Instagram: @wildanya

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

I’m an illustrator based in Chelyabinsk, Russia. I started as a graphic designer and even worked as an in-house designer at a very small local business, but that only lasted for a month and ultimately made me realise that I’d be happier going freelance which is what I’ve been doing ever since.

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I like to say that my illustrations are full of quirky, curious and bold characters surrounded by bright colors.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I love drawing with Procreate and iPad, it has really transformed my work and gave me confidence to experiment and have fun. I also mostly use it for my personal work at the moment, so I associate it with those good feelings that come with creating something for yourself.

4. What is your artistic process like?

It’s pretty straightforward when I’m working on client projects. I usually know what I need to do, so I sketch until client approves and then I get to work in Illustrator or Photoshop. I get a lot of satisfaction from these projects, because there is an actual end to it. When it comes to personal work, I feel like I could work on my illustrations forever. It’s also very rare that I have a solid idea in my head when I start sketching, it really shapes itself once I put that pencil to work. Sometimes I let the rough sketch sit for a couple of days until I know what to do with it, but more often than not I finish my pieces in one afternoon and move on.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I draw my inspiration from the smallest things that happen every day. A lot of times I will go for a walk or try a new coffee place and it sparks that idea that I’d been waiting for. I love thinking of a feeling or an emotion or an attitude and let that inspire me. I’ve also recently discovered that it’s a lot of fun to draw fanart! I consume a lot of media so it only makes sense to let it be the inspiration behind some of my work.

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

I feel like art creeps into every single thing in my life, which is nice to think about. I like that there is always something new to see, hear and experience. I often find myself noticing beauty in the most mundane things, like the cool shape of a tree I saw on my walk or that the flowers next to my apartment building are a beautiful shade of blue. This is going to sound very cheesy, but I really think that art gives every day actual meaning and makes life worth living.

7. Where did you study?

I am actually self-taught when it comes to illustration (not counting the art classes I took in kindergarten where I drew the castle from Beauty and The Beast and my teacher said that I’m very talented)! I do have a Bachelor’s degree in linguistics and intercultural communication, but I realised long before graduating that this isn’t something I’d be passionate doing for the rest of my life.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Living somewhere a lot warmer, for starters! But career-wise, I hope to have worked with some of the brands from my bucket list and done a number of big scale projects. Another thing I hope I will find in the future is a local community of artists, which is something I’m missing big time at the moment. 

9. What about in ten?

It kind of terrifies me to think that far ahead, but hopefully by then I’ll finally have a nice working desk.

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

Right now, the only hope I truly have is that my art puts a smile on someone’s face and makes their day at least a little bit better. Maybe they will send it to their friends saying “haha that’s you!”, maybe it will make them close Instagram and go for a walk, I don’t know. I don’t think my art will singlehandedly change the world, but I do hope that it can change at least a second of someone’s day.

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

That took a bit of thinking, but ultimately I’d probably be lying if I said anything other than bananas and wafers!

12. Favourite book?

I will read anything YA, but I can’t really say I have a favorite book at the moment. I’ve also been more interested in non-fiction lately, but I’m still waiting for that book that is going to turn my life upside down.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Honestly I’m not really sure about my genre preferences… My all time favorite artists are Foals and Harry Styles. I also love Charli XCX and Tove Lo kind of vibes.

14. What are your hobbies? 

I really enjoy baking! I’ve recently made it into a tradition to try and bake a new thing every weekend and now it’s one of my favorite things – also a great way to relieve stress and very therapeutic. I also love running but the weather where I live is way too cold for that most of the year so I can only do it in summer. It’s one of the many reasons to look forward to the warmer days every year!

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

What is that position called where you get paid to watch Netflix? I’d be that.