We had the good fortune of connecting with Masha Nova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Masha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I never consciously “started” a business, it just gradually morphed and shaped as I moved through my life. I was always self-employed and my grandmother was adamant about me doing taxes every year. I started claiming that I ran my own business. Back then, I did some modeling and had quite a few write-offs. It stuck, even as the nature of my business has shifted over the years. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry for the past ten years and still claim that I’m self-employed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I was 12, I discovered that I like making art. I had just moved to Los Angeles from Moscow. I loved drawing pictures. My mom always had freelance projects going at the house to make extra money. She would make costumes, paint, print photos. She’d let me help her. I always felt so honored and loved to be creative with her and her friends. I’ve relied on that sense of creativity throughout my adult life. Today I’m a multi-disciplinary artist working in the film industry. I like the film industry because it calls for many of my talents and the work is challenging and rewarding. I get to use all of my creative muscles. I paint, make graphics, run a budget, manage people and events, decorate, shop – it all comes in handy. I make art on my time off jobs from an art studio in Atwater. I also sew and do alterations, a great skill that sustained me through the pandemic. I rarely say no to work and if I don’t know how to get the project done, I get creative and explore and take the opportunity to learn something new. My brand is all encompassing – I make the best of what I have at any given moment.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start by taking a drive down Sunset all the way to Topanga State Beach. Then I’d take them to Lake Shrine on Sunset to visit Yogananda’s temple and take a quite walk around the lake taking in the different plants and flower gardens. We would finish the day by getting a bite at Osen Kappo – a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica. Another day would be a hike in Griffith park, by the Greek Theater. It’s a good loop and a pretty strenuous hike up. You can see the Hollywood Hills and the LA skyline all the way to the ocean, as well as the valley. Get breakfast at Stamp on Hillhurst. Then LACMA for art and a walk in the park. Late lunch or dinner at my friend’s Jade and Barry’s.
The next day could be a trip to a flea market at Marshall High School and Out of the Closet thrift store in Atwater. We could stop in at Dune for a beautiful Mediterranean lunch and visit my friend Tanika in Echo Park. Later, a trip to the Vedanta Temple in Hollywood or an evening visit to the Russian Orthodox Church in Silverlake to light some candles and listen to the choir.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Mom, Natalia, for bringing me to America against all odds when I was very young, my husband, August, for loving me through it all and letting me be myself, my mentor, Martina, who teaches me to fight and grow, my stepdad Eugene, who brought out th artist in me and taught me the depth of the practice, my dear friends, Rita and Tanika, who give me the beauty of friendship, my dear friend Dennis who levels me out and shows how to not be a big shot, my mom’s friend Sue who shows me how to care, all of my dear friends who never stop to surprise me with their generosity, my teacher Tej for her purity and dedication, my grandmother Maya who is gone now for teaching me how to embrace life and be brave. And lastly, to my Russian lineage that is deep in my soul.