Diella Valla: The up-and-coming feminist artist who uses her art to empower women
Ever since Diella Valla was a child, she would doodle, taking the fascination in seeing different paintings, silhouettes and analysing different details in her grandfather’s paintings. Diella, now grown up and getting ready to head off to university, talks about her life in Kosovo and how growing up in a family of supportive artists has inspired her to be the artist she is today. Both her parents and grandfather have been able to critique and help her throughout her journey as an artist.
With the influence of her country’s culture and her grandfather, Diella uses her art to spread messages and emotions, which created her love of art. She feels it is important to use art to push back on problems within society. While reliving her childhood, she explains, “I knew there was something in me that I wanted to express to everyone.”
Diella discusses how her country’s history has affected their culture and influenced architecture, as well as adding to museums and galleries: “Kosovo has been through different wars, for years. It has not been easy for my country to have the freedoms that it has today but of course, these wars have affected the culture of my place [Kosovo]…Today the culture, the different monuments that Kosovo has including museums, galleries and theatres are always such an influence and inspiration for me.” Diella enjoys the Kosovo National Gallery to learn more about the past artists of her country and see things from a different perspective with exhibitions, including international artists.
Much like her passion for art, her interest in feminism was cultivated as a child. As the society Diella grew up in exposed her to gender inequalities, Diella wanted to work through a solution. She felt that women had to support each other and fight for their rise in society to be equal. She said, “I think that the best way that I can manifest feminism in myself and in the society I live in, to reflect it in a way, was just experiencing it through my art, the problems that I find in society. I was ready to express it through my art.”
As Diella found a love for drawing fashion illustrations, she now draws all of her women with long necks. Through this representation, she explains: “It felt really important to me because it reflected the power of women. I wanted to see the power and to have the same equality in the place I live but also all around the world.”
Diella has been influenced by many feminist artists and activists such as “Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir, Angela Davis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Elif Shafaak.” She further added, “Learning more and more every day about their movements and actions as women of fighting for gender equality has lead me through a great impact as a young artist.”
One of Diella’s most significant challenges throughout her art career has been the opinions from sharing her art, primarily through social media. Hearing different opinions and pursuing art can be challenging and risky. However, Diella truly feels it is worth it and that there is beauty in communicating through art.
“I believe that advice for every artist is to never be worried about their art. To share what they feel like because there is always someone supporting you and loving it.”
Moving forward, Diella is attending university and her goal is to keep learning about all her passions. She hopes to take workshops and classes to learn more about fashion design and hopefully start her fashion brand one day. As she continues learning more about fashion and painting, she will continue to spread impactful messages throughout it all. Diella expresses, “There is always a way to spread feminism in every detail, in every theme of our lives.”
Follow Diella Valla on Instagram to see breathtaking paintings and inclusive, dynamic fashion illustrations. I can’t wait to see all the fantastic feats Diella takes on as an artist. Keep an eye out for that name on the runway one day!