life and education
Meet The artist
Maria-Elena Demendzhieva (born July 19, 1994) is a contemporary Bulgarian artist and designer. At age 14 she took the decision to devote her life to art. In 2013 the artist graduated from the “National High School of Applied Arts St. Luca” with a degree in “Textile”. Later in the same year she became a student of the “National Academy of Arts” by studing two Bachelor’s profiles in the same time – “Textile Art and Design” and “Art Therapy”.
While a high school student, the artist works mostly in the field of arts installation by using handmade paper, weaving and printing techniques. Although her education is devoted to textile art, Maria-Elena is actively interested in the graphic drawing and experimented independently with graphic techniques.
For years she has been looking for a way to combine her educational focus with her passion for the graphic drawing.
In 2016 the answer to this dilemma becomes clear. The artist begins to explore art embroidery, arguing that stitches resemble the strokes of a drawing.
Although at that time the artist presented mainly art installations on the stage, she continued to develop her new style.
In the winter of 2016, Maria-Elena Dermendzhieva is finaly ready to present her new technique – art embroidery inspired by graphic drawings. It happened at an exhibition in Serbia. She is encouraged by the reaction of the audience and is entirely dedicated to embroidery.
In 2017, Maria-Elena debuted with a solo exhibition featuring works created entirely by embroidery. In the same year, her embroidery found a place in a group exhibition in China.
A year later (2018) the greatest recognition came to her work. The artist applied for membership in the Union of Bulgarian Artists. Maria-Elena Dermendzhieva is welcomed and admitted to the union in the Textiles section, becoming the youngest member (only 23 years old).
Photo: notosgalleries.bg/ Mememore Ltd
As she develops her own career, Maria-Elena takes artistic professions into new fields. She worked as a fashion designer for a starting brand, where she creates over 60 designs for women’s clothing. The main focus of the collection is the Bulgarian embroidery. It styles traditional symbols by giving them a modern sound. Her designs include the overall appearance of the garment and patterns in combination with machine embroidery. Equally with the senior designer, they create the first of their kind collection for the business woman.
While working in the fashion industry, Maria-Elena shows intrest in graphic design. She enrolled a one-year design course at the “Federation of Scientific and Technical Unions”. During the course, Maria-Elena discovered a new passion – web design. She started working as a web designer, at first as a freelancer and later on for companies. Currenty design is her major profession by which Maria-Elena sponsors her artistic performances. She claims:
I had two options that allowed me to fund my own career. The first, to become a teacher. The second, to become a designer. I did not know anything about the design world but it was a lucrative business. That was what I needed. This is the reason why I have taken extra education. The practice opened my horizons and connected me with amazing people. I am happy now that I have a chance to develop in two spheres that only positively carry me. Two spheres that complement each other.