Katrina Aleksa is the founder of Predella House and co-founder of the Association for Women In The Arts. After studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Katrina has created a successful and inspired career for herself and uses her knowledge and passion to empower artists from around the world. We met with her in London to discuss her journey.
When did your passion for art begin?
Art has been a part of my whole life. I studied it at school and pursued it as an after-school activity, and by the time I was 17 and I was finishing school I realised I wanted to go and explore the art world outside of the country I was born in. So, without any language skills or contacts, I moved to the UK to study art full time. The one constant in my life has always been art and as my work it took me between the UK, America, Latvia, and Italy. So, while I changed languages, countries, cultures, the thread that connected everything for me was art.
What led you to start your own company?
After studying a lot of different art techniques, I went to study art business at Southeby’s and this was my light-bulb moment; I discovered the correlation between art and business and realised that this was exactly what I wanted to do with my career.
Through Southeby’s I wrote my business plan for Predella House, which was then approved by the Director’s there, so I went and set it up. The actual idea began as a group project between myself and my fellow students, but afterwards I contacted them and asked if they would be okay if I actually went ahead and did it and they said to go for it!
Who or what has helped you the most in the face of challenge?
My partner. He has always encouraged me to stay true to myself, and if I take on stressful projects my partner is the first one to remind me to do things that make me happy at the same time. When you don’t treat yourself and start doing only what you think is the right thing to do, that’s when you lose sight of what you love and what you want. I think it’s so important to keep up the passion projects or the hobbies that make you happy because it makes the challenges less stressful and the stress less consuming because you have an outlet. For me, having a partner to keep me in check and remind me to do this has been a blessing.
What are the greatest values that you’ve learned throughout your career that you would like to share with our Bold women?
It takes courage to be kind, but I never compromise on kindness. Kindness is my one bold word for other women to bear in mind and to practice. It’s the greatest value I can share with anyone, to be kind to others. I believe that with this you invite kindness upon yourself as well.
How would you like to see the art world change to better empower young artists?
I would like to see more diversity in education for artists. You can study art history and art techniques, but there isn’t much opportunity to study art business, so I would love to see more of a focus on this aspect which I believe will help to develop more business-savvy and marketing-savvy artists.
Art is such an inspired and lovely world, and I would love to see a more empowered future for our artists within that space.
Who is your favourite artist at the moment?
Ashley Longshore. She’s an American artist who’s work I would love to bring to the UK, and we are in talks about it. She is the one I feel entirely inspired by. In fact, working with female artists in general is something I’m deeply passionate about. Recently I was very ill, I went to hospital and then I was at home resting for a few weeks. My mother and boyfriend were both away one day, so it meant I could sneak away from my bed rest and I went out to see an exhibition of female artists. While I was standing there listening to the artist interviews, I reflected on the fact that I had literally snuck out of the house like a teenager to be there and how glad I was because I absolutely loved it. I’m passionate about female artists, and this event helped me to remember that fact.