1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hey Hey! I’m Lana. I am an animator and illustrator working at Animade (animade.tv) in London, UK. I’m originally from Estonia and I’m half Russian.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I love colour. The more contrast the better. I try make my characters quirky, recognisable and appealing without adding too much detail and lean toward bolder shapes and movement. Squash and stretch for life.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Digital hands down. It’s just so versatile. At Animade most of the process of our work is digitised except maybe initial storyboarding or concepting. Creating art be it for animation or just an illustration digitally gives me space to make mistakes. I do enjoy the occasional spout of gouache painting.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I spend a lot of time looking at other peoples artwork, partially in awe and part trying to make sure I don’t lean towards something that has been done before. I start off with a vague idea and try to see what kind of character would suit the subject matter and situation. I lasso shapes around in photoshop until it starts looking aesthetically pleasing and more importantly animatable and go from there into Photoshop frame by frame animation and do final touches and comping in After effects.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Working with the guys and gals at the studio, we always inspire each other to do better, bolder work. Bouncing ideas off of each other is something we do all the time and it’s so helpful when you’re stuck or not sure how to proceed be it narrative vise or when it comes to tech stuff. It makes the work that much stronger too, we always seem to teach each other new tricks. There’s a good presence of female motion designers online today which I haven’t had when I was just starting out in the animation industry, so seeing what kind of amazing work comes out from them inspires me immensely.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I worked for this interior designer woman painting, sanding, sowing, gluing various furniture bits as a summer job during school holidays for a bit. She also had a still life drawing class going on the side that I joined and that kind of sparked my interest in art and the way creating art tickles your brain. I’ve always been the quiet child and a keen observer so any encounter or funny/interesting situation goes into the animation reference bank in the back of my mind all the time. Observing people, their quirks and habits in hopes of trying to retell and show what you’ve seen through animation is really fun.
7. Where did you study?
I did a BA in Animation at Middlesex University. A course which is lead by Jonathan Hodgson.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Definitely see myself as a better animator and a person all round. Probably moving on from the Animade family to do my own thing. I really love living in London but I’d love to try working in other creatively rich cities and agencies and maybe travel a bit more that way.
9. What about in ten?
I see myself freelancing from a remote cottage somewhere in Northern Finland. Maybe do a masters in something like fine art or go into ping pong professionally.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I just want to explore the human condition and try to show the fun and not so fun parts of human life in animated form I guess.I feel like that is something I can keep exploring for as long as I can hold a pencil.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
There’s a Ukrainian dish my mum always makes me when I visit home. It’s called golubtsi, which is basically mince and rice cabbage rolls. Amazing comfort food. And I also love katsu curry.
12. Favourite book?
We had an extensive Stephen King book collection at home so I’m kind of a big fan of his. Pet Sematary is probably my pick for the favourite because I definitely read it too young.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Hiatus Kaiyote and BadBadNotGood are one of my favourite bands at the moment so Id say something along the lines of indie, experimental jazz, soul mix.
14. What are your hobbies?
Video games and casual mini-golfing.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I was really into geology in high school so would have probably be some kind of weather or environmental specialist.