Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?
I’ve wanted to become an illustrator ever since I was a child. One of my earliest memories was dreaming about illustrating children books. I graduated as an architect, and later returned to the idea of being a children’s book illustrator after the birth of my daughter. So, she inspired me I guess.
Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?
I studied at the Children’s School of Art when I was younger. When I decided to become a children’s book illustrator, I found a great online course and completed it.
Where do you currently live and where did you grow up?
I grew up in Crimea. Now I live in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Describe your working technique and how you came to perfect it.
I like to work with acrylic paint, watercolor pencils and crayons.
I worked digitally for a long time when I illustrated magazines. Then I started to work with traditional mediums a few years ago, so I’m still in the process of developing my own style.
Do you keep a sketch book?
Not in the best way 🙂 I’ve got plenty of them, but they all tend to be unfinished, messy and inconsistent. Usually I use it to sketch characters for the books and to write down ideas.
Tell us about the creation of your favourite character from one of your books.
Well, I think I love every character I’m working on at the moment. So, I’m currently in love with the Mouse from the picture book I’m working on. And a wolf. And rabbits. And a fox, of course 🙂
How many times do you tend to draw a character until you are happy with it?
Oh, sometimes it happens on the first attempt. But often it takes me two or three times until I’m happy.
What do you hope children take away from your drawings?
I really hope they love my characters. I love to add humor in my illustrations and hope that children find them funny.
What is your favourite children’s book and why?
I have several favourite books. But the latest is Ernest and Célestine by Gabrielle Vincent. I love the characters, their dialogues and beautiful illustrations.
Which 4 words would you use to describe your illustration portfolio?
Ironic, cute, fun, curly.
Outline your dream project.
My own picture book (where I’m both author and illustrator).
Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?
I don’t have a favourite soundtrack, but I watch Harry Potter while I work. Always.
What makes a good children’s book?
I think a good story in the first place. And touching illustrations.
How important is it for you to be part of a creative community of people?
It’s very important for me. Being a children’s book can be a lonely job as I spend a lot of time on my own. So, for me it’s really great and inspiring to be part of a creative community where I get the chance to chat with like-minded people.