Anastasia Viaznikova is a contemporary artist working in mixed media. She was born in 1990 in Izmail, Ukraine. Lives and works in Novogrudok, Belarus. Since 2017 she has been working as a graphic designer and illustrator. In parallel, she began to create paintings with acrylics, pastels, charcoal in 2018. In the art of Anastasia you can see the emotional experiences and states of both ordinary people and herself. She is interested in the psychological aspect. Anastasia covers the themes of loneliness, anxiety, love. Those issues that, despite the development of modern technologies and an increase in the standard of living, remain relevant and burning. Anastasia's works are in private collections.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
It was a harmonious development from a graphic designer and illustrator to an artist. The accumulated experience, knowledge and just the perception of the world helped me in it. I’ve heard a lot that there is more freedom here. But I think they are just completely different things. And I’m very happy to do this. Especially when you consider that for 20 years of my life I thought that I couldn’t draw and was a completely non creative person. Don’t stop believing in yourself!
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
I think it’s easier to start with painting. Especially now, when there are so many convenient materials for this. But of course I don’t want to dwell only on this. After all, this is the essence of the artist – he expresses his ideas through different media. He must be in constant search. This is the only way development takes place. Therefore, in the future I’m interested in sculpture, installation… I also believe that you need to keep up with the times and study modern technologies and try to apply them. In general, there are a lot of opportunities, but of course, see what suits you best.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
Despite the fact that in my paintings you’ll hardly find images of people, it’s they who inspire me. Their actions, emotions. I really like that all people are different, And in each you can find something interesting, strange, surprising.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
First, I choose a topic that excites me. This usually happens somehow by itself. As if the topic itself finds me. Then I start thinking what I can say about it. Something new or rethink what has already been said. There is a choice of materials, colors… And several paintings are ready. Usually I work directly with a series of paintings. Because I think that a statement can’t fit into one work.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
As I said, I usually work directly on a series of paintings. It can be 2-3 paintings at a time. It’s very useful to switch a little and look with a fresh eye.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
It’s simple – you are constantly working, at the same time learning something new, communicating with different people. The main condition is to try something new all the time. Don’t close in your studio, but leave the door ajar.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
For me, the main challenge is to prove that your art isn’t some kind of dummy. That will disappear and be forgotten. Create something that is full and deep. Something that can somehow affect our world. Improve it.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
Indeed, at the beginning of my career it was often difficult for me to stop. It seemed like there was always a part that could be improved. And you spend your days on this painting and it still doesn’t suit you. But with experience, you already know what you want to portray before starting the work process. Therefore, this has become easier. But of course not always.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expressing your creative nature?
I’m an adherent of the first approach. And I think that this is the essence and meaning of the artist. It helps to look at things in a way that no one else could have looked at. Or things that everyone turns a blind eye to.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on my new series “Cyclicality”. It’s about the repetition of our actions, the events occurring despite the changing world. All the same, there are and will be things that repeat and will repeat.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Burn with what you do, what you create. Don’t stop. Unite with like-minded people, support each other. And remember that you have chosen a difficult but very interesting path.