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Meet Svetla Radivoeva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Svetla Radivoeva.

Svetla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been drawing since I can remember and I eventually wanted to become a character animator. These were the days where 2d animation was more of a thing. It is still a thing but the work is much less and the animation industry looks very different now. Eventually, I ended up pursuing a career in CG animation which I love and have never regretted, but drawing was left on the side. I never really stopped drawing but it had to stand on the back and be my happy place when I had time for it. When I moved to LA and saw the animation industry and the crazy talents around. It felt people don’t put boundaries for themselves. I felt just because I wear the hat of an animator, it doesn’t mean I can’t try to wear a drawing hat as well or at least try to expand even just for myself and give myself permission. So this is how my side hustle started. I started selling my art online and also at craft fairs. I also occasionally manage to do illustration on the side and enjoy that a lot. My main goal is to be creative in a different way than my main job and also try to expose this side of myself a bit more, which is something that I have a bit of an issue with. I am very introverted and it is always a struggle. I do find though that stepping out of safety and my comfort zone has great returns and tends to be surprising in a good way.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Since for me this is a side hustle and the stakes yet are not that high – I am not relying on it to survive yet which is good. The stakes are more to find my way within this artsy world which is so very different from the industry I am in currently in. Self-confidence is probably the thing I am struggling the most with and the internal fight that I might not be good enough to really do this at all. At the same time, I don’t really want to be locked into something else but remain this freedom that this side hustle is allowing me to have.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do art in my free time, and I am basically trying to find ways to do more of it and honestly, I am still trying to discover what sets me apart from the others. What I do are illustrations mostly. I do them digitally, but I also love drawing with ink and watercolors. I am up to experimenting with other media too but those are my most favorite. Last year I did a book cover illustration for a young adult book and this job was a surprise that came through my social media. The art designer liked my drawings and thought I can do a good job with it. I have only heard about finding work via Instagram and it was amazing that someone liked something that I did in my free time for pleasure and thought I can do the same for a real serious publication. I also was proud of the book cover itself and it kind of opened new worlds for drawing! This also happened during a time when I thought this is going nowhere and I should probably stop goofing around. I love those discoveries and they are always very surprising. Another thing that I am very proud of is a children’s book I worked on and illustrated that will come out this fall called ‘Malina’s Jam’.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
It is important to stay motivated and consistent in what I am doing, not to give up and most of all to stay true to myself. I want to keep exploring and searching for other ways that will satisfy my art needs and I hope eventually that will help me find where I fit best. I think it is important to stay inspired and have a desire to grow, improve and learn more since this is what gives me the best satisfaction and is my motivator.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Vasil Stojanov (husband) – credit for the photo.

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