Duration: Three years.
Location: Moscow, Russia.
Education: Graphics and illustration at Moscow State University of Printing Arts, Moscow, Russia.
Career path: It started the moment I had the possibility of studying illustration and book design. It felt like I was blind before, and I finally saw the most obvious thing I could do. When I understood how comfortable I felt with the idea of becoming an illustrator, it became my greatest ambition.
Artistic influences: Everything I observe also helps me understand what I should create. The loudest voices are symbolism, the Golden Age illustrators, painter Gustav Klimt, traditional Japanese patterns, oriental art, British literature and theatre, modern Taiwanese book designs, and French movies directed by Philippe Garrel, Louis Garrel, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Christophe Honoré. Those things always make me forget about my own existence.
Favorite project: Illustrating Jane Austen’s Novel Mansfield Park for the Folio Society, which came about after I won the Book Illustration Competition in 2017. I still can’t believe how I was given the opportunity to fit so many things that I adore into one project, especially when I had thought so little of my pieces before. I was the first student and the first female winner of this competition, which gives me even more reasons to be proud of my work.
Work environment: I work in the apartment that I’m currently renting. I enjoy the space and light in it. Most of the time, I draw on my computer, sitting on the chair my father made, surrounded by plants, my favorite books and a mood board of different objects. My process of creating illustrations naturally separates into two stages based on the time of day. My brainstorming always happens in the morning, with green tea and loud music; for details later into the evenings, I develop them with black tea and an audiobook playing in the background.
Approach: My artwork reminds people of traditional paintings; I believe they enjoy the feeling of craft my work evokes. Even though I’ve been only working in digital art lately, I’m quite glad to hear such feedback. It proves that art doesn’t depend on what tools you use, but rather on the feeling you give.
Aspiration: To keep drawing and, one day, to be able to say that I make my living solely from drawing illustrations.
Philosophy: When I’m working on an illustration, my mind is completely silent. When I try to think during he process, the drawing never comes out as good as I want it to. For me, it’s all about the feeling. Sometimes I am so exhausted after drawing that I just need to dance it off like crazy.