INTERVIEW WITH EKATERINA
OCA Magazine: Tell us, please, about yourself and your creative activity / work
Ekaterina Zgurskaya: My name is Ekaterina Zgurskaya aka Katerina Zver (rus. “The Animal”) – it’s a moniker based on one of my projects, a short animation video about various fantasy creatures. One of the main characters was a strange three-tailed animal with blue fur. It became my profile picture on social media and later transformed into a personal brand.
I’m an artist and graphic designer, writer, teacher, and doll-maker, and have a hand in theatre projects and creative management.
OCA: Who is your role model in the creative space/ sphere of your art?
EZ: It’s a difficult question since I work in various spheres of art. But I have some role models in general, such as skater Alexey Yagudin, coach Alexey Mishin, naturalist Nikolay Drozdov. All of them are famous thanks to their true passion for their work, and to their professional achievements, not to the scandals and offensive speeches.
As for art, the main influencer for me is Pavel Orinyansky, the artist and illustrator – his works were one of the reasons for me to become an artist. Besides, I can add Alphonse Mucha and Boris Vallejo.
As a writer, I try to measure up to maestros like Walter Scott, Roger Zelazny, and Bram Stoker. As for Russian writers, it’s Alexey Tolstoy, Mikhail Uspensky, and Natalya Ignatova.
For my dolls, I have no exact role model, but try to learn from various doll-makers.
I really admire Florence Jenkins and her phenomenal self-belief. Sometimes we all need to be like her.
OCA: Do you have any personal projects that you would like to talk about?
EZ: The main one of my current personal projects – “Nanny Glennfire’s tales”, a fairy tale book based on British folklore. We are working on it together with my co-author Olga Gotalskaya from Minsk.
Also I published three fairy tale books and am currently working on the fourth one. I also take part in exhibitions both local and international. You can see some of my dolls at “The Puppet Lane” gallery in Izmailovsky Kremlin, Moscow. Some of my tales are already available for reading online, and one of them titled “The Ugly Tim” took 2nd place at the “Russian Hoffmann” literary contest. I’m planning to translate this book into English in the future and try to publish it in London.
OCA: When and where have you heard about ECG for the first time?
EZ: If I can recall clearly, it was in 2018. I was leading an online magazine “The Modern Bestiary” and made a special issue for Natalia Anikina and her fantasy project “Enhiarg”. After learning that one of her books participated in the OEBF, I’ve decided to look closer at this contest. At first, I was planning to participate only as an author, but then I got a letter about Expert Councils. That’s how one project led me to another one.
OCA: Tell us, please, about the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and projects that you have already taken part in.
EZ: The first one is OEBF – I tried my luck as a writer and took part in the jury in art nomination. The second one is “TOP 25 Artworks of Eurasia”, where I was just a participant.
OCA: How does ECG influence your creativity and success in your work?
EZ: The ECG, being the large web of connections, is a very fertile ground for creative things. You may meet the right person, who knows two other right persons and they all may have exactly what you need for your projects.
And you may prove useful for someone just because you have the right phone number. Sometimes it’s all about some small details.
OCA: Are there any new projects of ECG, in which you plan to participate?
EZ: Since I’m an Ambassador of ECG, the projects of ECG are my duty. I have a few projects at work, aiming to strengthen the cultural links between the countries and popularize the Guild’s activities. Sure it will take a lot of time and effort, but nobody said it’d be easy. Interesting? Yes. Easy? Surely not.
OCA: What would you wish for the members of the Guild, who are just starting their career?
EZ: First and foremost, you should ask yourself, what did you join the Guild for? You shouldn’t take the ECG as some kind of fairy with a magical wand, who’ll make you famous and talented in one day with no effort. Then you should decide, do you want to add your piece into the common pot, or you came only to eat from it? As with any other union, ECG is people in the first place.
People are different and surely not everyone is ready to be active, but if you join the group just to sit in the corner and feel like a “part of something”, perhaps you should try those unions, where you will pay some money and receive a glossy certificate.
But if you join the group, whose mission is to create cultural and social links, you should take an active part in it. Thankfully, there are a lot of projects and opportunities here.