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Interview with Varya Kolesnikova

Hello everyone! Starting today, every week we’ll be doing the new format, “Interview”, on our GeekArts channel. Interview with Varya Kolesnikova

Hello everyone! Starting today, every week we’ll be doing the new format, “Interview”, on our GeekArts channel.

In this column, we’ll introduce you to modern painters, designers, illustrators – to all those people changing and setting the art trends now.And today I want to introduce you to Varya Kolesnikova and her heart’s motives.

- Hello Varya, I’m very happy to speak to you. So, I think we’ll start with the simpliest question: how long have you been holding a paint-brush in your hands?

Hello, GeekArts, thanks for inviting me. I’ve been holding a brush (actually a stylus, not a brush) for about 5-6 years already, I suppose.

- So you’ve always been painting on the virtual canvas?

Yes, I started to draw on the computer, and still continue that and only that. Devices are as always – small Bamboo tablet, which is very old too. I’m very lazy in terms of electronics – it’s hard for me to get used to new gadgets.

- А в какой программе предпочитаешь работать?

I like Corel Painter. Through I’m not one of those people who have complexes about computer graphics, pictures in Сorel Painter turn out to be lively and warm (at least my works are like that).

- What do you use besides the main software? For example, to determine the necessary palette, to search for a new color? Or everything is just up to your senses?

Additionally to Сorel Painter, I use Photoshop. Often for very pragmatic tasks – when I see that the composition has drooped, or I’ve drawn the main character and nothing else could fit into the picture anymore. I always draw perspective “as it seems to me”, I’m not building it, and I like to do it very much! Of course, senses often fail me during work, so the final stage is always in Photoshop: I reduce or increase the contrasts, brighten or shadow. And I’m very happy when nothing needs to be done at Photoshop, and the picture ends the process as it is.

- OK, now let’s talk about the style in which you like to draw. What motives do you like?

I like drawing something cartoonish or near that. Sad, kind, funny, thoughtful – this is all mine. I’m feeling awkward if I need to draw something more aggressive, it turns out cute, no matter how I try. I like to draw animals, especially dogs, maybe because all dogs are cool.

- I’ve noticed a subtle theme of St. Petersburg in your works. I’m also from this city, and your works awaken the warm and romantic nostalgia.

I’ve moved to Petersburg a few years after I’ve graduated from the university. For quite a long time I couldn’t get myself to draw something on this city’s theme, though I like it very much. There’s so much Petersburg-themed drawings, that I’ve felt that I’m not ready to jump in. But gradually the city has got into my pictures somehow. I haven’t drawn any specific place, only the atmosphere. Despite that, people easily see that this is Petersburg. This city is very self-willed.

- Do you draw just for yourself, or is this your job?

This is my job, I’m a professional illustrator.

- What are the three most interesting projects or teams that you have worked with?

All my projects are interesting, if they’re not, I just don’t do them. What good can you get if you’re bored with your job?

One of the recent projects – the book about Oswald the Opossum. Firstly, I have never drawn, and even never seen an opossum. Secondly, it had to be a book with black-and-white illustrations, this was very inspiring. Old monochrome movies started appearing before my eyes, I wanted to put life in Oswald, like a small cartoon from my childhood. And thirdly, the book was in English, so I had and opportunity to find out how bad my English is. It’s very bad)).

https://www.behance.net/gallery/30384551/Oswald

https://www.amazon.com/Oswald-Almost-Famous-Opossum-Katherine/dp/099357470X?ie=UTF8&keywords=oswald%2C%20the%20almost%20famous%20opossum&qid=1463242337&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

There were the pictures for the diplomas of “Angel of inspiration” contest for “Razvitum” project in Petersburg. We started this project in 2013,and we’re doing 4 diplomas every year or every 6 months. I like to review those works, this way I can see where my art is moving. They all have the same theme, and the theme of Petersburg in them is growing more and more. Faces are showing more emotions. It will be great if this will continue like that.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/34448475/Muse-3

- What internet sources do you use to publish and promote your works?

Behance, illustrator.ru, instagram,where I publish the works in process (along with photos of my dog:), facebook, and VK, of course.

https://www.behance.net/paskamarja

http://illustrators.ru/users/paskamarja

https://new.vk.com/varyakolesnikova

https://www.facebook.com/paskamarja

- Where can we find your works, apart from internet galleries?

Recently postcards with my pictures were made at Cardspoint shop.

http://cardspoint.ru/ru/vkolesnikova

- What modern Russian painters, illustrators and designers do you like?

Andrey Gordeev, Phil Dunskiy, Polina Yakovleva. We have many cool illustrators.

- What about foreign masters, who’s inspiring you?

Rebecca Dautremer is my idol.

Shaun Tan - very mood-driven cartoonist.

- How do you expand your knowledge?

For me, there have always been only one way of getting new knowledge – experimentally. It turned out to be the ideal way. I just try to draw. If this looks good – then it works. If no – I’ve messed up and have to redo this.

- What have you learned in the last 6 months?

That I won’t believe that I can do something. By the way, I was very happy that I’ve learned something in my first year of drawing. Like – «Wow, I managed to draw this shadow on the face», or – «Wow, I understand how a dog's nose is organized now», or – «I managed to convey this emotion, hurray!»

Now, the more I learn – the more feeling that I don’t know anything I get.

- Don’t worry, I think any constantly evolving person gets this feeling. What can you advise for young and beginning illustrators?

To believe your feelings: if you don’t like to draw something – just drop it and start from the beginning. And don’t finish the work until you get to like it. I’ve always thought that only the author could know, how his works should look, so you could believe only yourself. That’s why I’m not a fan of advises, and don’t like to give advises myself.

Varya, thank you very much for this conversation. It was very interesting.

Dear subscribers, I can’t leave you today without the most important thing – without the Beauty that Varya creates, so, today’s evening will be all about her works.

By numerous demands, we’re launching this channel on other platforms and social networks.

You can find Russian version of the interview here:

Telegram - https://telegram.me/dotblog

VK – https://vk.com/geekartsvk

Spark – https://spark.ru/startup/geekarts

and the English one is here:

Telegram - https://telegram.me/GeekArts

VK – https://vk.com/geekartsvk

Spark – https://spark.ru/startup/geekarts

Special thanks to Artyom Kostyashin (http://vk.com/artego32), who've prepared the English version of this issue.

I hope you liked it;)

Stay with us, give your likes, share the posts. See you.

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