Viktor, have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I always wanted to be an artist but I became an artist for real very recently. For me, to be an artist is to be able to draw every day and create what you want. When someone else likes your work, your enjoyment of creating is double. This means that someone else is viewing the world the same way you do and when an artist’s work is admired and bought, this can bring a lot of joy, no matter whether he/she is a visual artist, a writer, a poet or a musician. After all, with each work, the artist gives a piece of themselves to the world! Real connoisseurs understand this when they acquire someone’s work.
As a child, I really enjoyed watching other artists at work, sitting next to them and watch them paint. Also, when reading books, I loved looking at illustrations. I always compared the image I had in my had with the image illustrated by the artist thinking about how I would have drawn it. This is what made me decide that I would definitely learn to draw. In the beginning, I just watched how other artists painted and drew, I studied and memorized their work, then tried to repeat it. Once I realized that I am onto something, I went on to study art. I completed my art education and I actually have some very vivid memories about my creative life back then. There were cool times, that’s for sure!
After the art school, I completed my military service, then the Soviet Union has collapsed going through some political transformations, including the fall of the economy and the emergence of a new state of Ukraine. Art has no longer had its place in that world so I put my drawings aside for a very long time. Then I got married and after a while, I started my own business, an advertising agency for outdoor products – at least I was doing something creative!
“With each artwork, the artists give a piece of themselves
to the world.” (Viktor)
When I started to draw again, I used a normal pencil and a knife but when I started to earn some more money, I have also invested in proper artist’s tools and equipment. Everything was done by hand and I would sit on my knees in order to complete my artworks. I would only do one or two per year as I was too busy with my day job, but this wasn’t enough. I wanted more. After thinking hard and long, I decided to do what I always dreamt of as a child: to draw when I want and what I like. So, I took the risk and closed my enterprise and I simply began to draw.
You specialise in drawing and pyrography, has this always been your style of choice? Can you tell us more about pyrography?
Pyrography (burning wood) is also one of my childhood dreams. I once saw an artwork done in this technique and I really liked it. I decided then and there that I would definitely give it a try. I like trying out different techniques, experimenting and studying the properties of materials, including wood.
I like wood and trees with their unique structure and I like using it as a surface for my artwork. But when some burning is involved, you have to be extra careful. You have to plan each movement in advance and everything must be thought through. What are you going to draw? What for? How are you going to do it? These are just a few steps in preparing the final design. This is to make sure not to spoil anything as the errors are very difficult to correct. But the most important thing is the actual drawing as this is something that reflects the artist’s thought, emotions and energy and it all comes to life once finished.
How would you describe your creative process?
Any piece starts with the state of mind I am in: cheerful, sad, romantic, etc. I may be watching a movie, reading a book, meeting with friends or walking in nature. No matter what mood I am in or what activity I am doing, I am always thinking about what to draw next. The drawing needs to convey my mood and regardless of the subject, I would always relate to what I draw. For example, I can draw a snail and compare one’s life with the life of a snail. It is all about the inner self at that moment in time.
My work can sometimes have a double or triple meaning and I always leave little clues in my work so people can guess I wanted to convey. Some good examples are “Letter” and “Wind of Hope”.
Where do you seek inspiration?
I do not seek inspiration; the inspiration comes to me as soon as I start working. The main thing is to take the first step. Thoughts and ideas are everywhere: in books, in music, in nature, in films. Also, your own mood can sparkle and idea. The rest is just a matter of technique, desire and experience. Take the first step and the road will appear in front of you.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is different. Some days I work, some days I read and think about how to portray it, some days I collect the necessary material for future work like old photos, books or drawings. Sometimes I just draw without any preparation and sometimes I put some of my unfinished drawings on a side to work on other projects.
Which artists, living or deceased most inspire/influence your work?
I like ‘old-school’ artists who worked in a traditional style, some well-known and some little known but I also like modern artists. In general, my tastes and preferences are visible in my work. After all, each artist is trying to create in their own individual style which is shaped after taking their inspiration from various different sources.
Do you like to listen to music when you create, if so what sort of music do you listen to?
Yes, I like listening to music while working. It all depends on the mood I am in at the time. Sometimes I like having a piece of quiet background music from the German radio station “BUDDA”. Sometimes I listen to heavy metal, but I can actually listen to everything as long as it gets me into the creative mood.
If you had one piece of advice for someone seeking a career in art what would it be?
I have one piece of advice: be creative and the art admirers will always find you. Try working in the area you feel most comfortable and who knows, perhaps your little sketch that you drew from the heart will be appreciated in the future as a rare masterpiece. And it might even cost a fortune 😊. Just try it. If you don’t try, you won’t know what might come out of it.
If you had a dinner party and could invite 3 guests, living or deceased who would they be and why?
I don’t have a particular person in mind, but if I had a dinner party, I would like to be in the company of creative people. Artists, poets, musicians – it would definitely be interesting and not boring. Even if I just sat in silence and listen to them, I would definitely learn something.
Art should evolve and grow. Creative people feed each other with ideas, knowledge and experience. And true connoisseurs of art are simply obliged to help creative people to create their masterpieces for future generations. After all, without an appreciation of their work, any creator eventually fades away and ceases to create. And this would be a real loss for everyone.
What does the future look like for you?
I have been drawing professionally for two years now so I would like to become an excellent artist. I feel that with every new work I become better and better and I would like to have my own solo exhibition one day. From here to become a sought-after artist, might be just a step. I am an optimist at heart and I hope to realize my full potential.
Have a look at Viktor’s gallery.