Valerik 1*. Taron Marukyan

Botaas (boot), Gizmon, Rayno, Serik (greyish), Reejeek (redhead), Zerteek (trinket)- these are a few names of COAF SMART Drawing Instructor Taron Marukyan’s cats. He has nine of them, and none of their names is chosen by chance.

The first cat that appeared in Taron’s house was Rayno’s mother, Zerteek.

“I was living alone in Yerevan, so I decided to have a cat. Cats are very independent, and they don’t require much maintenance,” tells Taron.

In 2016, when Taron returned to Vanadzor, he brought Zerteek with him.

“Then Zerteek had kittens. How could I leave them outside? Still, Botaas is the most famous and the most friendly among all,” says Taron, who does not imagine his home and studio without cats.

Nevertheless, for Taron, art comes first, cats come second.

“If you are an artist, you should live with it. I spend more time thinking of what to paint then on painting itself,” explains Taron continuing to work on the art pieces.

Usually, he works on several things at the same time. He says that he still has a lot to do. He and probably his cat Botaas are the observers of his artwork. Botaas likes to settle down on a chair or a sofa and gaze at Taron’s completed or yet incomplete paintings.

Taron works aiming to have an exhibition in one of the coolest US galleries one day.

*“Valerik” is another way peers call Taron and Vahrad. Not recalling their names is not a huge problem – they both react when hearing “Valerik”.

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