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Meet Etsy Shop Ocelot Eyes Art – ALL proceeds will help with Animal Rescue in Brisbane, Australia

Ocelot Eyes Art,

Until Sunday January 23rd I will be donating ALL 
profits made from any and all sales from my Etsy shop, 
to the Queensland RSPCA! 
The RSPCA Fairfield location in Brisbane was completely 
flooded, along with other locations in affected areas of the 
state. The rescue animals are with foster carers while the 
RSPCA seeks to assess the damage and re-build. Plus they 
will have a lot of native wildlife to help now, along with 
domestic pets! Last year, I adopted my dog from the RSPCA. 
It's my small way of helping them in this crisis.

Where are you from and tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Moscow, Russia, grew up in Atlantic Canada, and now reside in Brisbane, Australia, with my husband and our adopted dog.
I have been inspired by animals ever since I can remember. My mother is a biologist, which meant that I was surrounded by all sorts of odd animals ever since I was born – and my Dad’s passion for creative photography has definitely played a part in shaping my artistic interests as well!
I loved hearing the exciting stories of Mom’s expeditions to wild and fascinating places. And helping my parents rescue stray dogs and cats from the streets and find them new homes taught me from an early age about compassion for our furry and feathered friends.

After the fall of communism in Russia, and the chaos that resulted in the country, my parents made the wise decision to move to Canada. There I grew up, studied, and graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), where my major was Media Arts, and my specific focus of study was Illustration and Photography. How did I end up in Australia? You can blame my awesome Aussie husband! I came here to study on a university exchange program, found him, and the rest is history. 🙂
I am inspired by all living things, great and small. I can often be found running around with my trusty digital camera, taking pictures of everything from blades of grass, to birds in the sky, to animals in the bush. I draw from my own experience of being with nature, being with animals and living creatures, and listening to what they inspire me to create.

Why did you start your Etsy shop?

I listed my first couple of items sometime in 2007. Etsy is such a vibrant community of creative people, and I wholeheartedly support the idea of buying handmade, so it seemed like a great thing to be part of!

How did you come up with your Etsy shop name?
It’s been an online name of mine for many years. One day I was painting an ocelot (a South/Central American wild cat) on a rock, and found myself fascinated by its big, deep, expressive eyes. The next time I signed up somewhere online, without thinking too much I used the name “Ocelot Eyes” – it wasn’t taken, so I kept using it ever since.
(Just a little note: in the last year, a music band using the same name popped up on the internet – I am not at all connected to them.)

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Of course I like all of them, but right now I’m most proud of my African photographs. I’ve just visited the amazing country of Namibia in November 2010 and fallen absolutely in love with its wildlife, its desert landscapes, and kind-hearted people. The moment I stepped off the plane home, I started thinking about ways to go back! Seeing African wildlife so close and personal was incredible, and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to be so close to photograph them – and to be able to share the images. I hope that my photographs convey some of the feeling of what it’s like to be in the presence of these wild and majestic animals. Especially the elephants.

Do any of your pieces have a memorable story behind them?

Absolutely all of my images have a story. When it comes to photographs, I could tell you about the whole day that led to the image being taken! I love watching animals for that one perfect moment, and waiting, and observing their behaviour and natural beauty. How animals interact with each other is so fascinating. I can literally wait for hours to get that photograph, and not even notice the time passing by. As for the artwork – those observations coalesce (sometimes days or months later) into an idea that pops into my head out of the blue one day, like a book falling off a shelf at just the right time, and opening to the right page. Then the idea nags and nags at me until I get it down onto paper or canvas!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I hope to convey the sense of awe at the beauty of Nature, and inspire viewers to think about it and to take steps to protect it. We only have one planet, after all. This is why I use 10% of the profits from my art/photo sales to donate to wildlife conservation causes – it’s my way of giving something back and helping Nature!

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Actually, I haven’t! I’m constantly evolving and trying new things. In 2010 I tried linocut printmaking for the first time. My favourite media when it comes to painting are ink and watercolour on paper, and acrylics on canvas, because they just seem to work for my detailed style. Although, incorporating watercolour is teaching me to try not to be overly-detailed. My short love affair with oil paints in university fizzled out after I found out all the “rules” of oil painting, solvents, layers, adding oils, etc, plus I don’t like having so many chemicals around…

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
One day, if I have the time, I would like to learn to play a musical instrument. I tried to learn to play guitar, but sadly had to leave it behind in Canada when I moved to Australia. My Grandmother is actually a professional violinist, so I grew up with her music, but she never taught me how to play any instrument… Sometimes I wonder how composers create music – it must be such a different thought process than envisioning a painting in one’s mind! I wonder how they imagine music before they write it down?

Why should people buy handmade?
In places like Etsy, you have the opportunity to get something made from heart, not just from a machine – something unique and meaningful.

Any advice on selling things handmade?
Keep creating, and in those first few weeks or months on Etsy when it takes a while to be found, don’t get discouraged! Take a deep breath, believe that you are great, create original work from your heart, and promote your work as much as you can. Do your research, ask others for advice and learn from their experiences, we are all in the same boat.

Apart from creating beautiful pieces, what else do you do?
My day job is at a professional canvas printing shop, where all prints are made by us on site. Most of the art prints on the walls are pieces created by the owner and team members as well, or licensed from photographers! I guess you could say it’s another way to “buy handmade”. The business started as a local Australian, high-quality alternative to cheap prints made overseas, and I definitely enjoy it.

Do you have plans for expansion?
Absolutely, I plan to add paper art prints to my shop again soon – I’ve found a print supplier here in Brisbane that I’d like to try, as my workplace doesn’t print on paper. I’ve been doing a lot of watercolour and ink work recently, which doesn’t translate well to canvas printing, but would look perfect on nice archival paper! Oh, and notecards and small matted prints – I’d love to add more of a variety of prices to my shop. And who knows what else the new year will bring?

Any other sites you can be found on?
I have my art portfolio website:
And I recently started a Facebook page:…

Anything else you would like us to know?
Yes! If you’re in Australia, more specifically Queensland – I’m part of the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society, a group of professional artists all working to raise awareness of conservation issues. We use our paintings to inspire people to protect Australian creatures and animals around the world, and think about our fragile environment. We have some very exciting exhibitions coming up this year, including one at the world-famous Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo!
Please visit our Society website to find out more about these exhibitions:

**Please take a moment to visit Ocelot Eyes Art.   If you comeback here and leave a comment with your favorite item you can have a total of five extra entries to leave on any or a combination of my current giveaways.  You MUST leave the comments for the extra entries on the giveaways you would like to be entered into.  This offer ends on 1/15 at midnight.


  1. 1
    A Brain says:

    Hi Nadya 🙂

    Your "Elephant Meeting" photo is INCREDIBLE and beautiful…amazing that you got to witness that, as well as how you've captured the moment in the photo. Awesome work!!

    Thank you for so generously offering your artwork to help your neighbors and the wildlife of Queensland – you're all in my prayers <3

    ~ "ABrainEnamored" (at)gmail(dot)com

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