LARA Scholarship | Interview with Radoslav Topalov
We talk to Radoslav Topalov about his experience of the LARA Scholarship programme, how it helped his career and what he learnt along the way.
Having been interested in art from an early age, Radoslav began his career as an illustrator at the age of nineteen. During that time, he studied at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, later to receive his bachelor's degree in fine arts. Post-graduation, Radoslav worked as an artist for the entertainment industry before coming to LARA to build a more solid understanding of the fundamentals of drawing and painting, coupled with a desire to bring his own work closer to nature. After studying under the tutors at LARA for one year, Radoslav decided to stay in London, complete his atelier training and pursue a career as a painter.
Early on, following his first term at LARA, it was clear that Radoslav’s drive, passion and talent would be an asset to the school and he was awarded a
full three year scholarship in order to complete his training.
Why did you want to study at LARA?
LARA offered me a once in a life-time opportunity to study in a similar environment as the old master painters, which has been a dream of mine ever since I discovered that such places still exist. The friendship, support and highly creative environment which LARA provides made it an easy decision.
How did a scholarship help?
The scholarship at LARA enabled me to complete my education successfully by providing the necessary financial aid, but also, by offering support and valuable advice from the staff. As a foreign student, I particularly found the LARA environment immensely helpful in establishing a sense of belonging which helped ease the stress of entering a new cultural and social environment.
What skills have you learnt?
Technical expertise and a disciplined approach are the major skills I’ll be taking away with me. This combined with the sheer number of hours dedicated to practical drawing and painting exercises (which significantly exceeds the time most institutions devote) is invaluable. LARA puts a strong emphasis on fundamentals, attention and constructive criticism from the teachers on a daily basis which drives your personal discipline and self-evaluation which are really valuable tools. Aside from that, a vast understanding of concepts like form, value and colour make it possible to approach any project with confidence and with the ability to plan ahead and execute different and often complex tasks.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to be working as an illustrator and concept artist for the entertainment industry. As an atelier trained artist I will be able to take on much more diverse and interesting projects than I ever would have been exposed to before. LARA has boosted my confidence as well as my technical skills and has been an invaluable platform for my personal and professional development.