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Meet the Artist
Interview with Anna Lavrentieva
- Written by Vanessa Champion Vanessa Champion
We regularly run competitions on our Facebook page, Anna Lavrentieva was one of our winners earlier this year. We caught up with her to find out a little more about what she does, what inspires her and what got her started.
I painted and drew a little bit as a child, like all of us, I think. My aunt is a painter and she gave me some initial, basic lessons but I dropped it when I became a teenager, I had not been using pencils for many years. Then I suddenly rediscovered the pleasure of creating art a couple of years ago.
What got you started?
It happened by chance. Two and half years ago I joined a project called Postcrossing where you can send and receive postcards from random persons all over the world. I had to send a card to a Japanese girl who had asked in her profile to draw a panda. So I made a postcard with a panda drawing for her and liked the process of creating pictures so much that I haven’t stopped till now.
Who or what is your inspiration?
Nature gives me the most inspiration. Nature is perfect; it is all harmony, beautiful forms and the most equilibrated combination of colours. I love to draw flowers, animals, landscapes. I know that a human being can never express all the beauty of our planet but we can try to catch the moment to have a memory of it and try to show the magic hidden in every object, small or big.
I also love to study the national monuments of different countries. They demonstrate the strong connection that our ancestors had with the world around them; they carry deep ideas about history, divinities, essence and spirit of things that the modern people have lost.
Where did you train?
I didn’t have any formal training; I have never really been taught. I just grab a piece of paper and start to draw. Practicing and watching other artists’ works is my training.
I always work on several drawings at a time, choosing one of them depending on my mood. I have some funny cats and aardvarks to finish because I love to create things for children or adults who haven’t lost their inner child. If someone smiles looking at my drawings I feel that I met my goal. I am also working on a series of ink drawings about South-American mythology (I have special relation with South America because I work as a Spanish translator). What I love about ink is that it gives you the ability to create the finest details. I love the process of meticulous drawing; it helps me to get rid of everyday stress.
Where are you most comfortable working?
Mostly I paint and draw at home, at my desk; I don’t have any special place for this activity. Though actually I think I would prefer to sit down on the seashore or in the woods, so I could contemplate the nature and the real forms and colours better.
If everything burnt down in your studio, what would you rescue?
My computer, the folder with finished drawings and the set of Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils because it was given to me by my sister.
A fun question, if you were a Strathmore paper, which paper would you be?
As a fan of Postcrossing I just must say I would love to be Strathmore watercolour cards [it's true the postcards are pretty groovy, Ed.]
Finally, if people want to see more of your work, what is your website, facebook page, twitter, Instagram?