MAGAZINE

December 26th, 2019
Jesse Gussow

 

The soothing colours balance so well with the haunting and surreal characters that Julia Kuzina creates. Her work is deeply emotional, it’s impossible to not experience a range of emotions when looking at her characters. Her attention to detail only furthers the powerful emotions in her work, including colour balance, lighting and objects that the characters are surrounded by. all together this skilled artists created a masterful painting that hit you right in the feels.

 


Where are you from?

I was born in a small town in North West Russia. At the age of 17 I moved to St. Petersburg, where I now live.

 

 

How did you get started in art?

I've always drawn, but I never thought of it as a profession. After high school, I got into university to study economics, but I carried a folder of paper with me and made sketches of people in the subway.

Then I got a job and stopped drawing.

After many years, I bought oil paint and for a couple of years they just lay in a box. Then one day I had a child and a superpower to appreciate time, so I started painting.

 

 

What is the most fulfilling part about what you do?

That I can share my feelings with others through my paintings. There is a lot of love and a lot of me in them.

I feel a strong connection with nature, other people and the whole world and this is reflected in my paintings. Painting is really what I love. I feel this love when I paint, I feel a real freedom and a great desire to share it with the whole world.

I’m fond of sharing my work with others and to find out how people interpret meanings of my paintings. It’s valuable when painting evokes emotions.

 

 

If you weren't an artist what job would you have?

I would become a pastry chef and make beautiful desserts.

 

 

Who is your favourite character to draw?

I have one character she is a favourite. She has her own facial proportions, long fingers, a crooked neck and she is of an undetermined age. When I created this character, I wanted to create something on the verge of ugliness and beauty, to mix an attracting and unattractive components.

I also like to paint animals, I like albino animals and animals without hair or others that seem unusual.

 

 

How would you describe your style?

Pop surrealism or magical realism. Let art critics deal with it. I create my own universe in my paintings, this is the foundation.

 

 

What's the worst job you've ever had and why?

Once I was passing out flyers in a traffic plug in winter. It’s cold in Russia especially winter!

 

 

Who are your favourite musical bands to listen to?

My favourite is Lana Del Rey, I also like Hurts, Coldplay, Sam Smith, Queen, Nirvana and others.

I prefer to create something new in a silence. Then, when the idea is already there and the first layer is ready, I listen to music or podcasts.

 

 

What materials do you like to work with when you are making art?

I like oils for their multilayering and ability to forgive mistakes. I like to touch it with my fingers.

I also like to sculpt. When you sculpt a face, you understand how perfect the nature is.

 

 

What is your process for making a art piece from start to finish?

First comes the idea in my head and I make rough sketches to capture it. Sometimes there is no idea at first and then it appears in the process of sketching. Then I take a reference photo. I take a picture of myself or my dolls and other objects that I need. This is necessary to put the
right lighting in the whole painting. After that I make more detailed drawings. I enlarge the final drawing in Photoshop and transfer it to the canvas using tracing paper to save time.

Then I paint. Often in process, the original idea transforms into something else. Painting takes on a life of its own. My paintings are multilayer. It takes me a month or more to finish a painting. But I paint several paintings at one time.

 

 

Do you do commission work as well?

Yes, I’m open for commission. Tell me a story and I’ll create a painting.

 

 

What are you passionate about?

Of course I’m passionate about art. I read books about art, watch films about art, go to art exhibitions. There are a lot of museums in St.Petersburg, so I always have a place to visit.
In addition to art, I have learned Spanish and Italian, and I go to the climbing wall. I’m curious and I’m passionate about all that I do.

 

 

Where are the best places to see your work?

On Instagram, you can see not only my paintings, but also the photo references that I create for them. There are also links to online galleries and information about upcoming offline events. Seeing an original artwork can be a special experience

 

 

What was the first piece you had published?

It was a “Girl with fish”. It marked the beginning of “Girl” series and gave a new direction for my further work. I created an Instagram account to show this painting.

 

 

Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?

I have never tried Fudgee-O. We don’t get them in Russia. To answer that question, I tried to find them, but I could’t. We have Oreos everywhere, but they are not my favourite cookies. I bake delicious cookies myself.

 

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