Katya Yanovich is a naturally gifted, dedicated artist who always fully commits to any drawing challenge she’s presented with in my mentoring program, and the results show for her efforts. From very early on I could see by the high quality of mark-making Katya was creating, that she had outstanding observation skills, patience and a positive attitude.
These are all valuable qualities that (along with the right instruction and guidance) can help someone to learn to draw at a high level. These natural abilities can help to release a dormant skill for drawing that perhaps even they themselves don’t realise they have.
Katya has progressed significantly in a very short space of time; from her very first sketching techniques, through the basic fundamental principles of drawing into creating original art at a masterful level. I hope you enjoy this interview as you discover more about Katya and her fantastic art journey.
Interview with Katya Yanovich by Cindy Wider
Q: Hi Katya, where were you born and where do you live now?
A: I was born in Minsk, Belarus where I finished school and later on graduated from the Belorussian State Economic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. I got married and moved to the US in August 2000. In the US, I studied Computer Information Systems and graduated with a Master of Science degree in 2005. I worked in IT for a financial company for a few years until my daughter Lilly was born and I decided to take a break and dedicate my time to her upbringing.
Q: Can you tell our audience about how you first got started with art and drawing?
A: Ever since early childhood, I enjoyed drawing and coloring. The best part about those times was how easy it was to draw from imagination with complete and unrestricted freedom of expression. My actual art journey hasn’t begun until 2017 when I enrolled in one of the drawing courses online. It was thrilling to reconnect with my passion for art which always had a special place in my heart but sadly didn’t evolve into anything serious. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the course instruction so I decided to switch to the Complete Beginners Drawing and Shading course by Cindy Wider. After a while, I found it difficult to stay motivated and committed. I believe it was because, at the end of each project, there was still no certainty in the level of the achieved result. I was happy to find out that Cindy offered a mentorship program personally and when a free spot opened up I jumped at the opportunity in August 2021. I have been studying the course with Cindy’s support ever since.
Q: Tell us what is happening with your drawing journey right now?
A: I have recently graduated from the Complete Online Drawing Course and continue my art journey in the Mentored Level 2 program with Cindy as my mentor.
Q: How did you find us here at DrawPj?
A: I started to study the Complete Beginners Drawing and Shading course created by Cindy on another platform online, independently in 2018. As part of that course, I became a member of the dedicated Facebook group through which I found out that there is a mentored option and later on enrolled in the mentored study.
Q:What do you think of your progress now, when you look at the pre-instruction drawing you created way back then?
A: I feel like my drawing skills have improved dramatically in a relatively short span of time. When I compare the artwork that I created closer to graduating from the course to my pre-instruction drawing I can really appreciate how far I’ve come.
Q: What was it like studying with mentored support?
A: Mentored support made all the difference in developing my drawing skills in the most efficient way. Each graded project was accompanied by a positive, supportive, and very valuable critique that highlighted the areas where I did well as well as those that needed improvement. This careful guidance and Cindy’s expert knowledge eliminated what I call “blundering in the dark” which was so discouraging at the beginning of my art journey when I attempted to study on my own.
Q: What kind of drawings are you doing right now?
A: I have just finished my graduation drawing “Catharsis” which is a semi-abstract artwork that has a very personal meaning for me that I discovered thanks to Cindy’s insight and encouragement to analyze and reach deeper within my inner world.
Q: Do you have any favourite drawings that you’ve created since studying at DrawPj?
A: I really loved working on all the portraits, especially my self-portrait in charcoal, the portrait of my daughter Lilly, and the portrait of Sumaya thinking in Grandpa’s garden in colored pencils. I also loved creating Catharsis”.
Q: What are your favourite art materials and why?
A: I like working with graphite and colored pencils. In my experience, both of those materials allow great control and precision. Lately, I have been working more with colored pencils, and love how bright and lively they make my art look as well as the infinite possibilities of mixing colors to create new hues.
Q: Do you have any words of helpful advice for beginner artists?
A: You need to believe in yourself and not put too much pressure on your results while you are learning. As you progress with your skills the level of what you can draw will inevitably go up following your personal Timeframe. Also, I found that listening to music while drawing helps me relax and enjoy the process much more.
Q: Have you won any awards, or held exhibitions, sold your art since you studied at DrawPj?
A: I have just been awarded a ‘Special Recognition’ in the Light Space and Time ‘7th Patterns, Textures and Forms online exhibition’ with my artwork ‘Catharsis’ and I am very pleased. Going from zero to being included in an Art Exhibition and receiving an award is quite a journey.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I just want to continue learning new skills and refining the ones that I have acquired so far. It would be great to reach the point where I could again draw from imagination completely freely and unrestricted the way I did in childhood.