Interview with Barbra Ignatiev

Interview with Barbra Ignatiev

I met Barbra, a painter living in Oakland, CA, during a business program a few years back. I liked her style and she became my accountability buddy for the next year. As a painter, she uses color to help people draw out what is vibrant about themselves. Currently, she is working on a series of figure study paintings that explore expressive movement and color combinations.


Isn’t her work gorgeous? I wanted all of you to meet her too, so I asked her a few questions so you and I can get to know her better. Because she’s awesome, Barbra also agreed to make a fun and inspiring wallpaper to help keep you positive throughout the day. It can be downloaded at the end of this post.

But first, the questions!

1) Many readers are interested in what makes a good relationship work. Can you tell us your recipe for a good relationship?

For almost 10 years, my husband and I have had a relationship built on silliness and ridiculousness so that helps. I think not taking yourself too seriously helps with just about any relationship. Many of the world’s problems could be solved just with a good laugh, just maybe…

I also like to set up expectations for things on a daily basis so we’re both on the same page. Conflicting expectations can really screw up any moment.

Oh and don’t forget communication that is honest and meaningful and not all about you.

I think all of this applies to any relationship, not just romantic ones.

2) What’s your go-to activity (or non activity) when you are feeling stressed?

10 minute dance party (by myself but whatever!) I also use painting as a way to meditate myself out of my brain and into the moment.

3) What makes you happiest in life?

Feeling connected and helping people.

4) What is the first thing you normally think of when you wake up?

Usually “OK what kind of coffee am I going to make myself?”

I like to get creative with my coffee routine by steeping lavender buds, soaking a cinnamon stick or making a Mexican mocha with cayenne, chocolate sauce and cinnamon. I love to herb and spice things up. It’s a ritual for me.

5) What is your cat Foo really like?

Hehe the best cat EVAR. Very sweet and kittenish, even though she’s an elderly lady. She loves to cuddle and have brush time. She reminds me to just chill out and enjoy life.

6) What do you love most about making your own designs?

Expressing myself to the world. Hopefully brightening someone’s day. Color has amazing benefits – and it’s pretty much free!

And, as promised, here is the bonus wallpaper Barbra has created for us.

179 MoreRoomtoDance 16-10 1920x1200
179 MoreRoomtoDance 16-10 1920x1200
91.7 KiB

If you’d like to hear more from Barbra, you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter under the name @ifneedB. You can also sign up to receive emails of her daily paintings or visit her website at