#020 – Fruits of one’s labour; a digital illustrator’s perspective

My name is Anastasia Maliushevska. I was born in Kyiv (Ukraine) twenty-nine years ago. Currently you can find me in London, drinking my instant coffee and sitting comfortably with my laptop. A short while ago I was working as a UI/UX designer; seven years have passed by since I decided to take my career in that direction. A balance between art and engineering skills defined me to work as a designer. When I started to feel that my artistic nature became bigger than my interest in engineering, I recognised it as a prompt to adjust my career orientation, and here I am, creating my painting and illustration projects.

I attained a degree as a Designer of Computer Graphics and Advertising, but in all honesty, after finishing my education I rarely touched pencils and brushes. Having some art basis in academic drawing and painting, I never tried to improve my painting skills. As a matter of fact, I later found myself with a tremendous desire to bring my ideas to life. However, to implement this visually I had little experience, so I had to learn from the very beginning.

Most of my friends don’t really believe that drawing is a skill that can be acquired. I’ve heard many times that if you practise painting, it is a skill you are born with. I believe there is only learned talent – not merely naturally-talented people. If you are not sure of this, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try; the truth is… everyone can draw. Everyone can learn it. It’s a discipline like any other, and it consists of theory and countless hours of practise. When I began my new artistic life, I was disappointed with my results.

“I believe there is only learned talent – not merely naturally-talented people.”

I had brilliant ideas in my head, but my hands didn’t worked in the right way, or even worse, I could not clearly state what was ‘wrong’ with the picture. Now I know that is was lack of knowledge and practise, but definitely NOT a lack of a talent. I like to compare my current work with my past years’ creations. It helps me to see the progress and give me the strength and energy to move forward.

My favourite mediums are digital. I work with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and now I’m studying ZBrush. I appreciate the flexibility of digital techniques and the unparalleled opportunities they present. You can choose any canvas size, colours, brushes, additional dimensions etc. In my professional life, there is usually no concern to which medium you work with, but recently I was faced with an interesting dilemma. I adore the field of botanical illustration, but when I tried to apply to the limited botanical painting exhibitions, I discovered there is only tradition painting allowed. Historically, traditional artistic mediums and techniques are required for botanical illustration. Meaning you have to use watercolor or these days, sometimes, artists use coloured pencils or markers. Unfortunately for me, the tool sets are not extended to the digital mediums as of yet. It is unfair. I had to deal with the upsetting and disheartening fact that my paintings would not be exhibited. I believe the times are changing and eventually (hopefully soon) digital techniques will align with the traditional ones in their value, in all fields and creative directions.

“I appreciate the flexibility of digital techniques and the unparalleled opportunities they present.”

Talking about style and technique, I would like to soon transition to more realistic paintings. I’m on my way to finding myself in digital art, and things could be different in the future. You can see my attempts to show the details and photographic precisions in projects of mine, such as “Grace of Grayscale” or “Portraits study”. Behind the work, I understand that I am trying to feel the soul of the subject and then transfer it to canvas. I notice that I live a little life transcendent of the protagonists in my paintings.

The most sensitive and close-to-heart topic for me is the reality of time flow. I’d love to invent my own time machine! Just imagine, you have 3D replicas of the places you have seen and been, people and things you love, and you can travel back in time interacting with and experiencing them all over again. Virtual reality allows you believe in that to some extent. You could share important words and sentiments to people who are not with you anymore or go back to a moment you want to re-live. Many possibilities await. Like a photo album, just much more real. That sounds fantastic. Who knows what the future holds?

Now I’m studying 3D modelling. My inspiration originates from many different forms, but the most powerful that pushes my creative ideas is science. Humans trying to understand how everything works in this world makes me feel motivated and optimistic. I admire the nature as well as the technical man-made inventions. Just mix it all with sci-fi stories – that is my energetic cocktail of personal inner-serenity. To the moon? I’m ready.

I’d like to take this moment to give my wishes to everyone who is somewhere along their creative journey, finding motivation and inspiration, and believing in themselves to help keep moving!


Be sure to discover more of Anastasia’s illustrations, digital art and portfolios:
nats_ma  /natsma /nats_romanova