I am an artist-storyteller and here’s how I see storytelling: EVERYTHING WE BELIEVE IN IS FICTION. Created by one person, or a group of people, or by whole nations. I discovered long ago, how stories were important to humans, but only recently realized that stories actually comprise our whole world: starting from products that are being sold to us in a grocery store to social norms, religions, and human rights. To say nothing about the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. All of them are man-made with some purpose. So, it turns out, with each and every story you have in your life you need to be extremely careful. You need to be careful about the stories you believe in and the stories you choose to act upon. And probably it’s worth reminding yourself every once in a while, that whatever you believe in is not one and only truth, but only a story, and other people may have a different opinion on it, and that’s OK. I’m trying to be conscious of which stories I choose to believe in and try to choose inspirational and empowering ones.
A bit of my story
I was born in a relatively small town in middle Russia and never thought of photography as a real profession. But I did always like art. My mom used to buy many artbooks and I spent hours turning the pages and staring at the great masterpieces of the Renaissance, the Dutch art of the Golden Age, Impressionism, and so on. I was also interested in drawing, so I went to an art school, where I studied classical pencil drawing, oil painting, sculpture, history of arts, composition, and things like that.
Yet, art was never treated as a career in our family, or should I say town, so I got my degree in linguistics and then another one in marketing because I wanted to get a good stable office job.
In 2009 I got my first DSLR camera but didn’t really know how to use it properly cause I was too lazy to read the manual. Then I went to a short photography course. This course allowed me to make a breakthrough with my images, I began to understand exposure, aperture, depth of field, etc.
My first photography attempts were photos of flowers, kittens, travel photos, street, etc. When I got a 50mm (as a gift from my husband, cause I would never buy anything expensive for just a hobby) I realized that I liked taking photos of people and I’m kind of good at that. This realization came to me when all of my friends started having my photos as their social media avatars.
At one point I discovered Flickr and saw what photographers were creating there. I found several people who I really admired and started following their work. And of course, I wanted to create something similar to that. Among others, I discovered Anka Zhuravleva, and I was simply blown away by her works. But then I also noticed that all the images were shot in the same city where I lived, St.Petersburg and for some reason that showed me, that things like that could be possible for me too. This is how I was drawn to fine art photography.
Today, I don’t like to call myself a photographer anymore, as my works are very heavily manipulated. But I definitely identify as an artist who uses photography as a medium for the moment and is eager to explore other mediums like animation or maybe even sculpture in the future.