Romeo Smilyanov: “Painting is a meditation”
The engineer-painter lived through ups and downs but his life took a good direction once he met his Juliet.
Romeo Smilyanov’s life is worthy of a movie. As he went through incredible changes of fortune, spells of good and bad experiences, today, “Midway upon the journey of our life”, Romeo may be boastful with a wonderful family, a successful business, and the fulfillment of his childhood’s dream – creating, painting. And it is as if the long wait is precisely what “ignites” him, what makes him burst like a volcano and paint in excess of 100 paintings in a span of less than a year!
“I started painting as a kid. I always liked doing it. I wanted to enroll in the Fine Arts high school but my parents steered me to the Construction vocational school. Later on, I graduated from the Forestry Institute and was involved in R&D for a few years. Then the changes came, and the hardships with them.
I found myself literally in the street – we were fired, with no jobs, with two little kids in a studio located in Sofia’s Mladost district. At this time, my life was on the turn”, tells my affable interlocutor. He says, however, that his greatest luck was meeting… Juliet! No mistake: this is the name of the gorgeous blonde whom Romeo met in the bus heading for Pernik and who later became his wife. They had two children – Lora, who is on her way to inherit her mother’s profession, dentistry, and Slav, who is stepping successfully in his father’s shoes and owns already a business.
Juliet’s private dental clinic is currently the “sanctum” of Romeo’s paintings. Here, they are not only decorating the walls with their vivid hues but are healing the patients, too. They are creating a matchless mood, in which any patient who came to the clinic apprehensive of the upcoming manipulations, his heart in his mouth, forgets about pain when he immerses himself into so much warmth…
“During the great political changes in the 1990s, I ought to take on whatever work I found”, continues Romeo. “As a long-distance truck driver, I toured most of North America in about half a year. I had already registered in Bulgaria my own commercial venture, which was building its reputation slowly but steadily, but this didn’t prevent me from investigating business opportunities abroad as well. I was traveling a lot, mostly for this reason; I’ve been God knows where – in Germany, Greece, Romania, Italy, etc. But obviously, the efforts were worth their salt – now I’m at ease about me and my family.”
Indeed, in today’s troubled times, engineer Smilyanov can congratulate himself about not having material goods problems – he has secured all the necessary for him and his family. Most importantly, he can already spend enough time for his favourite hobby – painting. At the end of the past year, he arranged his first exhibition, in the Sheraton Grand Hotel Sofia. He unveiled before his friends 50 oil works, which, rather than selling, he almost gave out as gifts after the exhibition. “My advantage over professional painters is that, if I so wish, I can give up painting at any time. Although this will hardly happen some day,” chuckles Romeo. “Painting is a magic to me, an idiosyncratic meditation into which I’m dissolving, I’m calming down. I can’t compare it to anything else in the world. I’m often waking up at night and I’m turning my hand on the brush and the spatula. I’d tell one thing to whomever feels having a creative charge inside, no matter what profession is he practicing: Don’t miss your chance to at least try! Only your heart will give you a hint in what direction and how to continue.”