Would you be able to tell us about yourself, Elena? We find artists’ stories to be inspiring, and yours comes across as unique as well. How did you decide to become an artist, and how has this shaped your life?
I thank the team “Designn Magazine” for the opportunity to show my work in the pages of your publication.
I found my passion in photography from my father and grandfather. Since childhood, I watched as my father worked in a home photo lab. At age 11, I received my first film camera. From that moment I realized that photography is my true love. Since the advent of digital photography, computer image processing in the program Photoshop is fascinating.
My first works were not perfect; I just started to learn the basics of Photoshop. Later, I learned the science of image processing in detail, discovering new techniques and methods. I learned a lot about Photoshop from books and authors, and practitioners who have worked in this direction. Now I continue to develop my skills of image processing, while at the same time not forgetting about my passion for photography.
Special thanks to Usage Tsukino and Valerie Mrosek for giving me permission to use their amazing photographs.
What is collage, and what is photo manipulation? How did each influence your style of art, and in what ways would a beginner learn to develop their skills in these areas?
Collage is image processing which includes cutting and layout photo-fragments, color correction, and the use of filters. Collage is an initial creative process, but the result is usually rougher than the photo manipulation. At the beginning of my works, I also try the technique of collage and eventually perfect my skills in working with images to the level of photo manipulation.
The purpose of photo manipulation is to create an image unseen in nature or in life. Photo manipulation is an art combining digital image processing and drawing skills.
Currently, the area of my work is the art of creating fantasy characters and fairytale landscapes. I work in a direction called photo manipulation, with elements of artistic drawing. I advise beginners to learn different styles of image processing. I think the most important thing is not the name of the style of work, but the development of skills.
What are the most important aspects of photo art you try to present to your audience?
I would like the audience to feel my mood in each of my work. Each piece is a story of sadness, joy, sorrow and other feelings that one experiences. My work shows the modern world through the eyes of witchcraft and wizardry.
Does your work involve a lot of collaboration with other artists? How would you describe your experiences in meeting different people?
I frequently talk with photographers, artists and creative people. For me, such communication is both a holiday and development. To create these works, I collaborate with a lot of models and cosplayers. Each cooperation means a lot to me as a person and artist. Everyone with whom I communicate or cooperate is my teacher. I am grateful to all the people who, through their advice and criticism, helped to develop my creativity.
Tell us about your most popular artwork to date. What inspired you to create that piece, and what techniques did you use?
I think one of the most popular works is the “Forest Guard”. This work was inspired by the story of the deer, which being the master of the forest, lives in harmony with the forest dwellers. I combined about 40 different photos and drew some of the details. This work reflects one of my favorite kinds of art – landscapes with animals.
This work is the third in a series of similar works with the main character – a deer. I began to create this series after reading a book by Jose Murillo and Anna Maria Ramba called, “The Last Deer of the Andes.” I really liked the idea of graceful animals that survive in the wild.
I like to combine different colors to create the right atmosphere and mood of the image. The depth of drawing, color, detail and accuracy in the light accents, is how to reflect my style.
What words would you pass down to artists who want to pursue an interest in photo manipulation and collage?
Listen to criticism, and seek their own style and do not be afraid to fail. Remember the difficulties of becoming a true artist.
See all other artists involved from the links provided under the showcased artworks. A special thank you from Elena to all collaborators.
Interviewed by Adam Lewis LaValley