The imagination of Russian Artist Aleksey Kosarev is truly spectacular! Through his mesmerizing, expressive body of work, Aleksey transports us into other worlds and places that just don’t exist in reality. His work is colourful, imaginative, surrealistic, geometric and abstract. There is a sense of something deeply mysterious existing in the worlds he creates. Through his chosen imagery of often-bizarre choices of subject matter he leads us on a journey that often becomes more and more curious.
Aleksey has something to say to us through his work, it’s subliminal. He takes us on journeys into unknown landscapes with bizarre terrains that have no beginning or ending in sight. It’s all a journey of unexpectedness. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Why standstill? These are the feelings I experience when I look deeply into his work.
In this intimate interview with Aleksey, he shares his personal story of how he discovered drawing as a means to express himself at the age of 28 years when he first picked up a pencil to draw.
Interview with Aleksey Kosarev by Cindy Wider
Q: Aleksey, please introduce yourself, where were you born and where do you live now?
A: My name is Aleksey and I’m from Moscow, Russia. I have a PhD in Economics and for almost 20 years I’ve worked in a scientific and research institute making economic assessments for companies and industries. And I’ve loved drawing since 2009.
Q: How did you get started with art and drawing?
A: For a long time, I’ve enjoyed taking photos of my surroundings. When I started my working life, I bought a digital camera from my first salary, and since then I’ve taken it with me wherever I go.
Later I realised that I can’t explain my inner world and ideas just by taking photos so I developed a strong desire to draw. My first experience with drawing began in hospital after I had visited South America with its common fevers. I had a pen and a paper, and I tried to sketch something but I knew I needed help to learn to draw. In my real world, I couldn’t find any suitable courses that started right from the very beginning.
Thankfully I discovered online courses and found Cindy’s full-year program. It was the entry point into art. I admired Cindy’s course for its easy steps that are perfect for a beginner. The first exercises were simple and they felt like a childhood game of connecting points with a pencil and copying an abstract pattern. Everyone starts as a beginner in her course. That’s where the foundations are formed.
Q: How did you find us here at DrawPj?
A: I was there right at the beginning of DrawPJ just when Cindy first started the online course – back in 2009. It was so new and interesting for me. There were some big concepts and to better understand the ideas of the full course I translated it into the Russian language. Nowadays I can say that the basic ideas of the full course have carried me through and with me into my whole art life.
Q: When students start to study with me I ask them to create a pre-instruction drawing as a record of their ability before they start the course. What do you think when you look at the pre-instruction drawing you created way back then?
A: My pre-instruction drawing was a great initial step into art and I felt really good about my results. I had never drawn in my life before the DrawPJ course so this was a great achievement for me. I don’t even remember drawing during my childhood except for basic school education.
Q: What was it like studying with mentored support?
A: Mentored support is very necessary for beginners in any part of your life. It is very important to find your own mentor that relates to your ideas, emotions, and lifestyle. You should be on the same wave as one another. A good mentor cares about you and makes your journey towards the results easier and faster.
Q: What’s happening with your drawing journey right now?
A: Since I completed the beginner level course, I was then mentored by Cindy for creating original art. Then I also went on to take many online courses and programmes. I tried different mediums and began an academic drawing school offline (in the real world) for a few years but didn’t finish it as I tired of drawing uncountable still-life compositions. Nowadays I am rapidly flowing into digital art.
Q: Do you have any favourite drawings that you’ve created since studying at DrawPj?
A: Over the years I’ve created my own themes and ideas that I would like to depict. I call my art imaginative, surrealistic, flat, geometric, graphic, and abstract. I like drawing city landscape, environments, imaginary objects, and characters. My favourite artworks are Megacity Nocturnes that were drawn with coloured pencils.
Q: Have you won any awards, or held exhibitions, sold your art since you studied at DrawPj?
A: Generally, I don’t participate in any commissions or competitions and draw for myself just for fun. Nevertheless, one of my artworks was selected for inclusion in the Derwent Art Prize exhibition some years ago, but it didn’t get to the exhibition due to problems with my artwork cross-border transportation.
Q: What are your favourite art materials and why?
A: Nowadays my favourite art material is an iPad and Procreate for digital drawings. It makes me free to choose a place and time for drawing. I can draw everywhere and anytime. I don’t even remember when I actually held a real drawing material in my hand for the last time.
Q: Do you have any words of helpful advice for beginner artists?
A: My main advice is that it’s never too late to start something new. In school and university, I did nothing but played computer games and rarely left my home. I began photography when I started my working life, then I first started drawing when I was 28. I began running every morning from the age of 37 and I ran my first marathon distance (42.2 km) when I was 40. Nowadays I have a head full of ideas for the next decade.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I don’t have special plans for the future, as it is impossible to predict. Our life, experiences and ideas are changing constantly, so we can only plan a general path to where we’re going during the next month or so. However, I am sure of one thing; that drawing will be in my life along with my other areas of interest.
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