Living consciously and creating your own meanings is one of the ways to live a happy life
What sparked your interest in stylistics and led you to choose it as a career?
I was led to stylistics by my desire to change my line of work. I had worked for many years at the well-known company Inditex, but at some point, I wanted to start creatively expressing myself. I became very interested in the Styling and Image Making course at the Higher British School of Design. By the way, studying at this institution had been my dream when I came to exhibitions at Artplay. Stylistics is my second higher education, and when I passed the interview, I felt incredibly inspired. Success in studying showed me the right vector of development, a fire in my eyes, my first shoots and the realization of bold ideas, new knowledge that helps to understand and care for people.
In addition to being a successful stylist, you also pursue art! What inspired you to create fish paintings and how does this hobby influence your work as a stylist?
I am a multifaceted person and do not limit myself to just one expression. More than 10 years ago, I painted a very unusual fish painting that became the beginning of a large series that continues to this day. My paintings evoke feelings in people that are close to delight and thoughts that are close to transformation.
How did you start collaborating with the Union of Animalists and the Eurasian Union of Artists, and what work do you do with them?
At the beginning of the year, I joined the creative associations – the Union of Animalists of Russia and the Eurasian Union of Artists. It’s amazing that I used to think it was impossible, but after my solo exhibition, everything fell into place very easily. I remember the exciting moment of receiving my certificate at the Gostiny Dvor, where members of the unions exhibited, including myself. I regularly participate in exhibitions, one of the latest was the Week of Arts at the Amber Plaza. I plan not to stop there, to establish myself in a couple of cool galleries, and also release a book «Velvet Fish» so that the viewer can immerse themselves in a state of self-discovery at any time. Because my paintings are not about animals, but about internal states, complex emotions that I experience myself and notice in others.
Upcycling is gaining momentum right now! Could you tell us why you chose such an interesting project to pursue?
One of my lifelong hobbies is handmade. In simple terms, I have been interested in transforming clothes since my school years. Over the years, while studying to become a stylist, I created unusual outfits for photo shoots and altered simple clothes. In my latest shoots in April, for example, I made a top out of a skirt or a leather shirt, and manipulated mesh fabric to create a luxurious blouse. For myself, I often sew using unique but appropriate combinations. I enjoy this game, it makes me think differently, and I love the unusual results that impress others. In today’s reality, it is essential to maintain balance in everything, which is why conscious consumption seems incredibly relevant to me. Returning to the topic of my project, it is more than just alteration. The project is about giving new life to old clothes by combining them with everyday items to add unique meaning. It so happened that amidst strong internal emotions, I came up with an idea related to Upcycling. In the process of further training in promoting creators, the idea took shape. Reflecting on the fact that we are all connected by something invisible, we can say that our souls have entered into a contract, which can be preserved through clothing. For various reasons, people cannot be together, but through clothing, this connection can be maintained through time and distance. This project combines everything: my love for handwork, care and attention to a person’s condition, and the uniqueness of the resulting garment. Clothing becomes more than just clothing, it becomes therapy, a talisman, or a protective charm. The process is straightforward and practical: we take the customer’s main item (e.g., a jacket), and we look at another loved one’s item (e.g., a son’s sports uniform who lives far away). In this case, the uniform will be integrated into the jacket. I want to clarify that, in my case, Upcycling involves creating decorative volumetric elements, such as weaving, applique, and so on. Imagine that connected types of clothing carry a completely different energy, a feeling of hugs and support, and preserve memories. The transformation of clothes becomes a unique meaningful item in one’s wardrobe.
Can you share tips or recommendations on how to dispose of clothing and turn it into something new?
I sincerely believe that with each passing day, people value their lives more and fall in love with it more deeply. Living consciously and creating your own meanings is one of the ways to live a happy life. I strongly recommend not keeping boxes of unwanted clothing, but instead disposing of them in special recycling boxes while preserving valuable elements. Don’t throw away your grandmother’s rare lace blouse, but incorporate its elements into a basic white shirt, for example.
What do you plan to achieve in the future through your work as a stylist and artist?
My plans include developing my personal brand, the main line of which is transformation. Paintings carry the transformation of thought, clothing carries the transformation of one’s state, and the work of a stylist carries the transformation of a person’s image. I want to share my talent and create something unique in the physical world. I want to open an upcycling studio and help people feel special because we all live our own unique lives.