OCA Magazine: Tell us about yourself and your creative activity

Elena Lobova : My creative work started with drawings. I started drawing when I was 3 years old and I already did it consciously. I still remember my mother’s reaction when I showed her my first drawing which illustrated a field, a stack of hay, a butterfly and huge blue sky. A field is a life, a stack of hay is a bread, a butterfly is a family and blue sky is a universe which gives knowledge and creativity. This is how my life priorities were formed in early childhood.

OCA:What is your painting style? And what influenced your style?

EL: I’m a realist, so I use this style for my paintings. I love the truth and mystery, in every artwork a viewer should find something close and familiar to himself. 

What inspires me is dreams, beautiful paintings, music, my spiritual state, travel, cities, especially night views, and nature.

Thanks to my parents, I fell in love with painting in early childhood. My father often took me on his business trips when he worked in the police and taught me to appreciate Siberian nature. My mother really loves art and traveling, so she often brought me to famous museums where I could see the works of famous past and contemporary artists. This gave me a good stimulus to work in painting and photography and to get a degree in the field of arts. My biggest impression of my childhood was during the trip to Saint Petersburg with my mother when I was 9 years old, and this encouraged me to engage in arts. I traveled with my sketchbook and camera to wild places of Karelia, Sakhalim, North and South Ural, holy places of Russia and abroad – Valaam Island, Kizhi, Sergiev Posad, Ethnographic Park of the History of the Chusovoy River, France, Turkey, Chezh Republic, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Bulgaria… this all gave me an opportunity to embody my feelings and view on the world into photos and paints on canvas. 

Prose came into my life much later, when I was in school, but people often rejected what I wrote. I didn’t show my stories or scribbles to anyone and didn’t discuss it with anyone, but one occasion in London helped me open up this part of creative work. In 2016, I participated in a contest of the “Ethno Art Fest” held in “Rossotrudnichestvo” at the Russian Embassy in the UK and my paintings “Music of the Night City”, “Grandmother’s House”, “Snow Falls Quietly”, “Lights of the Night City” attracted attention from not only the judges, London residents, but also from media. One of the guests was the president of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) – Marat (Mark) Akhmejanov, and he invited me to participate in the Open Eurasian Literature Festival and to join the Eurasian Creative Guild, which I’m really grateful for because he opened new opportunities for me to show my creative work.

OCA: What is your favourite piece of art and why?

EL: In literature, I love creations of Alexander Dumas, such as “The Count of Monte Cristo”, “Three Musketeers”, “Queen Margot”, “Countess de Monsoro”, “Black Tulip”, etc. I also like Joseph Eugene Sue Marie and his “Paris Secrets”, and Mikhail Bulgakov with his “The Master and Margarita”.  These pieces attract me with their mystics, adventure, complex relationships between nobility and selfishness, the fight between good and evil, and of course love, love affairs.

My favourite painting is “Starry night” by Van Gogh. The painting is very mysterious but at the same time easy to understand. It reflects such a distant yet close universe, the life of a spirit after death, eternity, transience of being and loneliness, loneliness in front of oneself…

And my most favourite painters are Shishkin, Levitan, Vasiliev, Vasnetsov, Aivazovsky, Korovin, Repin, Vrubel, Serov, Kramskoy, Van Gogh, Monet, Cesar, Gainsborough who represent a classical and impressionist school of painting. 

OCA: Have you ever taken part in the Eurasian Creative Guild events? For example, did you take part in our exhibitions in the CIS countries, in the Eurasian Culture Week in London or in the Open Eurasian Literature Festival in Belgium and other countries?

EL: I took part in the Оpen Eurasian Literature Festival in Bangkok, Thailand and got second place in a nomination for “Illustration” and became a finalist in a nomination for “Prose” for my novel “Karma. The story of my family”.

OCA: What does Eurasianism mean to you?

EL: It means brotherhood to me. “Eurasians” are like-minded people in terms of spirit, thoughts and creativity. It’s very hard for a creative person to find his society, his admirers and fans. But here I found people who inspire and support me. A special importance should still be given to our creative friendship in the guild – all the advice, tips, debates and insights really help to start with our creative projects and find new ideas. 

OCA; What does the Eurasian Creative Guild mean for you and how did it influence your creative activity?

EL: I have a big list of various events and exhibitions that I participated in, such as “Art Shopping” in Louvre, France in 2014 and 2015, “Ethno Art Fest” held by the Russian Embassy in London in 2016 where I got first place in a nomination for “Presentation of the region”, and in 2017 I organised my personal exhibition in Moscow with the support of the Russian Academy of Arts. But the Eurasian Creative Guild gave me even more opportunities to show myself to the world, to communicate with creative people from different countries and to learn about their cultures, and most importantly, to get published in a prestigious magazine and to get support from prestigious publishing companies.

OCA:What projects do you plan to participate in the future?

EL: I keep working on my stories and in the future,  I want to publish a storybook with my illustrations. Next, I want to participate in international festivals and especially festivals organised by the Guild. I have some ideas to make personal exhibitions in Greece, Paris, London, Italy, Monaco and of course in my hometown Omsk in Russia. But for now my priority is to write stories and paintings. I will decide on my personal exhibitions later on. 

OCA; What would you wish for people that have just started their journey in arts?

EL: To those who have just started their journey, I want to wish the most important thing – don’t be afraid of anything! Don’t be afraid to show yourself, your thoughts, work and projects. Search for your style and path, be decisive and active, be free and independent.