Niina, how did you become an illustrator?
I always liked to draw, since I was a kid. While I was still studying graphic design in St.Petersburg State University I decided I want to try to earn money with my skills. I wrote to many magazines and finally two (among them Cosmopolitan Russia) came back to me. I started drawing on the monthly basis.
What’s cool about illustrating things?
First of all it’s quite a pleasant activity — mixing watercolors, drawing, editing some works on Photoshop while listening to some music and having tea — what else can you wish for! Especially if you get paid for it. It’s also nice to give things that I’m drawing some personal touch: sometimes add some pink stain or break a line. I like to experiment with shapes and media and it’s also quite fascinating in this process.
Your illustration work recently focused on fashion. Why is that?
Fashion inspires me a lot. Lines, fabrics, silhouettes and patterns — even though lately I almost don’t go shopping myself (I don’t like the idea of constant consumerism) I like to look at pictures with street style and draw some models.
We live in the age of photography. Do you think we need more illustrations to make people pay more attention to visuals?
Interesting question. I think illustration will never beat photography, as it serves different purposes. I also feel like illustration is something „extra“ — you take a picture of something to show how it really looks and you draw this something rather to give a feeling about it. I like how illustrations look when they are printed. Especially with a good design layout — such an eye candy!
Last one: Do you work analog or digital?
Both! I start with watercolours on paper and then I scan the work and finish it with Photoshop. I think I’m not skilled enough to draw from scratch to the end on paper, also I’m a bit lazy. So I have to invent different techniques to compensate this. It’s my little secret 🙂
Thanks for the chat, Niina!
More of Niina’s work on Instagram!