HSE Students and Painting

A little talk with HSE students who are also amateur artists to know more about their artistic point of view and their drawing process.

HSE Students and Painting

Painting has long been an integral part of our lives. Everyone has drawn at least once in their lifetime. There are people who have been drawing since they were very young, and there are also ones who have just started drawing when they are adults. Some people draw in their spare time, some make a living by drawing. There are even people who do not know how to draw but really enjoy looking at pieces of art. Therefore, museums and galleries are everywhere.

I like painting, however, I am the type of person who does not know how to draw. That is why I really admire those who can do it, whether they are professional artists or not. It is a pleasure for me to have a talk with Do Thi Hai An and Elena Litovchenko. Although their study programs are not related to painting, they really love drawing and have created a lot of fascinating pieces of art.

Do Thi Hai An

Elena Litovchenko

Hi girls, it’s nice to talk to you today. Let’s get started by introducing yourselves.

An: Hi everyone! My name is Do Thi Hai An, but you can call me An for short. I’m a third year student of Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. My major is World Economy.

Lena: Hi there! I’m Elena Litovchenko, please call me Lena. I’m also a third year student and my study program is Advertising and Public Relations. It’s a pleasure to meet you two and our readers!

As far as I know, your majors are not related to painting but you all have a hobby of drawing and even draw very well. That’s why the topic of today’s talk is about painting, drawing, art and so on. Are you girls ready to get started?

An & Lena: Of course!

Here is my warm-up question. What is the definition of an artist to you? Do you consider yourself an artist?

An: To me, anyone who enjoys drawing and aspires to improve their art can be an artist. Therefore, I can consider myself an amateur artist.

Lena: Yeah, I also agree with An. In my opinion, an artist is any person who likes to draw and show their work to others. I love sharing my pieces of art on social media and consider myself an artist.

What are the main themes of your artwork?

An: I mainly draw bust-ups and portraits, but recently I’ve been practicing drawing background and more poses.

Lena: Well, I draw digital illustrations in a style like I’m drawing in paper. Moreover, I enjoy drawing pictures that have a sense of a fairy tale, and I also design characters.

Will you, please, describe the best piece of art you’ve created?

An: My best piece of art so far would be a fanart of Venti, a playable character in Genshin Impact (An action role-playing game developed by China’s miHoYo and first published in 2020). I like it a lot because I spent more time drawing the background effects and the umbrella than his face.

Lena: Recently I’ve started designing two characters that I'll be creating a love story about them in the future. One character is a fairy of dreams and the other is a creator of nightmares. Their designs turned out to be very contrasting and they both had bright eye-catching features, that’s why I really like them.

Are there any materials or tools that are integral to your work?

An: I used to work with watercolor, but currently I draw on digital platforms only, that is, Photoshop and Procreate.

Lena: Same. I mainly draw on the computer with a drawing tablet. I rarely use pencil.

I have always wondred what motivated you two to create an artwork.

An: Other artists, because I get really motivated whenever I see a piece of drawing that I like.

Lena: To me, it is my own imagination. I really like to draw the images of the characters that come to my mind. Also, I am very motivated by the support of my friends!

Where do you find inspiration?

An: Previously I found my inspirations through artists on social media, since there are way more artists, including NSFW ones there. If you ask what NSFW is, search google for it.

Lena: Most of the time, it’s music. I like to listen to various songs with vocals and imagine what kind of hero could sing them. In addition, I am often inspired by the work of other artists, in order to create something unique, something mine.

When is your favorite time to create?

An: Anytime. An artist doesn’t need to create art according to a fixed schedule!

Lena: Personally, I really like to draw in the evening, because this is the time when it’s cool outside, and quiet at my home. That time I often don’t have other things waiting for me.

Do you receive comments on your work?

An: Not really, most are just compliments from my acquaintances. My drawings don’t reach many people, so I hardly ever receive any constructive criticism.

Lena: Same situation. I rarely receive comments, and they are mostly from my friends. I’m not that active on social media, so I understand why there aren’t many comments on my work.

This question is devoted to art style. How has your style changed over time?

An: I’d say my style has changed a lot over time. Previously I only drew in anime/manga style, but now my style is somewhat semi-real.

Lena: Of course, my style often changes, but some parts still remain unchanged. Mostly my style changes when I take the drawing more seriously.

Are there any art trends that inspire your current work? If yes, what are they?

An: Sorry, I’m not an expert in art, so I don’t know about trends.

Lena: Yeah, me, either! I can’t say for sure, but I like it when people imitate how they draw on paper while drawing on a computer. This is my favorite style!

Who are your biggest artistic influencers?

An:  There are many talented people on social media.

Lena: What a tough question! It’s hard for me to answer, I have a constantly changing group of my favorite artists, so I don’t remember who inspired me.

How do you develop your art skills?

An: Mostly by observing and slowly improving my mistakes, but right now I watch Youtube videos to help me understand what should be done instead.

Lena: Practicing, of course! When you practice a lot in drawing certain things, you get used to it. The main thing is not to overdo and not get burned out.

Do you have a network of other artists? Do you guys support each other? If yes, how do you do that?

An: Unfortunately I don’t have any close friends who actively create art, so no.

Lena: I’m luckier than An, I have a couple of artist friends, mostly we communicate personally, but when someone releases a new work, we immediately put likes and sometimes repost drawings.

Does art help you in other areas of your life, for example, student life?

An: Definitely, creating art is very relaxing, and looking back at my progress to see how far I’ve come always amazes me. I think it might become handy in the future.

Lena: I try to apply my creativity anywhere. I’m so proud of my talent, so if there is an opportunity to draw something in a study project, I always use it.

Do your other interests influence your art?

An: Yes, my gaming hobby. Recently I’ve been drawing male characters a lot, which I’ve always been afraid of. Maybe it’s because I’m infatuated with all Genshin Impact male characters.

Lena: Not really, often it is my creativity that influences other interests and hobbies that I choose. I like to associate everything with my creative abilities!

There are a few questions left. Have you ever sold your work before?

An: No, I have never earned money from my artwork.

Lena: Yes, I’ve been selling character designs for a very long time and they are not that expensive.

Have you ever worked as a professional artist?

An: Also no, since I’m not an art major.

Lena: I never consider myself a professional, I’m more of an amateur.

How do you define success as an artist?

An: To me, it is simply receiving positive comments from my viewers.

Lena: To me, success is measured by the attention from other people. If a person is interested in your characters, or artwork based on your stories, if he or she is sincerely waiting for your drawings - this is success!

Thank you, girls, for a very interesting talk today. Could you please say something to our readers?

An: Hope you enjoy our little talk today and please support us - artists, whether we are professional or not. Your support is our movitation!

Lena: Yes! If you see our drawings anywhere on the social media, please leave a comment, it will help and inspire us a lot. Also, have a nice summer break, everyone!

Text by

Van Ly Vu