I started my visual art training at an early age while living in Russia. First it was Children’s School of Art, then various graphic art classes, then university. At 15 I joined an Analytical Art studio, and I still follow this school. In Canada I continued my education in the same field and graduated in Visual Arts from York University. For a long time I worked as an illustrator and graphic designer, as well as a fine artist. Since I have traditional visual art training, I comfortably accommodate projects from free-hand children’s book illustration to cosmetic packaging, from a magazine layout to a mural, or from vector imaging to face-painting.
Well into my 30s I remained an active and athletic person, until I started feeling so tired I had to spend days in bed, and no amount of rest would help. It took a few years to diagnose me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Unfortunately, this ridiculously trivialized name misleads people to think it is “just being tired”, while in reality it is a viral damage to the brain and central nervous system. Even though it’s challenging to find energy to draw, I try hard and I think my painful state of crippling fatigue and biological depression is reflected in my paintings and drawings.
I believe my work may explain, if not enlighten general public and challenge the current constructs of this particular form of disability.
Always Tired is a vector image, illustrating the concept of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. An inert and closed shape reveals a very stylized human figure, whose head and limbs lifelessly droop down, yet remaining inside the enclosure. They are enlarged as if too heavy to be used in normal movement, and do nothing but pull the person down. The character is bent, motionless and seems broken. The colours are brown, beige and green, creating a feeling of being sick and dull. All of these details suggest that the character is not just weary and simply resting, but is captured inside and cannot break out of its fatigue jail.
Fatigue is an example of analytical art, which uses the method of non-programmed image creation. The conclusion of numerous abstract shapes in this pencil drawing became an allegorical figure of fatigue itself or an extremely tired person, viewers can decide for themselves.
The character is twisted and disproportional, and seems to be made out of different objects and shapes, which at the same time pull it apart and bury in themselves. The heavy empty hands helplessly hang down, representing exhaustion and incapacity. The whole figure shows the inability to remove itself from its surroundings and be on its own, its shaky shape suggests weakness and instability. The image is black-and-white on beige paper, which also creates an ambiance of depression and lack of energy.