Interview with surreal artist Svetlana Bobrova

Svetlana Bobrova was born in Moscow and graduated from St.Peterburg University (Department of Art history). In 2010, 2011 and 2012 she won an international contest Trierenberg super circuit (4 gold medals and bronze medal in different categories) and silver medal of the Russian Academy of Arts, participated in numerous exhibitions. She is a member of  the "Union of Russian Artists". In 2010 she was included in the book "Why's Why in Photography" (Photographic Society of America). Currently lives and works in Moscow.
Hello dear Svetlana, please, tell us something more about your art, how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

In fact on one hand my art has no ties with my profession and on the other hand it is tightly connected with it. I have been working in a classical art museum for many years and this sphere has had a great influence on me. Besides learning the art history I acquired professional skills at art school of the degree. So, I found my “inner artist” long ago.

My work is mostly an intellectual game. It is interesting to watch my character being born, to watch him getting fantastic form which is so different from the reality. Computer art is the fastest way to catch rapidly-changing images and depict their variability. The very state of quest is probably one of the most pleasant and exciting things. If it is possible to find time I put all passion in creating the virtual history of my characters.
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
It is difficult to say. I think my work is influenced by books, music, films. It is an influence at an emotional level which intensifies the image which exists but is still far from a definite form. It is hard to imagine what acts as an incentive for the chain of changes. It can be a photo of a hand the plastics of which is so fanciful that has its own emotional story and independent form. An absolutely abstract category such as a smell or a taste of wine can become an impulse. “Bad habits” series appeared and was unexpected. It is dedicated not only to the taste of real wine but to the fantasy wine of white dandelions and the taste of the night sky blue wine. A game with images is involving and resembles a computer game where characters never stop changing and exist in their own reality.
How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
My “normal artist day” usually starts at 11 p.m. with my computer monitor light. The best ideas are usually born when you want to sleep very much.

What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperative for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?
I am a historian, an art critic by my education. No doubt, it helps in the search of the creative manner.

It keeps you away from repetition, imitation and megalomania.

What fascinates you the most about surrealism? How would you describe your style? What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?
I am fascinated by surrealism vision as a basis of the world perception. Surrealism has got its long-established laws, creative and psychological parts. These are random  combinations of forms and images that reveal the mystery of the subconscious. Leonora Carrington and Romedious Varo with their exquisite taste and whimsical fantasy, naivety and openness appeal to me. I want to create my own creature or my own essence, my visual twin. This art is “self-portrait” art. My characters are the reflection of mine. It is not the reflection you see in the mirror but the reflection of my psychological world. You can see my joy and fear which are not even realized yet. So it is difficult to find any parallels. Even in “Chartreus drinkers” series the “drinkers” are not the drunks but some creatures peering into our world from their mysterious reality. I deliberately avoid any details because every detail has its own world. Grotesque and transformation are the key features of my style. I am fascinated by changing proportions, exaggerated forms, unusual grace, and combinations of small and big details. Some people call my creatures depressing and threatening. For me they are not depressing but sad, comic and lost. I want to surprise my spectators or make them smile…
What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?
What I like is the very process of creation.
Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?
My work is an unpredictable process. I use different kinds of material: my own drawings, photos, watercolor sketches. I usually work with Photoshop and Wacom Intuos 3 tablet.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
I would like to take up illustrating.
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hiding in your studio?
I have no studio. My working space is a writing table and a computer.
What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
The biggest lesson for me is to try to be free and appreciate time.
What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
It is difficult for me to answer the question.
What do you dislike about the art world? What is the hardest thing on being an artist? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Imitation and direct borrowing.
With the appearance of such sites as “Deviantart” an artist is not alone. The artist gets a whole world of communication, a possibility to meet your “soul-mate” artists.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?

It is difficult to plan anything. I would like to take up illustrating.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?
To look for something new, listen to yourself …
Your favorite art or life quote is ...

All forms of the surreal art.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
My hobby is my creating.
Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?
Yes, I've got a Facebook page, Deviantart.
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?
Just to say many thanks for interesting my work, it is so important to me.
Thank you dear Svetlana, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new visions and works :)
By contributor Linda. November 2014. Find Oh, So Surreal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + or RSS.