Egle Stripeikiene, a graduate of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, had no limitations in becoming a painting teacher. However, it took her almost half her age to make this decision. Finally, it changed her life for the better. Now Egle gives individual painting lessons for adults in Vilnius and feels no more like a round peg in a square hole, encouraging readers to follow their hearts more often.
The artist from Panevėžys, a city in Northern Lithuania, worked as a graphic designer for more than 20 years, but she had too little creative freedom in this job. After endless and unsuccessful creative attempts to change her professional path, Egle surrendered herself to the flow for several summer months. Only one week’s gap brought her the business idea and the first customers.
Always felt an attraction to art
Egle says that she has loved to draw since childhood. She attended an art school in her hometown for several years, so her decision to study visual communication at the Vilnius Academy of Arts was a predictable one. Later she decided to specialize in graphic design.
After completing her studies, Egle worked for four years as a graphic designer at an advertising agency. Magazine designing took another four years. Finally, she devoted herself to freelancing. Nevertheless, long hours of work at the computer seemed more and more pointless. Egle felt she wants to dip her hands in paint and draw.
“I embarked on the path of spiritual quest and self-knowledge at the age of about seventeen. I have tried countless traditional and non-traditional practices of self-knowledge in addition to my studies and work, and have immersed myself in the philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism,” Egle recalls.
I want to encourage people to overcome their inner fears, to share my knowledge, and to inspire. I see that art is also a great tool for self-knowledge.
Due to her tireless interest in learning, the woman has completed training in psychotherapy and counseling fundamentals, art therapy, psychological astrology, and coaching. Egle was one of the first in Lithuania to start a mandala-making workshop she has been running for ten years, drawing and painting mandalas herself. Later, she tested herself in spontaneous painting, body map drawing, and other artistic self-expression classes.
“I appreciate a human desire to create. I understand it very well because I dreamed of it timidly myself. Now I want to encourage people to overcome their inner fears, give them knowledge, to inspire them. I see that art is also a great tool for self-knowledge,” the artist says.
Without searches, there would be no discoveries
Egle admits her long-time self-searching attempts may look like a small distraction, but she assures the time puts everything in its place. Without the search, her vocation in encouraging and inspiring people to create would not have been discovered. Egle is convinced she found her heart in teaching the basics of painting and helping people in expressing their feelings and ideas on canvas.
“Everything happened very unexpectedly when I had almost given up. At the time, I was fascinated by metaphor card counseling and had prepared a training course on it, but failed to get participants. I decided to put aside all activities and do nothing at all. It was the very beginning of summer. There was some cereal in the cupboard, and I decided I would survive,” – the artist recalls.
A couple of days later, after asking herself what she would like to do just for fun, she answered herself: of course–painting!
“I remember it was a sunny day. I took paints and canvases to the garden under the apple trees, painted several works, and shared the photos on the social network. Participants in earlier training sessions were quite quick to respond that they would also like to paint. I had my own studio, so I invited the participants, and it was the start of my private painting lessons from then on”, Egle says about her path of creative entrepreneurship.
The quarantine did not deter those who wanted to draw
Soon Egle’s courses attracted such great interest that the artist did not even bother with advertising for two years. Course participants came thanks to the recommendations of friends. For Egle, it was great proof that she was in her place.
The training course “Painting from the whole heart” has been held every weekday for the past 5 years and has gone very well so far. “To be honest, I don’t do a lot of advertising even now because I can get seven participants into the studio at the same time. It’s not much, but it’s enough for me because working with people requires a lot of energy,” the creator assures.
Egle survived the most difficult period of her painting activity during the quarantine. But after all the restrictions, those who wanted to draw and paint returned to the woman’s studio.
“During the first quarantine we had to stop our activities completely, and during the second we tried to adapt – whenever we had the opportunity to work with masks, we did. There were thoughts of having webinars, but those courses still felt like a kind of substitute to me. Theoretical topics can be taught virtually, but training practical skills requires constant communication,” Egle says.
Goes with the flow
In developing her individual activity, Egle adheres to the well-known English phrase Go with the flow. According to her, such an attitude allows her to achieve good results without much stress.
“At present, I have no plans to change or expand anything. I just want to leave everything as it is now. I want to devote more time to my personal creativity, refine my style, present it more solidly,” the woman confesses.
Egle tries to find time for herself and her development by participating in the adult education project # WISE run by the Lithuanian NGO VERSLI MAMA. The project is aimed at women in creative and artistic professions who see their creative work as a source of financial independence.
“I am glad that I have the opportunity to participate in this cool project, where I have already met great artists, got acquainted with the intricacies of the gallery work, learned how to create an artistic portfolio, what is NFT, about the copyrights and personal presentations. I go into every lecture with a completely open heart and try to absorb as much information as possible, even information that I seem to know already. After all, there are things that are worth repeating again and again,” the interviewee describes her impressions of participating in the project.
You can see Egle’s work: http://www.stripeike.com/
Follow the life of the studio: https://www.facebook.com/tapybaisvisossirdies
The article was written on behalf of the Erasmus+ adult education project #WISE – Women: Innovative, Successful, Empowered. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.