INTERVIEW Oneiric drawings in pens and pencils by Daria Hlazatova
„Daria’s drawings are inspired by fairy-tales, theatre, awkwardness and nonsense. Besides that, she’s an avid music and cinema lover, a confident traveller, a mediocre tambourine player and an excellent home dancer.”, writes on her website. Masks, flamboayant muses, hidden feelings, eyes everywhere (the root of her name means eyes, in Russian) into the patterns and cosmic touches in a blend of black and white reveal an exquisite imagination. A visual poetry written in pens and pencils and a total devotion to art, also admired in international exhibitions and art projects. We were glad to talk to this stunning self taught ilustrator from Ukraine, about her oneiric drawings, The Lord of the Rings and her personal zine, Nosorog. How’s the weather in Lothlórien? All good?
Yes. It’s lovely. Speaking of magical lands, are you a fan of The Lord of the Rings? I believe you’re fond of elves, am I right?
I love the fact that Tolkien invented not only one magical world, but also filled it with so many diverse and enigmatic lands, that one just can’t help but want to travel to one of them. My favourite creatures are hobbits – I certainly share their love for comfort and growing things. Elves are wonderful, too, and I guess their best quality is that they sing more often than talk.
I was surrounded with love and warmth, old tapes and picture books, documentaries about the sea, maps and globes. I think travelling to the countries of the former USSR played its part in the developing of my overactive imagination.
Tonight, tonight Unicorn rider
If you’d be a creature, how would you describe yourself?
I’d probably have pencils instead of fingers.. When you think of childhood, what comes to your mind specifically? How did it influenced your work?
I was surrounded with love and warmth, old tapes and picture books, documentaries about the sea, maps and globes. I think travelling to the countries of the former USSR played its part in the developing of my overactive imagination. I have been travelling since I was 3 and I think the earlier you start, the better. Looking at the changing landscapes from the windows of the trains and contemplating people and their ways of life left a trace in my memory of childhood. You wanted to become an oceanologist. What is it that you love most about water, in general?
Water is incredibly powerful and the sea is a different world we think we know well, but at the same time it’s as far from us as the stars. There is always a good mystery to the sea. I like to think of it as a magic well of inspiration full of wonderful and clever creatures. What was the hardest thing you’ve done in the name of art?
Sacrificing all the time I have to draw. And what is it that you do to keep the inspiration flowing?
Everything. There are so many obstacles for artists, whether they are emotional or material, whether it’s lack of time, confidence or the absence of opportunity, uncertainty and doubt. All these things work as a great trigger to keep on drawing for me. Travelling, as I mentioned earlier, is a great source of outpouring encouragement and ideas. Also, music! What do you like about making collages?
I like the complete freedom of it and the message is often found in the process of cutting and gluing. Your characters seem to be from a flamboayant world, full of patterns, symbols resembling tarot cards and cosmic references. I sense that you’re fond of monocolor and eyes and costumes, are there some things you find important in life or that should interest us more?
Somehow these symbols that you have uncovered in my work find their way to my drawings – for what reason exactly – I cannot say. It just happens and maybe it has a meaning that I will have to find out later. Do tell us more about Nosorog. How did you come up with this idea of zine? Nosorog was a zine, which consisted of three issues, that contained several stories and illustrations. I decided to make it one winter morning with the purpose to make life brighter. I didn’t expect it will be of interest to anybody, but surprisingly enough there’s a copy of it on every continent now, which is very flattering. Besides sublime illustration and peculiar collages, what do you love to do? I understand you have a taste for theatre.
I usually visit theatre when I’m travelling. My first play was The Caretaker by Harold Pinter, which started my love for his work and theatre in general. The vanity of going somewhere to be entertained is strangely appealing. Besides theatre I enjoy singing and watching films.