Janna Arutyunyan

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? Born in the vibrant architectural capital of Tbilisi, Georgia, I inherited a passion for art and expressed myself through creative outlets such as painting, poetry, writing and fashion design at the Tbilisi Fashion Academy. This fueled my entrepreneurial spirit in starting my business as a fashion designer in Georgia in the ’80s. In 1991, I immigrated to the US in pursuit of the “American Dream,” continuing my formal studies in management while being a single parent of three young children. Although I call Los Angeles my new home, my passion for travel and adventure helped me develop a greater appreciation for cultural enrichment.

I am a self-taught artist, specializing in mixed media fluid and resin art. In the past years, my artwork has been accepted into several festivals and galleries, including the Catalina Festival of Art and Crafts and Catalina Art Gallery, Stay Gallery in Downy, Calabasas Fine Arts Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Lark Gallery, Art by Inna Gallery, Curate Direct online Gallery, Lark online Gallery, Lumaprints for TJX/Home Goods, and several art walks throughout Southern California. I am an active member of the Marketing Team for Laguna Art-A-Fair. In addition to my fervor for art, I also believe in giving back to the community, and have donated artwork to multiple silent auctions for Team Think Pink, a non-profit organization raising art scholarship funds for children, and fundraising for Armenia and Artsakh.

How did you first become interested in art? In early 2018, a dear friend invited me to an art showcase featuring acrylic fluid paintings and at 55 years young, a new passion for fluid art mixed media emerged. I immediately began researching and educating myself in this field and soon after, took steps to develop my own style of three-dimensional floral paintings and birthed what is now “Janna Passion Art.” Thereafter, I have challenged myself in mastering new techniques such as the “blooming effect” and have pursued studies, including the tutelage of an Australian artist. However, paint in America is very different from in Australia, and I began experimenting with different paints to figure out the right combination and consistency for my recipes. Applying newfound knowledge, I found innovative methods to paint without brushes, including the utilization of household items such as craft sticks, pins, toothpicks, straws, yarn, water bottles, paper towels, etc. I am dedicated to transforming my serendipitous art therapy hobby into a lifelong passion. My series “Blooming Through the Ashes” has been dedicated to my Armenian roots. My “Sunrise” series is the latest addition to my resin art collection. It is a unique collection in iridescent colors which reflects the color spectrums of its environment.

How does art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can engage with art in Burbank? Art brought our community together during the quarantine and difficult times in Armenia. In that challenging time, people were creating arts, crafts, and baking products to help their community. When I asked people in my community how long they had been creating art, most of them responded that they just came up with ideas to help others and this is how their new talents and passions were discovered.

I am grateful to Lusanet Collective for all the opportunities they give to our community of artists by inviting them to showcase their artwork. Burbank Unified School District, Burbank Art Association, the Besty Lueke Creative Arts Center, and the Burbank Arts and Education Foundation are all very supportive of art.

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be? As I mentioned, in the beginning painting was my passion. My art journey took another level because my friends, family and my community believed in me. I had my arm twisted by a friend to do my first solo exhibition within four months of starting to paint. Follow your dreams; it is never too early or too late to start a new beginning! Do not miss new opportunities for fear of failing. You’ll never know if you won’t try. Even from failure there are valuable lessons to learn.

To find out more about Janna and her work, visit her website jannapassionart.com or follow her on Instagram @jannapassionart