Instagram: @yyaannnaaaa


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

My name is Bolotenkova Yana. I’m an illustrator from Russia. I started painting one year ago. At that time, I have been completely unsatisfied with my routine office work. Once I’ve stopped and asked myself: “Is this the way I want to live my life?”. Now I’m happy because I am owning for living by painting and it is what I like most, I have the freedom to work, anywhere and anytime. I like the variety that illustration brings to my life. I get real pleasure from inventing and creating a new story, it helps me to express emotions even better than I can describe them in words. Illustration – a risky task, but I’m ready!


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

It is hard to explain it in terms of graphics. I suppose experts in graphics should do this. The only thing I can admit – I constantly develop and evolve. I think it is great that you can try different styles and techniques because you will find your unique style eventually.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Basically, I draw with my graphics tablet. It is one-size-fits-all and pretty fast. But when I need to relax I use everything that comes up: paper, paints, plasticine, highlighters, pencils, ink, sauces…

4. What is your artistic process like?

Key instruments for me – brains, hands and graphics tablet. I can work only when I am all by myself, no one should disturb me. My studio often looks like a room that has to be cleaned up a little, because I forget about everything. When I get the job, the most favorite stage begins for me – the content of the illustration. To invent for me is a real buzz! In the strict framework, I’m bored. All subsequent steps of creation rarely give pleasure. You can say that I like to invent more than draw.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Mostly I am inspired by music, as it never turns off for me. Some people, walking, books, fine art: I have a large compilation, I often admire pictures of different artists and illustrators.

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

Art is my personal psychotherapist. Art inspires me in all variety of its forms and enthralls me, by giving the opportunity to experience new emotions.


7. Where did you study?

I studied at the National Research Nuclear University “MEPI”. And I am an autodidact in illustration.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope that I am still a freelance artist, and I hope I will never get back to routine office work, but Russian proverb says: never say never. The only thing I would really like to see is myself as an animator.

9. What about in ten?

I will not tell a lie, if I say that I see the same. But I would like to become a master and a great fellow. But I can’t predict something in 10 years, I can’t see so far.

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

I haven t had time to think about it yet. Now I don t create for any particular purpose, I just paint, and I always try something new and experiment. At the moment it is self-expression through creativity, the display of my views, feelings and ideas.


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

I have never tasted anything more delicious than lard cooked on fire, baked potato, green onion and home-distilled vodka («samogonka»).

12. Favourite book?

I like to read. Sometimes I read a lot and quickly, sometimes slowly, and sometimes I stop, but I can not choose one thing. I look at my bookshelf and I’m afraid that others will get angry.

13. Favourite genre of music?

80% of all my music is rаp. And my favorite rapper is Oxxxymiron. He feels at home in my playlist, and I’m not in a hurry to get him out.

14. What are your hobbies?

I like to wander alone anywhere, to mould obscene things out of clay.

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

I would be an extremely unhappy person.

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