Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts

Monday, 5 September 2016

Tiger's Family Journal

Hello everyone and welcome!

This post is going to be about my newest journal - The Tiger's Family Journal. 
This journal was a very specific custom order and may not make any sense to you as what and why... but this is why I felt like I needed to explain it. 
Usually in natural situation such scene could have never happened. A monkey sadly would only end up being a dinner for a tiger. But this journal's idea was based on the Chinese Calendar signs, rather than just realism or natural order. 
I had a Chinese lady contact me saying that she and her husband were born in the year of the tiger and their baby is a year of a monkey. This way she wanted to symbolically represent their family portrait on the journal that will be used as a diary for a newborn baby. 
I enjoyed practicing the cute style of sculpting, although this is not my favourite artwork of my own. 
Sometimes I feel that too restraining ideas limit my ability to go crazy and to make something out of this world... I still have to stay professional with what I do, but creating particular and very defined scenes is not something I am super strong or very passionate about. 
Anyhow, I was actually quite pleased with the result and the cuteness of this journal, so I hope you will like it too.

I'd rather stay honest and explain myself on how I feel about my own work, as I feel the need to say it sometimes for your knowledge, but also for my own understanding. Sometimes we do things that we don't want to do, sometimes life forces us to bend down and turn ourselves inside out. I am trying to stay as true to myself as much as I can by being honest and by seeing my flaws, seeing my disadvantages and instead of masking them away, I want to work and develop the weak areas of my creative talent. The only way to progress is to accept that you are not perfect, very far from it, but you want to be as perfect version of your own self as you possibly can. I may never reach my own perfection concept or maybe I will.. but then I will surely raise my own bars so I can always look upwards and spread my hands hight into the sky... I don't like the concept of reaching the top and then bending down and looking down on everybody else. The idea of having no goal or no area to grow actually scares me a lot! I need the sun to be a descent tree that reaches out for the light!
Of course you also have to be realistic and still love yourself even if you know the areas where you are not as good and you may not deserve the love you give to yourself. Love yourself as if you are a child of your own self. Love yourself like a mother would love her naughty child. She would still try her best to educate, develop and raise him as good as possible, but no matter what.. she would still love him. So love yourself with all your flaws and imperfections and after accepting them, work on them, if you feel that you would like to change them for something better. Accepting and loving your flaws and imperfections only counts when you are ready to change what is changeable. What can't be changed, should be accepted as God's gift or life's lesson.
I hope that makes sence.. 
But.. let's get back to some pictures :) Otherwise I went all philosophical  today :))) 


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Red Sea Dragon

Hello everyone and welcome!
Today I would like to present you my latest journal - The Read Sea Dragon.

I have done quite a few dragon journals so far, but this one has a special twist as this is a water dragon and it is presented in a way as if he is swimming in water. I particularly liked how the air bubbles manifested in the progress of my creation. I fantasise as I go and many of you know it already. These little bubbles appeared unexpectedly when I wanted to add some sparkle to the journal and found these matching blue cabs in my supplies. 


This journal was made as a custom order for a very interesting client. Her daughter is a little bit colour blind and she doesn't see dark colours. Therefor the journal was supposed to be made in bright and vivid tones, with a lot of visible colour changes. I also decided to add a lot of different texture to water, so if there would be something she wouldn't be able to see, she would definitely be able to feel all the waterfall of textures, smooth and patterned. Anything you want. 

The second favourite element that I really really like is how I accidentally placed the golden elements in between the feathers of the dragon's wings, but when they were all placed, they started to look like packs of little golden fishes that all came to see and meet the dragon. Particularly because the little golden elements were previously a part of the chain, so each and every one of them has a little eye-hole :) What a wonderful coincidence. So I had no choice but draw little spiky tails behind each golden element to make them look like little fishes completely. 


I loved to work on the smallest details of the dragon's body. The journal is only A6 in size, so the little dots and swirls are less then 1mm in diameter. 
Also, I think that the combination of bright and deep reds merged with the teals and purple-blues are contrasting beautifully with the golden accents on the dragon's body, wings and horns. 
For more pictures of this and other journals please visit my Website Gallery. 

Thank you for still being my follower, 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Fae's Dreams Journal

Hello everyone! 

Today I would like to share my newest journal with you which I named "Fae's Dreams".
You all know by now that I do love making concepts for my art, so that behind each artwork is a story. This time my client had requested a Fae, but not your regular cutie one with wings, but a wicked one, a special one. 
Perhaps some of you know already, I am not very good with sculpting faces, and so I was very skeptic about this order as I felt like I will make something very average and won't be pleased at all and neither will be a client. But recently I have purchased a lovely set of face moulds and so I decided to give it a try. 
My client wanted to have a fae with the open eyes but my moulds all had closed eyes. I took the challenge and begun to practice.

It took me 3 attempts to make her face and you can see from the small picture that the first two looked comic and one of them had to deal with my anger management problems! LOL! Yes I smacked her with the fist and poked the face many times with my ball tool. Don't make the duck angry! Ever! Well I also did struggle to understand how to do the lips and really struggled with the nose. As you can see from the original first picture, the nose had changed drastically from the original mould. So I did add a lot of my own sculpting onto the moulded base, including eyes, eyelids, completely new nose, more volume over the eyebrows and so on. It was really a process, which we Russians call :"The eyes are scared, but hands are working!", meaning that I was petrified from where I am heading with this and I was very happy with the result of the third mould. The nose turned to be more like an animal one, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't do the normal human nose. Here, now you know all my weaknesses! 
Another cool thing about this project which I have discovered in the process of it's creation was how to make human hands. I know mine ones are far away from the realistic ones, but still I am so pleased with the progress as I never did hands before! So first I made one that was too small, then I realised that the palm should be the size of her face and made another hand that did match the proportions. 
The third cool discovery was when I decided to choose a labradorite stone for the project. I have a small collection of them that always grows as I like buying more of them as they run out. So while selecting a perfect stone I found one that had an amazing scene in it. You must remember the game we played on Facebook named "What do you see?"
So as soon as I saw this stone, the story was born in my head.
Please switch on your imagination and go with me on a journey to the forest, where our little Fae (a fairy named Fae!) lived all of her life.


Fae was a little tiny fairy in her forest world and her life was so simple and everyday was the same as any other day. But one evening she was traveling next to the river and she saw a beautiful man standing next to the river fishing. He stood right under a huge willow tree and the light of the sun, that was beaming through the branches of the willow was lighting him up beautifully. never saw a man before and she was fascinated by his size, how strong and powerful he looked, so she fell in love with his beauty instantly. But of course, there is always some drama in every good story and as you all get it, Fae and human can't be together. She knew it from the start, but she kept coming to the willow every day to see him no matter what. One day the willow tree whispered to her through the voices of the leaves. Nobody could hear it but fairies and as she was the only one there, she was the only one who heard it. The willow said, that she observed the man for a long time and that she has noticed him being very sad. Once the man was even talking to himself, as there was no one around, but the willow was listening. 
Willow had told the Fae that the man was very lonely and he carried a very deep scar from loosing a loved one once before and he had given a promise in front of the Willow, that he will never love again. When this was said, the willow cried and her tears started to fall down and few had dropped on the man, too. He didn't take a notice, but the Fae had picked one up and saved it. With time it turned hard and became as strong as a glass, but it preserved a memory of what the willow tree saw that day. Fae knew that she and the man will never be able to be together, but she was so pleased to have a vision of the man in the teardrop "memory stone" she had picked up under that the willow. In few months the lonely fisherman had stopped coming to fish under the willow and so the Fae was only left with her dreams and a teardrop of memories.
So that's the story! And that's the pictures of the Fae and her precious stone!











Thank you very much for reading, 
Love & Peace, 


Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Secret of The Death Valley - Treasure Box

As many of you know, I love to work a lot with polymer clay journals and create one of a kind books. Though sometimes I like to divert from this route in order to create something very special. Some ideas just don't fit on journals any more and they are eager to break out of the 2.5D into a 3D space. 


This time me and Ashley were brainstorming about where does my art career is heading and I was feeling quite lost really, stuck up in custom orders without having much space to breathe and give life to my own creative ideas. It did happen like this couple of times before and he was always there to support me and push me towards the right direction. It's true they say that behind every successful man there is a wise woman. But I can also say that it's a complete Ditto! It works both ways as well! 

So while brainstorming and having a bit of a creative argument, as we both are very artistic minded people with strong characters, we came up to some sort of agreement on what we wanted to create. 
The plan required some good crystal hunt and so we went to my favourite crystal shop in London, Merton. I like going there as I never seen a place with more crystals anywhere else. I have selected a good set of stones for this and some other projects in future and I was very pleased with the hunt. You can see on the picture on the right the large beautiful labradorite which I used in this project. 

I started this project with a great desire and a wish to complete it, although I knew it will be quite challenging as I never worked with wire before to support the elements that are very thin and are not attached to the actual base of the artwork (like it is in journals). 
So the challenge was there and I think I had to bake the actual head 3 times before I actually attached it to the base of the artwork. Then it was easy and I was completely in peace about working on the base for as long as I could without baking it. I think the second time I baked the deer's head, I actually burned some antler parts, but it looked so nice, that I decided to use it as if it was supposed to be like this. 

It was also quite interesting to work on the actual background as I wanted to create a scene of the deserted place, where it is so dry, that even the earth is cracking onto millions of shingles. To imitate an effect of sand, dry earth, cracks and dirt, I have used a needle tool to draw the outlines of the cracks and then I worked around them, inside them, outside them and everywhere else with the Dots & Scratches tool to create an amazing effect of a crumbled hardened sand and clay. I do always use this tool for this effect as I find it's the best way to do it. 
As for the small thin and thick root-a-like strands, of course I used an extruder as I had to apply way too many strands.


I also very much  enjoyed working on tiniest details of this project like the little old snake skin on the back of the deer skull or the actual special feature of this journal, a tiny little iguana lizard with some microscopic spikes on it's back or the thorns in the dead branches. 
Unfortunately thought the majority of them just fell of while I was painting the artwork afterwards. Perhaps I should have used more liquid clay to support them. But anyways, here you can see how the iguana looked like before it was baked. It had so many miniature little spikes and thorns on it's face and back as well as it had every little toe on it's legs, nostrils and eyes. 

The actual idea from the very beginning was to create a huge Art-Necklace in a shape of a stag with very large and branchy antlers that look like two trees. The actual timber was supposed to be very dry and full of texture and the roots of these trees would go around the head crystal and would worm the shape of the deer's head. But when I started working on this project, I understood that it will be very heavy and brittle to wear, even if it's just for an artistic photo shoot and not for an everyday wear. 
I decided to use it for a treasure box project. I had these wonderful great quality leather boxes which I wanted to use for a while and so this was the time! 
The name of this Treasure Box is "The Secret of the Death Valley". I wanted to show that even in the most deadly and dry hopeless places, there always can be life found. So the thorns, branches, roots would symbolise death, thirst and where there are labradorite crystals, they would form a shape of a stag with antlers. A deer or a stag always meant to me something as beautiful as life itself. The symbol of a stag is always used in the most wonderful and spiritual ways, therefore in my mind it was a right symbol to use. Labradorite crystals do always associate with water in my head, so it was a perfect crystal to use. So, where there is death, there is death, but where there is water, there's always life. And all the living creatures are attracted to it. And this is the Secret of the Death Valley. The secret of the survival of it's living beings. 
So here is what I came up with in the very end. Enjoy and comment bellow to let me know what you think. 




























Thank you very much for reading, 
Namaste.


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Thoughts and Doubts

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

I know, I know it's the 6th of January, but I usually still say happy new year to everyone I see up until the 10th of January. So there we are. 2016!
The first week of January had passed and I felt very creative and made some paintings, practiced my calligraphy and meditated on some deep feelings and thoughts that were starting to boil inside my heart. 
Some of you, who are following me for quite some time or even new followers and people interested in my art, might think that I never struggle with my creativity. You guys are saying that I can't stop amazing you and each of my next work is better than the previous one... This is all very pleasant to my ears but in reality I am absolutely not feeling this. In anything, I am feeling like I am degrading, instead of progressing. This kind of sensations can have a couple of reasons and perhaps I have figured out a few and am ready to tell you about them. 

First of all, of course it doesn't help if you see some other people's art. It can inspire you a lot and it can also suck you in and give you obsessions and put you so much off track. Especially if you haven't yet strictly figured out what your track is.. I don't think that many artist do know where exactly they are heading... Or sometimes you marvel at somebody else's creations so much, that you waste all your creative powers and powers in general from just doing that. Some of the days I feel like a mother who is 10 months pregnant and still, nothing is coming out! I can have an idea in my head and perhaps even a sketch drawn somewhere, but I just can't start.
I have noticed that starting a project is actually the hardest part. Once you are in it, it's an ongoing process and you just add up some more and more until it's finished. If you are very inspired or had too much chocolate, then perhaps you can spend the night adding that little something or nailing through the whole project with a speed of light. But starting it, God, this is so hard for me. 
I remember once i needed to make a raven journal and I would walk around my room, clean it, go for walks, come back to my studio, move things around and I actually ended up painting the walls in my room ( this was during 2 days time and it felt crazy intense).. and in all this painting decorative mess, with paint jugs and brushes still standing on my table ... you know what I did? I pulled out my black clay and created a great Raven Samurai journal in the middle of the night in 3 hours. 3 hours!!!

 I don't quite know when exactly the "Working Energy Gates" do open and the flow of energy, inspiration and crazy ideas start to flow out of them, but it seems like that my gates are rather spontaneous and they don't get a clue what "business", "time" or "being organised" means. 
Some days I can just look at photos and pictures online and offline, go through other people's work, catalogues, books, movies, and I create nothing for days. Then Boom! and I am sitting and claying out of the blue or I have this vision before sleep in all the colour and motion of beautiful things and next morning I wake up at 5am from an urge to work and create. 

Seasonal depressions don't help either and even if my ones are more of an artistic mood swings, they still kick you out of your track for good. I am not mentally ill, I am just very sensitive to weather changes and to nature life cycles. And so I struggle. 

For the past couple of weeks I did put all of my clay work away as soon as I was finished with my urgent orders. I didn't feel like claying.. I was writing calligraphy and painting. I couldn't understand why, but I felt like my art had reached it's peak and not in a good sense. I felt like there is a block, but not in ideas, but in my skills, the way I do things and tools and materials I use, shapes I make, dimensions I work with. All the works I was doing were nice, but nothing like the great ideas in my head. And so I had even spoken to Ash about this, saying that I don't know what is going on, but it feels like I am shedding some skin and something is changing inside me, something is trying to grow out of me, something new but it haven't gone through the surface yet, so I don't know what it is. We discussed that I should not stop claying, that just painting might not bring me what I want from life and so on... To be honest I went away from this conversation even more dissatisfied than I was when it started... but then I went to my studio and put some music on (Solar Fields).. This music always keeps me energetic and gives me the sense of concentration and in good working state. 
I went googling for inspirations after inspirations, collecting ideas, visions, characters and after I did come up with a sketch of a journal I am willing to make. Yesterday I was positive this is going to be an A4 size journal. But now I am in doubt if I want this journal to be large A4 piece or a super detailed A5. I want the actual journal to be covered in leather, with book corners and all of the details that will make this book look very professionally made. Later on when this project is finally done, I will show you and will mention all the inspirations I had, as this picture contains bits and bobs from a few photographs and digital paintings of amazing artists and so I would love them to be credited for that properly. 
So here ladies and gentleman in my latest sketch of something I am willing to make. 









Saturday, 26 December 2015

"Elements Entwined" Journal

Hello everyone and welcome!

Let me present you my my "Elements Entwined" journal which I particularly enjoyed making as I had discovered some new techniques while making it. 
Again, during Christmas period I do receive quite a lot of Christmas orders and so this was is not an exception. I was quite pleased that I have received quite a few local UK based orders. It's good to be appreciated by people from your own continent as usually it's American people and people from Australia that did order a lot before from me. So I am glad that UK customers did join them this year. 

So the mission for this project was to create some fire and water Yin Yang inspired artwork. That was all I knew. Luckily my customer didn't order it to be a Yin Yang shape in particular and so I had some space for inspiration. 
I have used couple of  stock images from google as my main inspiration and while there is nothing special in these pictures, they really helped me to understand what exactly I wanted to show on the journal. I wanted the water and the fire to be more than just that. I wanted them to look decorative. 
So  everything started with black clay base and white clay for the elements. I knew that this project will require quite a strong and powerful colour effect and I wasn't sure I will be able to achieve it by using colourful clay. I admit I am not as strong in using all sorts of polymer clay effects and I prefer to use clay for sculpting and then paint it over. I have noticed that my style right now is undergoing some changes where I am discovering some new techniques, tools, materials, ways of painting with inks and acrylics and even liquid polymer clay.  So there it was, just a black and white object, but I did make sure that I made all the necessary volumes and textures on it before colouring. 

The first step for me is always sort of a trial. I use inks and I do use lighter, sort of more transparent colours, just to set the colours in, to understand how the design will look and so on. When I like what I made, then I add up some more shadows, deeper and brighter colours and then I bake my artwork. 
As you can see, I am using a transparent film as a palette for my inks. this way I can clearly see the colour and the inks don't get absorbed into paper. You can also use a white plate I guess but make sure you won't eat from it again. 
So for this composition I used Piñata Inks in red and yellow (can't remember if I mixed orange or used Piñata orange as well).. And for the blues I used blue ink from Piñata and a little bit of Adirondack ink in Mermaid colour. I was quite pleased with the result and I knew I will be enchanting these colours later after the first bake. 


For the water - wave effect I have used this photo to get inspired from colours and to see how to create the foam.  Waves do fascinate me a lot and by looking at them you can see so much detail, lovely constellations of foam, strands of foam, perfect turquoise teal ocean wave colour burst and lovely little shimmery droplets on the very tops of the waves. PERFECTION!Love waves! 

After the baking was done I added up extra tones, made sure that the colors are strong, vivid and consistent ( I used Reeves, Liquitex acrylic 
paints for that). The little ribbons and swirls of fire got covered with 18K Gold Leaf  pen from Krylon. I love this pen. It's quite pricey but it's perfect as it uses real gold powder and it shines so much more than gold acrylic paint I have. 

For the silver-white wave foam I have used same marker but in Silver tone. I have also added up some crushed pearls on the bumpy parts of the water foam. And the actual foam was made from Pardo Translucent clay. First I made it from a lot of coral look-a-like clay pieces and then I texturised it with a very fine ball tool to create more bubbles. 
After all the colours were set, I decided to experiment and I used liquid clay (brushed it over the fire and water areas). Baked again, of course. It gave it this interesting depth and some nice satin shine. I have also implemented some crushed crystals into it while the clay was still liquid and baked it all together. Unfortunately crushed crystals ended up being very sharp and so I had to rip some of them off and cover the others with more varnish and liquid clay as safety comes first! I didn't want my client to cut his fingers! 
And so by the end of this project I came up with this journal which I was quite pleased with as I haven't yet done anything from clay that represented realistically looking fire and water and even if fire does only look real in the photos or real life, I knew that my fire will be fore of a decorative one and I was happy with the result.  ENJOY!










































































Thank you so much for reading till the end, 
Namaste 




Samurai Journal

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to show you a journal I made as a custom order for a client that was local and fun to work with. My client had an idea that he wants to have a journal made for his girlfriend for Christmas. He said she loves Samurai art and Giraffes. He was willing on having both elements put into one work, but I kept insisting that he has to choose one as giraffes and  Samurai can't go together neither physically, not geographically or ethically. It just doesn't go! Period :)
So we stopped at Samurai and his preference was more of a classy side of Japanese art. We stoped at this picture gracefully painted by JungShan Ink and together we decided to work on a square journal. Just as well I had one and I really wanted to use it for some time. 

I didn't quite know where this journey will end and at this moment of time I was using my new claying/painting technique where first I engrave a little relief on raw white clay to show some volumes and then paint it all over. First I really wanted to keep it very simple, almost calligraphy style, but when I used my black ink, it turned purple when diluted  and so the artwork gained some colour. I also wanted the artwork look like it's painted on ancient yellowed down paper and that worked. 



In general, I like painting with inks on my clay artworks before I cover them in acrylics. It might seem like a waste of time as I cover the majority of ink with acrylic paints anyway, but  it helps me out a lot as when the background is covered in colour, it's easier to paint on top of it with acrylics later and the white background doesn't shine through the multiple layers of paint. So all in all my Japanese samurai clay tile looked like this after it was first baked. I knew it's wasn't finished, but sometimes my artworks do not look completely right up until the very last moment when I put the very last finishing touches. So bare with me on this artwork and see the whole process. I started painting with acrylics as soon as it was baked and from there an idea of the sunset had appeared. Sometimes the whole colour scheme can arise from just a couple of correct brush strokes with the right colour. Same happened here. I decided that I was the Samurai and the tree to be backlit and I decided that the sun needs to be very warm yellow to achieve that kind of look. 

I've been also looking at quite a few mountain scenes which were painted in watercolour technique to understand how it would look like. 
So you can see from the picture bellow that the result and the whole colour idea kinda remained similar to original watercolour effect I made with inks prior baking, but of course it has gained more depth, shadows, atmosphere and feel of realism. Although this hardly can be called a good painting, I am still very happy with the result as all in all across two covers and a spine, it looks like a nice composition and a story about a dedicated Samurai who rises before the sunrise to practice his skills, to meditate in a dance with his sword and to greet the sun respectfully. 


Thank you very much for reading, 
Namaste ॐ





Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Dancing Hippo Momma Journal

This cute journal was made for a client who really loves her mother. Her mother is in love with all things related to hippos and likes to write in her sketchbooks, so as a loving daughter, her child decided to surprise her mother for Christmas! Oh how do I love clients like that! Caring, loving, attentive to their loved ones and full of fun and inspiration!
So she wanted the journal to show a dancing hippo and we both stopped at one picture drawn by Disney Team and when she saw it she didn't want to have anything else but this hippo. 
I did make sure to make a hand drawn sketch and a creative collage before we start. 
The main things required to be present on the cover was a hippo, a lot of cake and a tutu. And the hippo had to hold a cake in her hand! Fun, right?























So I arranged a whole tea set with a lot of sweets, fudge and cake flying around in a magical dance with a hippo. Everything is dancing, even her curtains and her fruit bowl. 
It was quite a lovely project and fun to play with.

























Thank you so much for taking time to read this, 
Love, 









Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kitsune Fox Journal

Hi everyone!

Let me show you a lovely and quite unusual project I worked on recently.  This was a project for a lovely customer from Japan and my first ever custom order from there. I got overexcited when I found out where my client is from as Japan is a dream place to go and I am finding the traditional Japan to be one of the most fascinating things on Earth.
But my client was quite a cool guy and he sent me this journal cover with a spiral binding inside, so that he can swap and change his papers inside it whenever he needs to. He said he wanted to keep this journal for life. Now, I do really cherish and appreciate such will. It amazes me every time when people choose to trust such an important job to me. Thank you so much!

And so the idea of the journal came directly from my lovely client as he was very specific about the idea. He had all the drawings and elements ready for me and I only needed to combine them in the right composition and add up my own Mandarin twist!

Foxes in Japanese Mythology are classed a type of Gods or good spirits and they are worshipable. It is a great luck to have a fox in your garden. The coolest and the most Japanese thing about these foxes is that they are supposed to have 9 tails and breathe fire. Now this is my thing! FANTASY CREATURES! Oh yeah! :) Younger the fox, less tails it has. Older and more experienced in magical skills the fox is, more golden and multi-tailed it gets. At least that's how I understood the concept.



I especially loved the little graphic clouds. They so remind me of anime style, but it seems like it's also quite traditional for Japanese art to show clouds this way.
On the back of the journal is my client's family crest - a very stylised Wisteria wreath. I do like it a lot as it sums up the whole thing with a deep family and dynasty meaning. So even if this journal seems to be quite cute and innocent, it possess a lot of knowledge, tradition and respect for elders, spirit animals and nature. Thank you so much for such honour to my client!



Thank you for reading, 
Enjoy your life,