Duration: Six years.
Location: Bologna, Italy.
Education: BFA in painting and MFA in murals from the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, Moscow, Russia; MFA in printmaking from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Career path: From sketches to paintings to paper sculptures, I’m still trying to find out what I like creating, which is why I’m super lucky to have worked for clients such as Airbnb, Google, Penguin, Starbucks and Tate Modern along the way.
Artistic influences: My childhood was divided into the period before and after I discovered Botticelli, my adolescence was divided into before and after Matisse, and my thirties are definitely divided into before and after Saul Steinberg.
Favorite projects: At the beginning of the lockdown, I started the Cinema Drawing challenge to cheer up artists worldwide. The idea was to watch one director’s movies for a week, interpret any scene of the film in a drawing and ask social media followers to guess what film it was. The challenge became increasingly popular, and I was more than happy to see tons of great work from all around the world. All of the illustrations I made for this challenge were completed in a couple of hours or less, which is very unusual for me. But the best part was that a lot of artists thanked me for the chance to discover great movies and other talented artists who were involved in the project.
Approach: I have always struggled with being loose enough in my drawings, so therefore, my main goal in my approach has been to liberate myself. Surprisingly, the main thing people point out in my work is its looseness, which I am still trying to embrace.
Aspirations: In my dreams, I like to visit an old abandoned library in the forest, full of strange but mesmerizing illustrated books. I often take some of them with me in hopes they won’t disappear when I wake up, but they always do. The only way I can add these amazing books to my bookshelf is to draw them myself. Maybe in the next ten years, I’ll manage to fill at least one shelf of my dream library.
Philosophy: When I was in art school, I had extremely strict teachers. If you’ve seen the film Whiplash, that was my childhood growing up. I was terrified of making mistakes or breaking the rules.
Everything I do now is the opposite. My philosophy is to follow my gut and not be afraid of making mistakes, regardless of what my clients or followers may say. It’s tough, but I work on it with every small step I take. I even force myself to make mistakes! Now I’m sure it’s the only way to learn something new.
Anything else? If you love films and drawing, you are welcome to join my Film Sketch club! Every first Tuesday of the month, we choose a film director on my Instagram, and then we have two weeks to watch, enjoy and draw great movies.