You might have seen her there, or maybe you were rushing not to miss the bus and didn't even notice she was there. But who is she? She is an artist who many people pass without even acknowledging her presence while she quietly bends over a small table working on her art. She is Tania Kovacheva.
Tania has turned her hobby into a profession because she had to.
"In my teenage years, I went through an accident, I fainted in the bathroom. Then I was hospitalized for six months and that’s how I started painting."
After Tania was certified as disabled, nobody would hire her. This made her realize that she could make a living by painting and selling her art at the bus station. She began in the city center of Blagoevgrad but then moved to the bus station because the children in the center would ruin her art.
Tania creates icons and likes painting on gourds and making dolls out of them.
"The first time I saw a gourd was when my husband brought me to Blagoevgrad. There were so many of them, they were all my mother-in-law’s and I instantly said, 'This is going to be a boy, and this is going to be a girl' and my father-in-law laughed and told me, 'Those are gourds, my dear, not dolls.' But I told him that I am going to make them. This is just what popped into my imagination, and that is how I started making dolls out of gourds."
Tania was born and raised in Dobrich, Bulgaria. She met her husband on the Internet and moved to the other side of the country to be with him.
"I have always liked the mountains. When my husband brought me here this inspired me even more because, in Dobrich, I was painting only icons while here I started with the gourds and the landscapes. Nature here had an influence on me and my work."
"I have never studied painting or drawing. I started painting in the hospital. I was looking at the icons and drawing them myself and while I was painting, I was becoming more and more religious."
Tania does this for a living and looks at it like a nine to five job. She is at the bus station from Monday to Friday. She used to come to paint on Saturdays, but after having a child, she prefers to spend time with him.
"I have always prayed to God to have a kid and it finally happened. This also inspires me, even more, to believe in God. I have been married for 10 years now, and it was not happening, not happening until it finally did. The good things happen slowly, but still, happen."
Tania hopes that her business flourishes in the future because she finds it hard to have a painting business in Bulgaria. She said she dreams to be recognized by a merchant who would buy her art and resell it, so she only has to draw and not worry about the business aspect as much.
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