1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Roman Dementev. I’m 31 years old. I currently live in a mountain village near the Black Sea, Russia. But I was born in the city with the biggest car factory in Russia. Most of the inhabitants of the city were workers from this factory. It was pretty dull city really. Who knows, maybe my way as an illustrator was begun because of a very poor visual environment which I tried to compensate inside my head.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
This is a difficult question. Especially now. The thing is I don’t stick with one distinctive style at the moment. I know it’s bad. Everybody loves artists because of their unique style or distinctive technique. But for some unknown and weird reason, I subconsciously resist the very idea of one style illustrating. Maybe, I simply didn’t find my own style yet.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I am a digital artist. So yes, Photoshop and Illustrator are my best friends. But for sketching, I prefer color pencils or, if I in some kind of rush, I choose the good old mechanical pencil with a built-in eraser.
4. What is your artistic process like?
There are two options mostly. The first one is an instant revelation that comes to me quite often. It means that right after I got the task from my client (or myself) I already know what it would be, how will it look like in detail and all that I need to do is to translate this concept onto paper or screen. The second option is the bad scenario. It goes along with tonnes of spoiled paper sheets and days of disturbing searchings. I hate when it happens really.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Mostly I’m inspired by my contemporaries. And not only by artists and illustrators but also by film directors, dancers, cartoonist, graphic designers… it is the very long list really. Simply put, I’m trying to keep my eyes wide open for all the inspiring beauty that surrounds us constantly.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Well, it plays a pretty huge role. First of all, I make a living for myself creating illustrations. But of course, it’s not why I’m doing it. I think the art for me is the way to communicate with others. It gives me a purpose to learn and grow. And I hope one day in the future it will give me the answer to the main question – who am I?
7. Where did you study?
I studied Graphic Design at Volga Region State University Of Service.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
The main question is what the person I’ll become in five years from now. I hope I’ll become a better version of myself. I know it sounds so cliché, but I really think that way. I don’t want to change myself radically. I totally satisfied with all basic characteristic of my personality. All I want is to improve my skills to a large degree. And I’m doing it now, step by step I’m getting better and better every single day.
9. What about in ten?
I want to be a world-class professional by this time. With some kind of fame in professional circles. But you never know how it would be, don’t you?
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I want to give people new worlds with my art. Maybe it sounds extremely flashy but it’s true. There are so many multiple layers you know. First, you wanted to create the art for yourself. Then, when you realized that you needed people’s approval, you wanted to do it for the public. After that, you noticed that your art lost its individuality and you wanted to do it for yourself again. This can be repeated again and again.
But after all, I have realized that I want to create my art for all the people including myself… not for the particular public. It sounds pretty stupid when you say it but it took me years to understand that.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Pasta and wine.
12. Favourite book?
I have read a lot of books and I could say that War and Peace by Tolstoy is one of the best.
13. Favourite genre of music?
It’s constantly changing. Now it is 80’s synth wave. But I like all the music from classic to glam-rock.
14. What are your hobbies?
I like to play guitar and harmonica and to sing along. Also, I like retro game consoles. Sometimes I write poetry and short stories.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A writer. Definitely.