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Art & Life with Michael Rusakov

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Rusakov.

Michael, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I always loved graphic design, always wanted to become a famous artist or create a masterpiece that will bring the attention of many people. But more than that, I was attracted to interested people and the opportunity to work with them directly. I am originally from Russia and actually never attended design school or taken any art lessons. I have a bachelor degree in IT since we didn’t have any good art programs at the time. So, everything I know and can do I have learned for myself. I practiced my design skills since middle school, just watched lots of tutorials, lots of articles, etc. After I graduated University, I found a job at a local newspaper, where I started to feel like I definitely need something bigger than just aligning the text within the same font over and over again. I started doing commission work online as a freelancer while I was still working in a newspaper, things got pretty successful and I quit my job to become a full-time freelancer. I worked with many people on different stuff, I worked with Web Design, Ads, posters, flyers, and motion graphics as well. And then, I came up with an idea that combined two things that inspired me the most. I started to draw my favorite people and celebrities and animate their illustration into videos. Which became my signature.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am currently known as an original creator of a “Beauty Guru Intro” trend, it started when I first created an animated portrait for a famous Beauty Guru YouTuber called MannyMUA, It was a completely new idea that I came up with, that combines a Portrait illustration with animation. I drew MannyMUA’s portrait and bring his portrait to life with a Sailor Moon vibes animation (which was his favorite thing of all time). That became my thing – bringing people’s personalities to life. After that many famous YouTubers started to reach out to me and I had an amazing opportunity to work with countless big influencers all around the world. I worked with NikkieTutorials, James Charles, Gabbie Hanna, MyLifeAsEva, Teala Dunn, Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler, Joey Graceffa, Tyler Oakley, Kian and JC, and many others…

I feel like it’s cool to be able to create an illustration or animation, but when I have a connection to the person I am working with – that inspires the most. The ability to connect with another artist from another area with a different talent is amazing. I have a chance to feel what that person like the most, grab details that only they know or like about themselves. It is always a new message and personality with every new client. Whether it’s a love for makeup and unleashing inner artist with James Charles and his brush stroke on his face which is more deeper than people may think of him or being a strong independent successful woman with Gabbie Hanna and red strong fire accents in her animation despite many people who can think of her more like a just storyteller or being a fantasy style world saver hero with MannyMUA and his lightning effects for his video despite other think of him just a beauty guru, or just a nice chill girl that loves her puppy with Maddie Ziegler which many only know for her dancing talent, and the same with other people. All of the creators I worked with have more to tell about themselves, more to show and there’s more to it than just a theme or a talent they are known for.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
Social media. For this day, the social media and the internet grown so much that there are more and more new artists showing up, more people to watch, more people to use. It’s easier to lost attention and the interest with each day. Remember the day when the photo itself was a big deal or a video? every newly made photo or video was so precious and rare, now with Instagram and YouTube, every new video or photo is nothing more than a new photo or video. It needs to be something new, something never made before in order to please the audience. There’s so much content these days that it’s losing its worth, Every day, I see so many talented artists that don’t have enough recognition, it’s sad. Social media is also making a bad influence for new artists, many artists see other works that gain more attention and they feel self-conscious about their art. It’s harder for new artists to show themselves where there are already thousands of other artists online doing what they do for long and already have the audience.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My main and the most active social media is my Instagram. Even though I have a YouTube Channel and a Twitter account as well as dribble page and Facebook page and my own website, Instagram is my most up-to-date source of all my artworks. The best way to support my art is to buy my own created visual effects that other video-creators can use to add pre-made video effects to their videos, I have a new “Gumroad” page where I post content for buy every other month:

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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