Daria Hlazatova – Oceania.
Ukrainian illustrator Daria Hlazatova has been creating stunning illustrations for Amelia’s Magazine for several years now. I caught up with her to find out about her latest projects and how important social media has been to building her career. She’s an inspiration!
Tell us about your home town near the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine. Where would you take a visitor from the UK?
I’d give them a tour of our town, Chernivtsi, which is, in fact quite nice and boasts a mix of European architectural styles, historically having been under the rule of different countries. A trip to the restaurant serving our national cuisine will be a good idea, too, as it is a somewhat unusual experience for tourists, but nevertheless delicious: everyone enjoys our pancakes with red caviar! We’d also take a trip to the mountains to pick up some berries and enjoy the views.
What kind of art do your relatives make and how has it inspired your own creations?
There are artists both on my mother’s and my father’s side, so I think it was natural for me to become interested in drawing in my early years. My mother’s uncle Volodya used to be a rather well-known book illustrator in St Petersburg and I still have some of his signed books, one of which is called Dashenka, which is a diminutive of my name. And although the story wasn’t about me, I took it as a sign that I, too, must try myself at illustrating books. My father’s relatives are mostly landscape artists, living and working in Russia.
Dog Days are Over.
You are an active part of the creative social media community – when did you discover the online world and how has it affected your art making over the years?
I think the same time as I was lucky enough to have discovered Amelia’s Magazine which was in the autumn of 2010. Being based so far away from all the exciting art events and virtually having no connection with other creatives, I decided to use the Internet resources to mend this injustice. Since then I have found it extremely helpful, with online blogs and networks serving me as a magic portal into the art world.
Why is your blog titled All Pencils of Mine are Sugarplums?
It has to do with my love for Lewis Carroll. The title is based on one of his syllogisms (which are logic arguments). I will say no more, because whenever I start talking about Carroll or syllogisms, I confuse everyone… rather like I do with the title of my blog!
What can people find on your blog?
Lots of drawings, random thoughts, news about shows and interesting projects. I sometimes share art and music that inspire me. I sincerely hope that upon visiting my blog, readers have a sudden urge to create something, read a fairy-tale, dream, bake cakes, or just dance, in short do something fun and artistic.
You are a self taught artist – where have you picked up your style and techniques from?
I don’t know. I think my style has been developing of its own accord and I only mildly control it. I do have an obsession with some elements, like eyes, stars and moons that I include in almost every work of mine, but then again, I do that subconsciously most of the time. I can only guess why I intertwine eyes into the patterns and use them as central objects and it’s perhaps because the Russian word “eye” is the root of my surname.
What inspired you to create a zine and who do you hope will read it?
A long-awaited holiday! I have 2 part-time jobs (one of them is no longer part-time) besides being a full-time illustrator. I’ve been looking for this winter break since my last holiday in summer and wanted to make something special. Besides, I’ve often heard from people they’d like me to make a zine or a little book, so I thought I’d give it a try. It all happened unexpectedly quickly and in a blink the zine was ready. I had to look through the notebooks back from my university days, where I scribbled some nonsense poems and stories to pass the time during dull lectures and also had crazy ideas contributed by some lovely enthusiasts. I hope everybody who appreciates a little nonsense now and then will enjoy Nosorog.
Pati Yang for Amelia’s Magazine.
What does Nosorog mean and what does the zine contain?
Nosorog from Russian means “rhinoceros”. There’s no point denying it: I chose the name for no reason at all. This was the first word that came to me. The zine contains several short-stories, some quotes, a horoscope, mock advertisements and an interview, accompanied by my old and new illustrations. The content has been inspired by the works of Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey and by fairy-tales in general. I was very surprised but also happy to see that the first issues sold so quickly. I’m printing more and already working on the second one, which will have more stories, exclusively-created illustrations and will hopefully make you smile!
Where can people get hold of a copy?
I don’t have a proper shop elsewhere except for the one on my blog. And if anyone wants a freshly-printed Nosorog, the best thing to do is to email me.
Girl phoenix EP cover for Moth Rah.
Can you tell us about your upcoming show in Kiev?
It will take place in a mysteriously beautiful place, which is the building of an old opera house. From the outside it looks like a gingerbread house, on the inside it’s a perfect setting for a Georges Melies film. I fell in love with this place at once. The space itself, called Kiev Loft, is used for concerts, performances, and art events and run by a rather enthusiastic and professional young team who as far as I can see are eager to help the art life in our capital thrive and prosper, which is great. My drawings will be exhibited there along with the beautiful and very curious works by the Lithography studio “30” based in Kiev. It will be my first show in Ukraine, so wish me luck!
Frankie Rose for Amelia’s Magazine.
You’ve been doing some personal work inspired by Johnny Flynn, how did you discover his music and what touches you about it?
I first heard of Johnny after seeing the play Jerusalem. I didn’t know he was also a songwriter and after hearing his music, something clicked. You know, there are some periods in life when a certain melody is needed to help you carry on and Johnny Flynn’s songs turned out exactly that thing. I felt the connection because his music is very poetic and not simply folk, it’s more than that. I can see the influence of theatre, nature, even Shakespeare, and all things I like in his songs and that’s why I thought I should explore a bit more both in the music and in myself by creating some illustrations to accompany his songs.
Have you got anything else in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Lots! Mostly the plan is just to draw. And if that doesn’t work, plan B is to draw some more again.
What do you hope for your art in the coming years?
I’d love to have a show in Italy and before that I hope to work on larger scale drawings and do some music-related artwork. If you ask me, an art studio (preferably with a fitted kitchen, a helpful assistant and a husky dog) is my pipe-dream. Shall I use a quotation to appear exceptionally well-read? Shakespeare said and I completely agree with him, that expectation is the root of all heartache, that’s why I never expect, but I’m ready for surprises. I’m very happy doing what I do at this very moment.
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