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LESYA SHEVCHENKO: illustrator

30-07-2008

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tobto: Who are you (your voice)?

L: I am an independent and romantically pragmatic damsel from the beautiful city of Kiev. (I did the second part in the school choir)

tobto: When did your passion for drawing revealed, and where was its origin?

L: When – when I was about three. There are documentary witnesses – books all covered with drawings, and also a heart-freezing story of the walls and doors drawn all over with my mom’s acid-pink “chemical” lipstick which was impossible to wash off.
As for the origin… the depths of my subconsciousness. Actually, in my childhood I used to tell my peers a story about me being a distant great-great-granddaughter of Taras Grigorievich Schevchenko (we’ve got the same family name). So I paint and sometimes write poetry.

tobto: Do you have a favorite pencil? What's it like?

L:It's left somewhere in my childhood. A ground off 2cm Chinese pencil, carefully sharpened, in my school pencil box.

tobto:What did you mostly draw, when you were a child? Tanks, dolls, scribbles?

L: Princesses with wasp waists and horses with glass-like hoofs.

tobto:When did you decide that the painting could actually pay off? How did it happen?

L: Not all painting is worth something. To learn to earn the money in such an interesting and pleasant way, I applied for the Department of Graphic Design of the Kiev’s Technical School of Art and Industry. That was back in 1991.

tobto:Tell about your first professional “exam”. When you were like: YIPPEE! I’m a professional!

L: Recalling that work now makes me laugh! When I designed a photo album with hand-drawings for the Organization of the Sober Way of Life and received (not right away!) my first fee, I was walking down the street, autumn wind waving my hair, and I felt like I’m turning into one of those beautiful graphic designers :)

tobto: Can you name the teacher you remember with respect?

L: Matseichuk Igor Nikolayevich – the teacher of painting and drawing, and Kirpa Viktor Ivanovich – the teacher of photography, lettering, calligraphy and composition.

tobto: Is the hand-drawing the foundation of arts?

L: Not of the abstract ones. But if a person can draw, that makes half the success.

tobto: The contemporary art of painting is…

L: Not the classic art :)

tobto: 3D drawings, the 3D technique itself arouse your admiration,..

L: If combined with a taste and skills for drawing – definitely.

tobto: Your technique of choice: pencil, tablet, mouse?

L: A pencil sketch, then processing in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

tobto: Please, name your favorite artists.

L: Surikov, Ivanov, Yablonskaya, Klimt, Muha.

tobto:What’s the level of professionalism you have to obtain to “take to the open sea”? No advices.

L: Average, for starters. ?Cause for every level there is an employer, and then the more you “sail”, the higher your level is.

tobto:What’s the impossible order for you?

L: 3D, interior or exterior design.

tobto: I take the opinions about my work with…

L: Attention.

tobto: How to develop a brand-name of a woman freelancer, a professional, in customers’ minds, so that they apply to you following not the good word but the brand?

L: Is there such a thing? I only try to do my best, and people keep applying.

tobto: Your roadmap: searching for work, husband, happiness. What’s a goal of a professional woman freelancer? Your development model.

L: It’s hard to cover everything at once. My main goal is to live for pleasure day by day, whatever this day might bring. If a husband comes along, there’s nothing more to dream about :)

tobto: How to deal with wicked customers?

L: Don’t appease their despotism and impudence. I reckon the customer and the performer are absolutely equal in rights and are bound to respect each other.

tobto: I would like to be (a pilot, an accountant, …)

L: A resident of Tibet or Indian jungle.

tobto: I want to be…

L: Calm and sound.

tobto: Your parting words. I’d like to say to all…

L: Live in the present, be yourself.

Interview taken on July 15, 2008.
Translated by javakka.

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