1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hey, I am Nadia Bey, a VR artist, also working with 3D graphics. I come from Tyumen, a city in Western Siberia in Russia, currently live in Saint-Petersburg. I am keen on CG of all kinds and I know this is the love of my life.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
A big influence on my aesthetic was made by Northern culture and design. This includes Scandinavian traditions, the nature of Russian North and Siberia and basically all those cold, lonely and abandoned places in the world. I like to include details that bring some mild tragic or mysterious notes to the work. No intention to make it depressive, though. There is always a ray of light and hope somewhere.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I work mostly with VR painting and sculpting tools (Tilt Brush, Masterpiece VR) because they reveal a whole new philosophy of art and how it can affect people. The classic way of painting and drawing gives us only framed ‘windows’ while VR provides a full immersion into a scene and the mind of an artist.
Digital painting is another thing I enjoy but it upsets me that many artists spend their skills on drawing senseless uniform fantasy arts (like in casual games, for example) instead of taking a deeper look on controversial states of human soul and nature.
4. What is your artistic process like?
Most of my artworks are extemporaneous — I don’t like making tons of sketches for preparation, especially since VR is 3-dimensional and flat sketches just don`t help much with constructing the space. However, I use a lot of color references, like schemes, palettes and paintings which have a similar atmosphere to what I want to express.
When I’m inside the virtual reality, I take out all my refs, put them somewhere next to me and just start moving my hand with the brush and color I need. Making the first smear excites me every time. I draw object by object, group elements and put them on their places, which is very convenient and easy, this process is a lot like playing with lego.
When the work is finished I use interior instruments of software to take pictures and videos of it. It is also possible to take a 3d model and edit it on the computer but I am still learning how to work in such a way.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature, techlologies and my favourite artists. They have the power to trigger something inside and become a key to a new great idea. Though, I guess almost all artists now build their worlds from thousands of pieces they see in artworks of others.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is a way of giving my thoughts and ideas a visual form. And, what’s important, it helps me to save my mind from stagnation and becoming too conservative.
7. Where did you study?
I studied Computer Graphics and Design at ITMO University (Saint-Petersburg). Also, in my last year, I spent a semester as an exchange student at Tomas Bata University in Zlin (Czech Republic). University gave me a lot of new friends and useful experience, however, now I believe, in the sphere of CG, self-education is incomparably more important and, in the end, this is what defines how good a person is at the profession.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Well, I am definitely not a person who likes predictions and planning for such a long period – life usually turns out to be completely different and more exciting than we could think of it. But I would like to move towards working in a studio that produces visual experiences or any other sort of CG content.
9. What about in ten?
Being an art director in that studio, hopefully.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
In a sense of personal achievements, I want my art to be a way for me to get to new places and meet new people. In case we talk about social achievements, it would be great if my paintings changed at least one life or one mind in any positive sense.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I like baking and the best thing is Scandinavian cinnamon/almond rolls. They can be found in Finland and Sweden but no other place in the world offers these rolls with the original recipe, so I had to learn it and sometimes I make them by myself.
12. Favourite book?
‘The Twelve Chairs” by I. Ilf and E. Petrov., ‘The Slynx’ by T. Tolstaya, ‘The Master and Margarita’ by M. Bulgakov — I love books with a unique idea or a witty satire. And I do enjoy non-fiction literature about psychology, linguistics and theory of art.
13. Favourite genre of music?
There is no particular one, maybe I could say indie pop/rock but basically, it can be everything except for rap and heavy metal. My favorite bands are Muse, The Neighbourhood, Hurts, Imagine Dragons, Empire of the Sun, The XX.
14. What are your hobbies?
My main hobby is trying something new:) New places to travel, new food to taste, new experiences, skills and people. But don`t think I`m fickle, no! I strongly keep what I love and have, like my friends, family and job, but I am very open-minded and always ready for adventures.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A designer of some kind. Does it count as not being an artist?