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Art & Life with Vasilina Mikhaylova

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vasilina Mikhaylova.

Vasilina, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. My grandmother, who was a painter, instilled a passion for the visual art in me. We often spent time together practicing drawing and painting. As my grandma and parents saw my creative potential, they encouraged me to go to the «Universe» Gymnasium Art School in Krasnoyarsk where I studied for 1 year. At the age of 15, I moved to Toronto, Canada, and continued studying drawing and painting in the Toronto School of Art. During my stay in Toronto, I started to show interest in animation, more specifically, in character design and storytelling. I found it truly amazing how one can bring “unreal” characters to life and make viewers fall in love with them. With that in mind, I moved to Los Angeles to study animation at Woodbury University. I have worked on several student films including Blue Ribbons (2018), The Coincidence (2018) and Blind Imagination (2019). I currently work as a receptionist at the Wedge Gallery, Burbank CA, where I have helped to hold a number of art exhibitions. In addition to my work as an artist, I practice dancing and swimming.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My current artwork is very diverse in art medium and style. I do not have a specific medium of focus and rather prefer to experiment in different art disciplines including traditional and digital animation, drawing and painting. Many of my artworks feature the aesthetics of nature and its connection with humans. Indeed, nature is the major source of inspiration for me. Whenever I travel, I always take reference landscape photos to get ideas for my next art projects.

Another source of my inspiration is music. Every song has a specific meaning or message that the artist wants to convey to the listeners and I frequently interpret my understanding of the song in my drawings. I believe that translating music into a drawing is actually a really good practice for artists who want to develop their creativity.

Recently, as I was looking for my own artistic style, I have come up with an interesting way of combining portraits and landscapes into one piece, which can be seen in my paintings «Mother Nature» and «Lady of the Lake». The idea is to shape the human body with landscapes in order to imply the human-nature relationship. In the future, I plan to continue using this concept. I hope that my work will inspire people to appreciate nature and to participate in environmental activism.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
In today’s world, I think artists have more opportunities to show themselves. Thanks to social media, it is easier to promote your art and be seen by thousands or even millions of other people. Social media has created a competitive environment for artists and competition is always good. Competition motivates you to work harder and be better than yourself. It makes you want to create something new, unique and original.

Speaking from my own experience, I think that visual art has become a universal language. As I moved to Los Angeles, I noticed that there are so many different cultures, ethnicities, languages, etc. Despite how hard sometimes it can be for international artists like me to speak in a non-native language, we can express ourselves with our paintings. I believe that visual art is a form of communication that doesn’t need words.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I display my artwork both on my website and my Instagram account @vasilina_mikhaylova_art. Not only do I post the final versions of my paintings but also the painting process time lapse videos. I hope that people can learn from or get inspired by these videos.

For people who are interested in purchasing my artwork I have two options: they can either buy original physical paintings and drawings or order a print (on a phone case, ceramic mug, pillow, etc.) through my website

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait Photograph was taken by Daria Konoplianko

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