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Drawing with Pavel Mitkov amidst virus pandemic

The new coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life-we have to stay at home and limit our social contacts. In the meantime, alarming news is constantly coming from the media which affects negatively the mental health of each one of us.

A Bulgarian artist undertook the initiative “Drawing amidst virus pandemic” knowing that art has beneficial effect on human psyche. Every evening Pavel Mitkov gathers hundreds of enthusiasts on Facebook and they express their emotions and impressions on the canvas together.

Our mental health is as important, as our efforts to protect ourselves from a virus, the Bulgarian artist told Radio Bulgaria. I felt the atmosphere in Sofia and the negative mood of the people and I decided to make something that would lift peoples’ spirits. That is why I show them my drawing techniques on my Facebook page each evening at 8.30 pm. Fortunately we are able to reach thousands of people in this digital era, even when we are locked at home for a long period of time.

Currently, Pavel Mitkov is under two-week quarantine, because he returned to Bulgaria from the Czech Republic in the middle of March. The Bulgarian artist is quite happy with the huge interest people show in his initiative. His videos are visited by more than 20,000 Internet users and visits continue to grow quickly.

I am pleased that people have the desire to forget the abundant and stressful information even for a moment and focus on something positive, which is in full correspondence with the sanitary requirements as well- to create, draw paintings and bring joy to themselves and their closest people, artist Pavel Mitkov went on to say.

Most people attracted to the online drawing lessons are children and teenagers. In Pavel Mitkov’s view, this is due to the fact that their relatives find it difficult to engage their attention. On the other hand, media impact is burdensome to teens, Mr Mitkov contends. Thus, real time art allows them to get rid of the negative emotions and the tension that grows inside them.

“Sunflowers”, “The Ship of Dreams” and “Spring House” are some of the motifs during the online drawing lessons. The artist does not follow a certain drawing scheme, but he rather improvises and draws inspiration for the tasks he has to fulfill during the day.

Pavel Mitkov often travels abroad for business. He contends that people in Bulgaria and abroad show similar attitude towards fine arts.

The Bulgarians have been always keen on fine arts, Pavel Mitkov says further. That is why, I don’t agree with those who claim that people in other countries value it higher. The problem is that most Bulgarians are less solvent than the German, the Austrian or the British peoplefor instance. In all honesty, middle-class Bulgarians can not always afford what they like. 

In such critical moments, artists from across the globe undertake a series of initiatives and they don’t show any fear, Pavel Mitkov contends. Although Pavel is now staying at home only, he feels very well, because he views seclusion as a necessity.

The Bulgarian artist sends a message to his colleagues from other fields of art:

The more artists follow this example and manage to attract a large number of people to such initiatives, the more the nation engages in reasonable activities during the period of self-isolation. Thus, we will keep our spirits high.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: courtesy of Pavel Mitkov

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