best things about the internet: coming across interesting work, whether it be by a young contemporary artist in Germany or a nineteenth century folk artist from the American South. I also use Pinterest because I love its ability to cross reference images.
You worked for a long time in the fashion industry. What was the thing that made you change your career and become an illustrator?
Working in the fashion industry as a designer can be great, but it's also a cruel place. I became increasingly bothered by the implication that you're a loser unless you change your entire wardrobe every season, not to mention all of the environmental and labour issues involved in most clothing manufacture.
In fact, we can see men wearing Chanel t-shirts in some of your paintings. Do you still see fashion as a source of inspiration or reference when you’re creating?
Yes, I do. The homeless man I once spotted wearing a Chanel t-shirt will never leave my mind. There is a tribalism in the way that we construct ourselves for the outside world, and read one another’s façades, which really fascinates me. We each carry a lexicon that is both complex and subtle.
On another level, I probably do think about the color palette and construction of a painting with a designer’s eye.

“While some of my work does ask questions, other pieces merely seek to give aesthetic pleasure.”
Most of your projects are acrylic paintings on wood where you cut the background, so we can consider that as an sculpture. How would you classify it?
I find those hard to classify, but perhaps I would choose to call them a sculpture. I like the idea of releasing them from a flat, conventional rectangle: as though to cut them out would bring them closer to life.
You also work with materials like paper and mirrors. What's the difference between working with these materials and working on a canvas? Why did you decide to not limit yourself?
I have a fear of canvas, and a love of objects. If I use a mirror, I can play with what my painting becomes, but if I paint on a rectangular canvas, it is always defined as a painting. Similarly, a painting of an arm can be cut out and become a functioning clock. My fear of canvas stems from a knowledge of all of the great painters before me who worked on canvas. That mountain seems too big to climb.
We can see that you like to paint quotidian scenes, food or daily objects. What do you want to transmit with these topics?
That is a good question! Something that is everyday and boring for me might be really unusual to someone in Tanzania or someone looking at our lives from another era. No object or scene is ordinary in the end, everything has layers of meaning. 
This year you have been nominated to the R&M McGivern Prize. Do you think that this nomination brings more recognition to your work?
Nominations make my curriculum vitae look more serious, and entering a prize gives me a challenge: a reason to paint, and a deadline. I am not sure if it will bring me any recognition. But I am happy with the work that I made.

You have a shop on Etsy, what can we find in it? 
I have all sorts of items: original paintings and sculptures on wood, hand painted mirrors, giclee prints, printed cushions, greetings cards, and a knitting pattern! 
How often do you usually add new products to the store?
I try to add new things all the time to keep it interesting. The newest addition is a series of vintage table tennis bats which might have words, sombre portraits, florals or old fashioned ships painted on them. These sell out quickly.
In your store you also accept custom orders. Why did you decide to do this?
I enjoy doing custom orders – sometimes the client’s ideas are better than mine! For example, a wooden Joan of Arc figure listening to a bright yellow walkman, inspired by the lyrics in The Smiths’s song Big Mouth Strikes Again, for a customer in Brisbane.
What's the next thing that you have in mind?
Christmas! I am making new items for my Etsy shop, paintings for numerous local end-of-year exhibitions at Modern Times in Fitzroy, The Corner Store in Castlemaine, Boom Gallery in Geelong and The Little Book Room in Carlton North... I have also just sent a large box of work to a gallery in Missouri, USA, which is very exciting!

Words
Lluís Giménez
Portrait
David Patston

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