It is common that during national holidays, people who have achieved a lot in their fields are awarded. Just before the celebration, within the framework of the contest “Art wins!”, incentive bonuses have been awarded to artists Una Lekuze and Mareks Odumiņš. Mareks, paints with the paintbrush in his mouth, due to severe injuries he has sustained to his body.

During the award ceremony, artist Una Lekuze said that art has always been in her life. “Although, when I was a child, I considered such professions as doctor and lawyer, when I graduated from school, I devoted myself to art completely. Painting was a necessity to me! Painting is a mystery – one can never know, how long it will take to finish a painting and what the result will be. I have some paintings that have took me a year, other artists sometimes paint one painting for years and when viewing a painting, one can see how easy or difficult it has come. Sometimes everything happens as I want to, but sometimes, the work develops differently,” said Lekuze.

Artworks can inspire people and help them to retain optimism and cheerful mind in difficult situations. Artists themselves need inspiration and they find it in different places. Una Lekuze tells about her inspirers and idols: “My first mentors in the art world were Kārlis Dobrājs and Inta Dobrāja, these artists will remain close to me forever. I also adore the work by Imants Vecozols. In my opinion, he is one of the most wonderful Latvian artists. As to the foreign artists, the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt is also my great inspiration.”

Artist Mareks Odumiņš turned to painting after a severe injury. In the beginning, art was his hobby, but now, his artworks are very demanded and respected. “Initially, it was not even painting, I was just messing around with acrylic paints, afterwards, I got interested more and more. I gave my artworks as gifts to people and I saw they liked them. This made me happy and I wanted to create more. Then I was asked if my paintings can be bought and then I thought I could earn money by painting. To me, art is a way how to tune out. When I paint, I am completely relaxed. With a painting I can show everything I have in my heart and soul, I can give all the light to others,” said Odumiņš.