Empowering Creative Professionals and Building Bridges for Success
Maria Pokrovskaya, an architect turned artist, has built a remarkable career while also nurturing the dreams of creative professionals worldwide. Residing in Oregon, she is dedicated to empowering the local economy by attracting global talent and creating pathways to success. Maria’s story is one of resilience, purpose, and an unwavering commitment to her craft.
From her captivating paintings, one can witness the seamless blend of reality and possibility. Each artwork draws viewers in, evoking deep emotions and transporting them to new realms. Maria’s journey offers a glimpse into what lies ahead, inspiring all who encounter her work.
Her path to success was far from easy. Orphaned at just 11 years old, Maria relied on her creative skills to support herself by the age of 14. Determined to attend university, she overcame the obstacles of loneliness and self-funding her education. Undeterred, she presented her case to the minister of education in Russia, showcasing her outstanding achievements and her ability to triumph over adversity—an elevator pitch that changed her life. Because of her exceptional potential, she was awarded a full scholarship to one of Eastern Europe’s finest architectural schools.
Driven by a desire to open doors for aspiring artists, Maria co-founded Artclever Corp. in 2017 with her husband, Danil Voeonin. This EdTech business quickly grew to serve a thriving international community of over 100,000 creative professionals. Artclever’s expansion in the United States began with Maria’s victorious pitch in a global competition held in Silicon Valley in 2019. Artclever was selected from a pool of 200 applicants for the prestigious 500 Global Accelerator program, providing invaluable experiences and enabling them to overcome challenges in 2022.
Looking ahead, Maria continues to create new opportunities on a grand scale. As a female founder, she has been chosen as a featured speaker at a stadium event in Florida, amplifying her voice and inspiring others.
Education forms the bedrock of every successful career. To this end, Artclever has developed a range of specialized programs and classes, empowering individuals from 23 countries who dream of thriving in creative industries. By connecting them directly with top experts and providing free classes and grants, Artclever champions accessibility and inclusivity within the creative community.
Maria’s next endeavor involves expanding her training programs in Oregon. Through collaborations with organizations such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), she seeks to create a sustainable network of support for immigrants, aspiring professionals, and the local creative community. Her vision, mission, and values continue to evolve as her programs expand, aligning with her organizational goals.
Maria’s business acumen stems from personal experience, tireless research, and networking. She believes in sharing her wealth of information through mentoring and training programs, enabling creative individuals to become successful entrepreneurs and professionals.
Despite facing challenges, Maria’s impact extends beyond borders. She generously shares her knowledge through a YouTube channel, aiding individuals from Eastern Europe affected by war in finding remote jobs or relocating to the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. Her efforts have already supported over 200 people in pursuing scholarships, internships, and employment opportunities.
Maria’s momentum shows as she searches for more grants, sponsorships, and endowments that will create more venues for talented individuals to thrive and grow in Oregon, the place she cherishes. With her unwavering dedication, she envisions making Portland a city renowned for its exceptional talent and global influence once again.
As a client of the Clackamas SBDC since early 2023, Maria has received assistance to help her keep pace with her goals. Artclever was selected to participate in a class developed to address steps for business resiliency and profitability taught by Diana Tourney, full-time faculty at the Clackamas Community College SBDC. The class helps business owners explore their mission, vision, and values, linking them with resources to empower the business owner.
Working with Maria has been a privilege for Ms. Tourney. Maria is an expert at overcoming hurdles. Resources have been identified for more funding in the course of the SBDC classes and no-cost advising sessions. The partnership with Lake Oswego’s Business Recovery Center (BRC) has also proved to be very helpful. Working with Shatrine Krake, director of the Lake Oswego BRC, Maria is collaborating on scalable ideas for Artclever.
Maria’s story serves as a testament to the power of resilience, passion, and a commitment to empowering others. As she continues to inspire and uplift creative professionals, her impact will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the artistic landscape.
Written By: Diana Tourney
Subscribe for more Oregon SBDC Small Business Tips
Subscribing gives Oregon SBDC permission to send you emails with news and Small Business Tips. You may unsubscribe at any time.