Instagram: @momsgardenart Website: www.kseniastoylik.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?Hi! My name is Ksyusha, I am 30 years old, I live and work in Moscow. I have gone through a rather long and difficult creative path. In the beginning, I was engaged in animation and worked in an animation studio. Then everything changed quite abruptly and I created my own clothing brand called Mom's Garden. I sewed women's clothes with my own illustrations and patterns. And in 2018, I closed my clothing brand and began to engage exclusively in freelancing and drawing illustrations. So all that's left of Mom's Garden is the name of my Instagram account.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.In my illustrations, I like to use various metaphors which allow a viewer to quickly grasp the main idea of the picture. I often use a technique where objects are larger in size than the character himself. I like simple and rounded shapes, and lately I've really come to liking gradients and rough textures.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I like linocut and screen printing, but this is more about personal projects where I can experiment and I am not limited in time. For work projects, I use Procreate or Photoshop. There are a large number of brushes with the help of which you can create various effects, including the effect of screen printing.
4. What is your artistic process like?Of course, the process begins with a sketch. Usually, I make several variants for one illustration at once, and try different compositions and ideas. After that, I choose the best one and draw a more detailed and elaborated sketch with lines. Next, I proceed to the color. I choose an approximate palette and try different combinations of colors, if something doesn't suit me, then I pick other colors until I feel that I like it. The last stage is the final drawing of the illustration.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I can find inspiration for my work anywhere, it can be a trip, a meeting with friends, a concert, a hike in the forest, or vice versa, some event that worries me a lot and I want to tell about it, for example, wildfires in Siberia. I am also inspired by the works of other artists and illustrators. I usually subscribe to them on Instagram or on Behance and sometimes I just need to look through my feed to get inspired.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Art for me is a way to develop myself as a person. Through the prism of my work, I can study and comprehend my capabilities. And through the works of other artists, I can see the inner world of the author as if through the doors. Moreover, the visual component of the world is very important to me. I like to look at beautiful architecture, painting and discover modern art. I believe that art makes the world better, deeper, more meaningful and more beautiful.
7. Where did you study?I studied in the Theater and Art College with specialization in animation art.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I would like to return to animation, try to work with foreign publishers and possibly move to Europe. I love Prague very much and have long dreamed of living there.
9. What about in ten?I hope by that time I will be a famous artist and I will have a beautiful and bright studio.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I would like my illustration to be not only an ornament, but also a way of drawing the viewer's attention to various social problems, be it ecology or body positivity. I quite often work with charitable and social foundations, now, for example, I am making illustrations for a material about sex education. It's about personal boundaries, that saying "no" is normal and that there is nothing shameful in talking about menstruation.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?In Russia, there is such a wonderful dish called syrniki. This is a dessert and it is made from cottage cheese. In any Russian cafe you can order them and they will be different everywhere, but my mother cooks the best syrniki in the world! She adds currants or orange zest and cinnamon to it and this is the most delicious dish in the world.
12. Favourite book?"The Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov. In general, Bulgakov is one of my favorite writers. I fell in love with him back in my school years. And if you get acquainted with his biography, you realize how strong he was as a person and how difficult and thorny his life path was. However, now I mostly read specialized literature on art and design.
13. Favourite genre of music?I like different genres of music. From classical to surf rock. By the way, I recently came across a composition by a Russian band playing in the surf rock genre, and they made a beat on Tchaikovsky's composition from The Nutcracker. Listen, maybe you'll like it :) Messer Chups - Tchaikovsky Beat 14. What are your hobbies? I have quite a few hobbies. I’m fond of plants, I have about 50 pots of indoor plants at home. I also like to germinate and make seedlings. If I eat an avocado, a mango or a passion fruit, I always put the stone in water or bury it in a pot with earth. My husband and I also love old things, we often go to the flea market and look for treasures there. I collect vintage bottles, but we also have a lot of other interesting vintage things at home, including furniture. For example, an old rustic buffet that we brought from another city. Another hobby is dancing. I have been dancing since childhood and now I sometimes practice jazz modern. This is a dance genre with very beautiful and flexible movements. Dancing helps me keep myself in a good physical shape, support my back and get a boost of energy. 15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be? I think I would be a biologist. I really like to study plants, collect herbariums and learn their names. I could also be an ornithologist. I like to watch birds, study them and memorize their singing. It all seems very exciting.