The Story Of Moja SOba

The story behind my art gallery is not your typical business chronicle because it’s also my life story. My name is Hana Juric, and I am a Croatian visual artist. I grew up in Belisce, a small town in the region of Slavonija, where there’s not much happening culturally.

Still, the beautiful nature, many rivers, and forests make up for it. I started creating art in high school, where I studied to become a sculpture designer. I continued my art education in Osijek, and in 2014 I completed my Master’s degree in Education in Fine Arts.

Wall Art in Art Gallery Moja Soba by Hana Juric
Art Gallery Moja Soba, Wall Art

The education part of my degree title was of no interest to me, so instead of teaching, I moved across the world to Canada and started working night shifts at a bakery. It’s a funny story that didn’t last for too long, but I continued to find different day jobs over the years and travel the world in search of inspiration. Doing so, I never quit creating art. It was not an easy existence but crucial in following my path as an artist.

I have seen so many independent art galleries and artists’ run centers, which I couldn’t find back home in Croatia. It was a bittersweet experience, inspiring but at the same time frustrating. It made me painfully aware of the shortcomings of the Croatian cultural landscape. 

Art Prints for sale in Art Gallery Moja Soba by Hana Juric
Art Gallery Moja Soba, Art Prints

I lived in Lisbon, Portugal, with my long-term partner when she got a great job opportunity that involved moving back to Croatia. We moved to Zadar, on the Adriatic Sea, and I won’t lie – it was a struggle for me. Again, beautiful nature, but not much happening culturally. It wasn’t easy, but I continued to create art. Time passed by, and I quit looking outside for inspiration.

B2 Art Print "Esc No 3" by Hana Juric
Esc No. 3, B2 Art Print

In 2019, we moved to Austria for a while. We were living in Graz, and there was a beautiful gallery walk right under our apartment. Small spaces, designer shops, and completely different, exciting art styles. It was a wake-up call for me, and I realized I needed to become much more proactive in my environment.

Textile Design "Inertia" by Hana Juric
Inertia, Textile Design

The summer of 2019 was a time for action. I made a decision – instead of waiting for somebody else to do it, I was going to start my own art gallery! It was not just an art gallery in my mind – it was everything I was not getting from the city I was living in.

I managed to write a business plan that got me a nice grant for small businesses. The funding was sufficient to get me through the whole year. While the amount of Croatian paperwork was unbelievable, I was happy to find a tiny gallery space in the center of Zadar. With a little help from my friends, we made it work.

Interior in Art Gallery Moja Soba by Hana Juric
Art Gallery Moja Soba, Interior

Moja Soba is a commercial art gallery and a concept store. The focus is on developing artist products and creating artists-designer collaborations. I’m representing my own work but also featuring some amazing local artists as well. I would also like to inspire and educate other local artists to start their businesses.

Zadar is perfect for this type of venue – it’s a tourist city, and it’s hungry for some contemporary art! I am producing everything locally, and that is one of the backbone ideas of my business. It is a slow-paced production – and quality is always above quantity.

Artists Book "Inertia" by Hana Juric
Inertia, Artists Book

Unfortunately, the gallery’s physical place is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 situation, but there is a very cool online shop where you can find my art prints.

Hope to see you soon!

Visual Artist Hana Juric
Hana Juric