LIZA SHELESTUN

Ch.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

LS: Simplistic and innate aesthetic with appreciation of form and shape. I photograph natural elements in their organic environment, through which I’m trying to narrate a story. Lately I’ve been working on lifestyle sessions of designers, illustrators, wood carvers; the process is fascinating, and I become submerged in other people’s talents.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

LS: My sources of inspiration are people, travel, natural light, and Soviet architecture.

I love to observe people. It’s the way the man wears the coat, and the woman wraps her scarf or carries her bag which can inspire me suddenly.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

LS: My natural momentum often occurs when I am doing my normal daily things. I always have my Moleskine sketchbook with me. I write down the locations, and sketch ideas, and it usually goes from there. Architecture and landscape have a strong presence in my work.

 CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

LS: I would like people to discover new elements in nature or architecture. I want them to appreciate analog photography medium.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

LS: To wake up around 8am, do exercise, have tea and read. Lately I’ve been painting a lot. My husband and I just moved to our two-bedroom apartment in Chicago, and I’ve been taking time to curate and arrange all pieces to our style.

I love to travel.  It’s when I am exploring a new frontier that I become inspired, so we make it a point to be able to constantly seek new experiences.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

LS: Both of these methods are important. I believe that the direction should be present, but impulse is a good thing to act on.

ImageDisplay-5CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

LS: I need to be present and alert with all my senses, and with everything that I do. I should evolve and change.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

LS: Yes, as it projects the uniqueness of the artist.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

LS: For me it is to be patient in executing my ideas. As soon as I get the new idea, I want it to be alive, and get anxious to fulfill it. Being able to step back and evaluate the best way to bring my idea to life, rather than diving in with the most impulsive instincts, is difficult, yet fruitful.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

LS: I love that I am able to express myself and retain my artistic independence.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

LS: I am inspired by many artists. One of them is Henri Matisse, I am in love with the use of color in his paintings. Fruende von Fruenden interviews, Instagram community, and my friends also stir my creativity.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

ImageDisplay-4LS: Although emojis are nice, nothing can beat real handshakes and eye contact. I absolutely think that technology has been more of help than a hindrance with regard to art.  Yet there remains an appreciation for the styles that got us here that I believe everyone needs to remain involved with.  For me, that comes particularly with film photography.  I do use my iPhone 6 for many shots, especially those that I had not planned for.  But for the more meaningful shoots that I anticipate, I make sure to have my film and Canon on hand in order to best capture the moment as I see it.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

LS: In a way, yes. Sometimes I catch myself making short films, when I see people in their ordinary routines, snow or rain falling on the ground, like everything is moving to the soundtrack.

CH.89:
Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

LS: I love traveling. I make a trip to another city at least once a month. I am lucky enough to live in my favorite city, Chicago, where I moved just two months ago. My home of Kiev, Ukraine will always remain at the top of my list for favorite cities though.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

LS: My all time favorite authors are Erich Maria Remarque, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Jonathan Safran Foer. Also lately I’ve been smitten by Mary Oliver’s poems.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

ImageDisplay-6LS: I am planning on shooting more lifestyle sessions of people in the area. Now that I’m in Chicago, there’s a new array of individuals for me to work with and be inspired by, which I am very excited about.  I would like to publish my photography book later this year.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

LS: It is the ability to create and continue my journey on the desired trajectory.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

LS: In Time by Talos

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

LS: In my aesthetic I remain true and honest to my vision.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: LIZA SHELESTUN

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