Recalling how it all began, Ekaterina Koroleva says, “I used to paint my legs, my parents’ couch, packages of cornflakes, (and) then my mother introduced me to paper!*” Fascinated by the female form since childhood, the Russian-born illustrator has been taking drawing classes since she was twelve. Living in Berlin since 1985, Ekaterina began her career as a graphic designer. Combining her illustrative talents with her graphic design skills, Ekaterina mixes ink, watercolour, and acrylic with computer technology to create these ever elegant, vibrant, playful, and at times melancholic, renditions of women. At first glance I couldn’t help but draw the obvious parallels between her style and Melbournite Kat MacLeod‘s fun-filled, flirtatious characters, however, there is greater depth and range in Ekaterina’s tool box, whose breadth is vast. While effortlessly rendering the feminine form reminiscent of the great fashion photographers of the 50s, 60s and 70s, like Richard Avedon and FC Gundlach, whose work is of great influence, she is able to draw from a bottomless well of finely nuanced emotions and moods, giving her feline characters life and integrity.
As the creative and cultural hub of Germany, Berlin is the ideal environment for a young, up-and-coming artist such as Ekaterina. The new year brought with it phenomenal exposure through the Berlin Mitte outlet of American retail chain, Urban Outfitter. Within the art scene itself, Das Beet, a collective of young illustrators and photographers, is another platform which brings Ekaterina’s work to the wider community through exhibitions and producing and selling limited edition prints. Ekaterina’s work also features in magazines, emblazoned on music album covers, and in collaboration with fellow creatives. With such a multi-faceted talent as Ekaterina clearly is, we can’t wait to see what interesting projects she will put her hand to next.Maicen Culture. other background information sourced from Dutch journalist, Priscilla Obermeier’s interview for ELLE, 10 February 2012.
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