Instagram: @sofinaydenova
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1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from Russia. Through my life, I lived in Europe with my family and I was always a strange, creative kiddo. I spent my time drawing, making things out of clay, playing. My mom is a super creative woman and she encouraged me all the time. I was really bad at school, the system was killing me and I’m still proud that I survived 😀 When I was a teen, I thought I will be a fiction book writer, always being in my own world, imagining different realities and expressing myself with words. Well, my dream came true in a way, I would say.

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2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My work is colorful and funny. My characters vary, but they all are funny. I see the true beauty in these characters. They are not perfect, the skin color and facial details are strange, they are awkward sometimes but this is the beauty. Maybe I represent myself and the feeling of not fitting in the society, system, rules. But when you understand that you are different, unique and bit awkward then you become an individual. My characters carry this message inside:) I also like dots and lines. I try not to focus on one color palette, but lately, I did my work in bright pink with turquoise. Now I try to go away from these colors because I don’t want to focus on one or 2 color palettes. This is the great thing about digital art – you can pick any color you’d like and experiment with it not worrying you need to buy more and more paint. Secondly, i don’t want to be known for using a specific color palette. I want to be recognized for my flexibility, wonkiness, and humor of my art.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I prefer to work digitally. In the past, I couldn’t resist digital mediums because there is no connection to texture and you don’t feel your pencil scribbling. But now I even like that artificial characteristic. The digital world is more flexible, it gives more opportunity to experiment, try new digital brushes, you can make them easily in 5 minutes, but when you want to have brushes to paint on a real cotton canvas you need to buy paint and oil and chemicals and brushes. This all comes from factories + real brushes are made from plastic or animal fur and I don’t like both. When you wash your palette, The paint goes into the sink. This is not the worst thing what is getting into the environment, but it has still in impact. I try to consume less plastic and products in general and 2 things which were easy to quit were makeup and painting/drawing material. I still draw in my sketchbook and paint sometimes! But I only do this once/twice a month when I’m in need in texture. I also like clay, making sculptures, but now I don’t have access to a clay studio. Lately, I’m thinking to do some linocuts.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I draw a sketch first and write down ideas, define the approximate deadline, even if it’s a personal project. Then I go to Pinterest and look for inspiration, references. Sometimes I spend some hours on Pantone website looking for colors I like. Then, I start to draw the piece. While doing my illustration work I usually listen to music or audiobooks.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Mostly abstract things. Feelings inspire me a lot. At example, if I would draw a sleeping person I would think of the feeling of being in a warm, cozy bed thinking about tomorrows adventures. I take a lot of energy from my feelings about my childhood. I was a very happy kid. Also when I see one color or a color palette that I like I can get easily inspired.

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

Well, definitely a big role. I guess being an artist gives me many advantages in life. In everyday life, I think creatively. I don’t pay attention to society much. I’m living in my own world. I guess art gives me a happier life.

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7. Where did you study?

KABK (Royal Academy of Art) and University of Pécs.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I will be still an artist – that’s for sure. I hope I will work with magazines I really admire, maybe illustrate some books, make some products, inspire from beautiful images and colors. I want to be full of illustration work 🙂 But I don’t know where I will be or what I will do in particular. Things change all the time and there are so many things you cannot predict.

9. What about in ten?

I have no answer! But I’m very excited how it will be.

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

I never asked myself this question. Art is the way I express myself, it makes me happy, so I do it mostly because of myself 🙂 I want to live in the world which is full of color and make people inspired.

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

Sandwiches with vegan feta cheese; pasta with tomatoes and olives. I like very simple food. If talking about street food I like falafel.

12. Favourite book?

I like all books from Jonathan Safran Foer, Rudyard Kipling, Tove Jannson, Franz Kafka, Ray Bradbury, Herbert Wells – the list of my favorite books is huge! And I use to say who my favorite writer is, not book 🙂

13. Favourite genre of music?

Music from Ghibli movies – I can listen to it over and over. I love it and I always will. Sometimes I listen to ambient or ethnical music.

14. What are your hobbies?

Apart from visual arts, my biggest hobby is definitely reading. Also, I like to play computer games, hiking, walking in nature, playing with my cat.

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

Conservation biologist, ecologist, vegan/animal rights activist. I still want to get involved into it somehow. Right now I’m doing a blog of easy vegan food so people could understand that it is not that hard to be a vegan and do a good impact on our planet. I don’t know if my blog helps, but I will work on this topic more and more in the future, I think.

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