Instagram: @pelsher

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Привет! My name is Daria Pelsher and I design characters and animate them using various programs. 

I was raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Currently I live and work in Montreal, Canada.  

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I wouldn’t say I have developed my own aesthetic yet. Once I start my new personal project I want to experiment and bring something new to my characters or try out some new ways to animate them. 

But i guess they have something in common. I love them to be simple but expressive and to achieve this I use different methods in digital drawing. I may combine cleanly drawn shapes with messy charcoal brush and on the next project I may go further in digital painting, rendering volumes but giving a bold texture touch. 

I think if a person who has never seen my art before looks through my work they can think these illustrations have been drawn by different people. 

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

It’s definitely CG (computer graphics). After years of working on a computer I can’t go back to drawing on paper or other “real” medium. I am too used to have the “undo” option. And working in a whole bunch of programs on a single project is super fun. 

I have gone through all these traditional disciplines like still-life, figure, environment drawing and painting when I was an art school student. And of course I would never be where I am now without this background experience. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

An idea for a personal project can come from nowhere, sometimes even from occasional doodling while calling a friend. Also I spend a lot of time learning new techniques and a new project may be a great opportunity to try out a new trick in After Effects. 

Normally I go through a bunch of programs while working on a single project. People often ask me what software I used for this or that step of my process, so here is my working pipeline breakdown. I draw sketches and finalise illustrations in Procreate (iPad App) or Photoshop (it’s super rare if I doodle on paper, but sometimes it happens). If I need to create simpler or minimalistic design with perfect edges and vector-looking lines I go to Illustrator or I work directly in After Effects using shape layers. The miracle of animation happens in Ae. Sometimes I need to work in 3D software to create some references for my final 2D animations or animate details. I use mostly Cinema 4D but I am planning to switch to Blender. If I need to do frame-by-frame animation I work in AnimateRough Animator (iPad App) or Photoshop. By the way iPad became a pretty important tool in my work. For any simple video editing I use Adobe Premiere

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I get inspired by talented people and their art, by their creativity and motivation. When I see the work of Giant AntBuckAnimade and other amazing studios of the highest league, it gives me a boost of inspiration and the urge to create. 

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I can’t express how happy I am that drawing and animating quirky cartoony characters is what I do for a living. 

I respect all professions of the world but I feel so grateful that my family always supported me and encouraged all my passions since I was a kid and never wanted me to change my mind. Art was a part of my world all my life and it never ceases to bring me joy. It makes me see the world with happy eyes. 

7. Where did you study?

First time I was introduced to art at B. M. Kustodiev St.Petersburg children’s art school, where I had been studied classical art disciplines for 7 years while studying in a regular middle school.

After high school I studied graphic design at Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University.

After I graduated and entered the real world, I realised that graphic design wasn’t really my thing and I wanted to draw, but what to draw, how and why remained unclear.

I started to dream about being somehow related to the world of animation, but it seemed so impossible, especially since I had never really studied animation seriously or had any professional experience at all.

I began seeking 2D artist / illustrator opportunities and the only field posting this kind of job was game development. It took 4 months of work in a gaming studio to make it clear that games aren’t where I belong either.  

At the time my boyfriend got a job offer in Montréal and we moved. This period of major changes coincided with frustration with professional life and finding personal fulfilment. By chance a friend who was coincidentally a great comic book artist Pavel Balabanov asked me to help out with his project — he was about to release a new issue of his comic book and wanted me to make a promo video with his art being animated. That is how I found out that animation is what I actually want to do. After some learning I became a freelance animator. 

Currently I work at a Montreal studio called Ottoblix with a team of passionate talents who love everything about motion picture and animation. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to keep learning. One of my highest interests is stop motion. So far I have done just a little test with puppets my buddy Kamil Chajder designed. Also I want to learn 3d, improve my skills in illustration and animation. Would be great if I get an internship in one of the studios I admire… Anyway it’s never late to learn! In five years I’d love to be much more skilled than I am now. 

9. What about in ten?

I never plan too far ahead. Maybe I will make educational content, which would make my work more meaningful. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I wouldn’t say I have any specific goals i want to reach. I just want to enjoy my work and become a better version of myself as a professional. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

I love raw fish. Love sushi and tartare. And everything sweet or extremely salty. And i can’t handle any spicy food. 

12. Favourite book?

“Kolobok”. A folk russian fairytale full of drama and narrative. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I’m a fan of Balkan music. The last music show I saw was Goran Bregović’s “Three letters from Sarajevo.” 

14. What are your hobbies? 

I love taking care of plants. I have like 40 or 50 succulents. Spring is my favourite time of the year because the plants pass their dormant state and start to grow actively. So this is that time of the year when I repot them, propagate, fertilise and etc. This is a meditative process and it’s very different from my regular activity. 

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I think I would be a gardener. Or a programmer.

Curated by @saturn_png, Ballpitmag curator for Creil, France.