Known mostly for her unique brand of mixed media on canvas, Odeta Xheka is an artist, writer, poet, and debuting picture book creator.

Her story parallels the highs and lows that countless women artists face, as they negotiate the demands to create and procreate alongside the commandment to create and be self-interestedly individualistic - the clash of daily pressures of the family with the aspiration to make ambitious art.

In recent years, alongside focusing on raising her family, Xheka has worked mostly on digital art projects that aim to decipher the various ways that a lived reality and an emotional truth can be represented.

Her debuting picture book Here Comes Ingo is IndieReader Approved and Creative Child Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her creative nonfiction can be found at Mutha Magazine, Literary Mama, The Today Show Parenting, and Her View From Home among other online publications.

* Note to Self

Making art can feel like an act of exposure. Don't allow yourself to be restraint by conventional expectations. But also remember that just because it is your own story, that doesn't entitle you to an audience. You have to earn that.

ART PROJECTs

THE TALES WE TELL is an on-going series of digital collages digging for visual clues that can unlock yet another layer of understanding in classic fairy tales such as The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, Goldielocks and the Three Bears, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella.

  • Visual Influences

Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World traveling exhibition

Conceptual Illustration

LABELS OFF is a project of self-narrativization that builds emotional truth through a series of carefully constructed collages which are later photographed and digitally manipulated to serve as the colorful thread that connects all nuances of a woman's sense of self.

If life is the greatest form of art, it is natural to think of a woman's body as her most active and activating canvas - her body as a means of creation. What happens when all labels are torn off? When all skin's shed? When all blood's bled? How to confine one's essence within the arbitrary layers of social expectations & obligations? Let's start by taking away what's outwardly visible and see what else comes into focus given how the tale of womanhood has continually been edited into a reductive and ultimately self-sacrificial one.

  • Visual Influences

Hannah Wilke

Carolee Schneemann



THE INEFFABLE CONDITION is a series that gets to respond to what’s happening in culture and in the world, both in an artistic and therapeutic way. And with that comes a really great responsibility to be a lot more thoughtful about what images to put out there and why.

With cropping that is reminiscent of the Impressionist and photographic works which emerged onto the art scene years earlier, these portraits - forms simplified into flat sections of color - create tension through the truncation of space; they dominate the whole frame, physically touching all sides, pressing close to the picture plane, almost into the viewer's space as if to ask: Do you talk about your pain? Are you lonely? Which inner muscle of your heart is working too hard to compensate for the other muscles of your heart? Are you running on empty? Can you make it? Do you want to ask for help? Do you know how?

  • Visual Influences

Frank Auerbach

Henry Matisse


TRIANGULAR is a highly textured collage captured in the style of Annegret Soltau's "overstitched and sewn" photographs for whom there is no separation between art, life, and women. Via cutting, ripping, pasting, overlaying different textures and materials, this multifaceted series speaks a hybrid language - remixed, re-contextualized, and wholly build from essential fragments of lived emotional reality.

An exquisitely layered woman, a painted object, a bruised surface, a manipulated photograph photographed from different angles: where does the artwork "reside"? Is this series synonymous with the kitsch of love and desire (in other words, the common use of the word “romantic”) or does it stand for an explicit critique of the kind of attitude that legitimizes the logic of material constraints and power struggles that hold the subject down?

  • Visual Influences

Annegret Soltau

Wangechi Mutu


REMAKE/R begins with a kernel - an image turned into a feeling which, in turn, remains permanently frozen into a single moment of rejoicing. Here is the artist operating in her own space and time, expressing herself to herself alone.

Inspired by Hans Arp, one of the most versatile minds of the 20th century, Joan Miro's adaptation of biomorphic forms, and Henry Matisse's approach to collage as a painting, this series of handmade collages explores the potential for unique compositional relationships that result from the unfussy yet harmonious arrangement of organic forms and both figurative and non-representational elements.

  • Visual Influences

Hans Peter Wilhelm Arp (Jean Arp)

Twyla Tharp


THY SELFIE speaks the language of appropriation. Referencing both neoclassical oil paintings and photography each piece reflects on the tendency of contemporary art to devour visual references indiscriminately, simultaneously paying homage to The Fragrant Rose (John William Godward, 1892), and Oranges (Artur Hill, 1880) as well as Richard Avedon's portrayal of his subjects against a white background, with no extraneous details to distract from the essential specificity of the gaze. Yet, undoubtedly, the most important point of reference is Ana Mendieta's experimental series of photographs of her face.

  • Visual Influences

Ana Mendieta

Richard Avedon


CHOREOGRAPHY OF DISAPPEARANCE creates a sense of intimacy that allows the viewers to get a good look at all the longings, deceptions, and fears; it questions the very fundamentals of identity both as a female artist and a woman. Modest and profound at the same time, the artist's face photographed from different angles somehow misses a sense of the physical. There's no visible hairline, no body shape, no glimpse of the background, just picture after picture of floating collages of the artist's face that ask uncomfortable questions about different ways to represent the female essence in front of the camera as well as exploring the domains of color to depict her loneliness and isolation.

  • Visual Influences

Gerhard Richter

Shadi Ghadirian Be Colourful


REMEMBRANCE wonders what it is like to be forced to learn the mechanism of vanishing under the pressure of large public forces and private action, to know how to unbind one's self from the illusion of acknowledgment and recognition, and yet, to hold on to one's own sense of authority especially as it pertains to women in the arts.

In a selection that is personal, recursively self-referential, and fragmentary in the way a poem can be, like little flashes of connection to time and history, it helps bring much-deserved attention to the work of sidelined female artists via a simple, effective, and thoroughly "female" visual language "floating" on Ukiyo-e sensibility and landing on highly textured collaged compositions.

  • Visual Influences

Utagawa Hiroshige

Barbara Shaw

Cœur (part one) is a personal collection of intimate portraits that explores themes of identity, individuality, longing, innocence, and vulnerability in young siblings. There is a sense of tenderness and curiosity in each frame aiming to become something timeless and beautiful to celebrate the fleeting nature of childhood. What does childhood mean, and how does it feel?

Through the use of cold color temperature and tones, tight frames, and strong staged lighting that emphasizes the strength of their facial features without showing emotions up close, Cœur takes a page from Ellen Heck's Forty Fridas in the way the children face the camera face-on. It also hints at Sally Mann's Immediate Family project through veiled nakedness and the apparent sense of collaboration of the children in their mother’s work.

  • Visual Influences

Giuseppe Simpatico

Mary Cassatt

Dangling traces the theme of suspension whether formal or psychological not through the narrow prism of the self but through a wide-angle lens that exposes the chain of associations, often subliminal and emotionally charged, of womanhood as female, body, emotion, soft, low, flesh, nature.

The very physicality of the shapely legs – their sensuality and weight – is offset by the seemingly effortless, floating state in which they are presented. Eschewing a firm base they are positioned in dialogue with the surrounding environment and, by extension, the viewer. The implied vulnerability - they look as if they have been assembled by a machine from off-the-peg, standardized parts - adds yet another layer to understanding the exposed and defenseless state of female representation especially when it comes to the often subtle and coded role of images in creating new knowledge.

  • Visual Influences

Paul Cézanne's Bathers

Louise Bourgeois's Suspension (exhibition of hanging works)


RAIN ON SKIN tries to dip the viewer into a sort of dreamlike reality. The rain seems to fall on everyone, creating evocative images where every element – the street, the sky, the inanimate characters, the viewer – is involved in a romantic and, at the same time, melancholic feeling.

“The rain washes memories off the sidewalk of life”, Woody Allen said in an old movie. This series tries to do the same. It portrays everyday rainy life as a means of escape into a dreamlike world away from the greyness and darkness of the skies that are a reminder of human isolation.

  • Visual Influences

Alessio Trerotoli

John Henry Twachtman


Art Prints For Sale

IMG_9830

Framed Artwork

Henri Matisse wants art to be "a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair.” Exploring abstraction, color field painting, abstract expressionism, and textured painting, my Framed Artwork Series invites you to add a touch of sophistication to the coziness of your home.

IMG_7136_z0p57a

Unique Nursery Artwork

Art for children needn’t be complicated, however, simplicity of imagination won't do. Gift your children with unique nursery artwork that speaks to them in a relatable way. The best thing you can do for your little ones is to encourage them to express themselves through the magic of open-ended art.


Kids Fun Factory

This is where the fun begins! Simply click on FUN BUNDLES, MAGNETS&STICKERS, and WOOD SLICES to choose from a large selection of durable & weather-resistant vinyl stickers, fun animal magnets, colorful pins, holographic stickers, cushions, 2019 Picture Book of the Year and so much more to add genuine fun to your young children's learning experience as well as their surroundings.

BUNDLES of Fun!

Fun-Filled Bundles: Smart Learning

Magnets, Stickers, Holographics

Handmade Decorative Wood Slices

Picture Book

Books by Author Odeta Xheka
Best children's picture books of 2019: Here Comes Ingo is here!

Here Comes Ingo, one of the best children’s picture books of 2019, is a great example of the benefits of art in early childhood development. Here Comes Ingo is IndieReader Approved, is recognized by The National Parenting Center (Seal of Approval), is the winner of Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year (picture book category), and recipient of the Mom's Choice Gold Award.


This unique picture book encourages children to switch seats with the illustrator via painting, coloring, and drawing directly ON the page in order to tap into their creativity and let their imaginations soar. The book presents the multi-layered tale of Ingo, a scarlet macaw who drifts off to sleep while sitting on her eggs and dreams of flying into the lush tropical rainforest she calls home. While the storyline is intentionally loose, each illustration inspires a tale of its own, with the recurring opportunity to spot Ingo on each page amidst minute details unexpectedly colored in a Disney-like palette.


Learn how you can create quality time with your children through open-ended creative experiences and see for yourself why Here Comes Ingo is one of the best children’s picture books of 2019.

Selected Writing


Creative Non Fiction: Selfhood, Motherhood, The Creative Impulse


Language is power and protest, inclusion and exclusion. It communicates our deepest selves back to us, as if words were a shroud that give form to our inner world. Through language, we're allowed to bend time, jump forwads and backwards, circle back to our thoughts and memoreis picking and choosing the most meaningful to us.


Within a culture that likes things to be simple and pigeonholed, through my writing, I like to engage in complex conversations about the structure and meaning of emotional truth, while making sure to keep a firm eye on the very thin line that divides the sincerity of expression from sheer banality.


IMG_2085
IMG_6079

Blog: Have Child, Need Art

Beyond arts & crafts: visual literacy and the benefits of open-ended creativity


Generally speaking, art is a way to encourage the process of thinking in an innovative way and art-related activities have been proven to boost a child’s self-image by instilling a sense of pride in the self-directed project. The purpose of this blog is to encourage visual literacy and show how the joys and benefits of children's creativity go beyond mere arts&crafts:

  • growth mindset
  • help enrich the learning experience
  • help retain information in the long run.


Join the Community

Be first to know about updates & new work

Connect on Social Media


Follow us. Don't miss anything.