Lilyana Petrova Lulu was born in Sofia, Bulgaria.
She first entered an art studio when she was four years old, and her artistic life started almost that very day. She followed this calling throughout her education and in 1999 she graduated from the Sofia Art School, where she specialized in painting.
Over the following years, she studied Fashion and Industrial Design at the Academy of Theatre in Sofia, took an Apprenticeship in Ceramics, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design at New Bulgarian University. In 2009, she completed her Master’s Degree in her original vocation of Painting, also at NBU.
In the spring of 2005 in Sofia’s Irida Gallery, Lilyana Petrova Lulu held her first solo exhibition, entitled “While They Were Sleeping “ – constituting mainly portraits and landscapes presented in her vivid style. That same year she created the company Lala Design Studio, where she is managing shareholder, and the painting school Art Studio LALA, for children . The school would periodically organize exhibitions of the work of the children who attended the classes, with halls rented at the Sofia City Gallery and in the lobby of Sofia Puppet Theatre.
Between 2006 and 2010, she participated in many group exhibitions for young authors in Sofia, including several of the NBU and in competitive exhibitions for young authors, organized by the Union of Bulgarian Painters at their "6 Shipka Street" Gallery.
In the period 2007–08, she developed an overall visual and multimedia concept as the stage accompaniment to the music of the composer Simon Lazar. Lilyana and Simon jointly created the show “The Muse”, which enjoyed a great number of acclaimed performances in Sofia and in other cities around Bulgaria. The show was eventually performed internationally, and is still running in several countries to the present day. The Muse opened in the Spring of 2007 in the Theatre Hall of the New Bulgarian University. With this multimedia performance, Lilyana Petrova – Lulu won the award for Best Student Work, and several months later she created an encompassing graphic elaboration on the same topic, which developed into her Bachelor’s Degree diploma thesis. Venues of “The Muse “ include Sozopol Theatre, Sofia’s Night of the Museums, and in the grand Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture during Art House Week.
In late 2008, she started developing costume designs for several television projects. Her work as assistant costume artist and stylist contributed to the reality shows Dancing Stars and VIP Brother, the TV series Floor Property, and the celebrated 2014 Bulgarian feature film Rat Poison.
In the spring of 2012 Lilyana Petrova participated in a group exhibition at The Brick Lane Gallery in London. This exhibition brought her back into painting and prompted her to create a number of paintings combining different materials and techniques and opening a whole new world of perceptions and expectations.
In December 2014, she presented an exhibition titled “Beyond the Visible” at the Music House of Boris Hristov in Sofia with two other colleagues.
Throughout 2015–16, Lilyana concentrated mostly on personal projects and commissions. Among these is the creation of the character Lulu – the befreckled, red-headed little girl who has become Lilyana’s personal symbol and which she has used in the creation of an illustrated book entitled The Adventures of Lulu. Other Lulu projects include a series of the little heroine stamped on clothes, shoes and bags, as well as paper dolls of the character.
In July 2017, Lilyana took part in an international group exhibition entitled “Le Vie dell‘ Arte” in Gallery Mentana in Florence, Italy. She created four paintings for this exhibition.
In September 2017 presenting by Gallery D’Arte Mentana, Lulu is taking a part in international exhibition “ Artistes Du Monde, Cannes.
In October 2017, Lilyana is invited for a personal exhibition entitled “ The stories of Lulu” in Gallery Mentana in Florence, Italy.
For that exhibition she creates a cycle of paintings exploring the relationship between people and God, between humanity and the soul, reason and the heart, ideas and actions, dreams and reality, happiness and pain, excitement and calm. The series focuses on different states of mind, and is expressed via vivid stories in paint. These stories are especially interesting for the depth and direction of the journey upon which they take the viewer, and the feelings and thoughts which they provoke. A simple experience transformed into a story told in a surrealistic style, able to send the viewer away, alone with their thoughts, deep in the ocean depths or flying freely among the stars.
In December 2017, the artist is invited to organize a solo exhibition entitled “ The stories of Lulu – Life in Paintings” in Russian Culture Centre in Sofia , Bulgaria.
As a result of these appearances, Liliana Petrova Lulu is invited to participate in the 2018 Art Tour International Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art. She will attend the official awards ceremony on 27th of April 2018 at the New York Museum of Art and Design and her artworks will be published on the event’s catalog.
Lilyana’s participation in these exhibitions set the foundations of a new cycle of paintings tracing the development of the human being, our development and spiritual realization.
A selection of Lilyna Petrova’s work can be seen at the following web addresses:
https://www.facebook.com/Lilyana Petrova lulu