FASHION ILLUSTRATOR: MASHA OSKINA
Fashion Illustrator Masha Oskina is an artist who uses her journalistic background in her art.
She is highly inspired by fashion, clothes and the whole art of it. In this exclusive interview, delve deeper into the artist’s life and discover her process, and her inspiration
Tells us about your story. Who is Masha?
I'm an illustrator with journalistic background.
I graduated from Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University but never worked as a full-time journalist and only as a freelancer. After graduating I returned to study drawing.
The thing is that I have been studying drawing and painting for about 7 years in childhood in an arts school. I finished it at the age of 15 and was so bored and tired of it that did not see my future connected with art in any field so I entered the faculty of journalism. Very soon I realized that it was not my story. During this period I returned to drawing and did it only just for myself without any particular purpose.
At the moment when I was finally free from the university I already knew that I must return to drawing again in a more well-thought-out way. This time I decided not to waste time in any new university or college or any other educational institution so I found a teacher and took private lessons of conceptual graphics in his studio for 3 years.
About a year or two ago I remembered that I always admired beautiful fashion photos and one of my little dreams was to become a fashion illustrator. So I focused on it and here I am now. I might also add that I keep my eye on collaborations between fashion brands and artists and sometimes write observer articles about it.
How would you describe your style?
Well, it is mostly pencil drawing where I work with tones trying to create a flickering atmosphere. My aim is to make my artworks as if they are from non-real faded and slippery world. Sometimes I put a bit of color with photoshop or watercolor and ink.
As for sketches then I use lines and more colors than tones.
Why fashion Illustration and not any other kind of art?
Fashion world have always fascinates me by its aesthetics. (Poses as well as clothes). A body is an adorable thing itself. People’s bodies doing beautiful poses are what I enjoy; the beauty of human body you can see- and the clothes of course. That’s my little passion, I make clothes sometimes (it’s one of my hobbies), so I like to check images stylists create for photo shoots and I feel pleasure when I see something I like.
“Don’t trust what you think, trust what you feel”
Where do you get your inspirations from?
From everywhere. From the outside and the inside. I can be inspired by a photo or a movie. Some idea can come to my mind from, I don’t know, nowhere. I have lots of personal metaphors and meanings and I like to play with them in my artworks. When I got the idea, I start to find a better form for it. Sometimes it is a spontaneous process when I just see a whole picture in my mind. Sometimes I start references research to find some inspiration.
What is your favorite fashion moment in recorded history?
Nothing in particular. There are many interesting moments and milestones and it’s hard to choose only one. History of fashion is like any other, it develops and changes, it is a constantly moving structure, so many things and moments happen.
Who are your fashion icons?
Well, as clothes design and making is my (guilty pleasure) hobby, all icons are designers. And here I will be banal and won't say anything new, I guess.
McQueen. For his ideas and image of women he created. All his pieces of work are deeply psychological, telling us said but magnetic stories, showing that you can find amazing beauty even if it is living in the darkest place ever.
I like Japanese designers for their extraordinary skill to create something particular, for being “not like others” (I don’t mean Japanese street fashion, but mainly such as Rei Kawakubo or Yohji Yamamoto). Though they are known worldwide, are highly appreciated and recognized in the European part of the world they are still strongly connected with their culture and Japanese aesthetic traditions.
Westwood with her activism impresses and admires me. Not her clothes but her personality is what I really like about her.
Walk us through your process. How long does it usually take you to create an artwork?
Timeline may varies. If it is a sketch then it takes about an hour or so. Illustrations took more time. Sometimes couple of days but some can take about a week or more. It depends on how detailed I want it to be. First I draw with pencils and then if it is necessary cover an image with color, digitally or with watercolors and ink, sometimes acrylic.
What else keeps you busy?
My job. I get my basic income from managing in different creative fields. As for now, I’m working in a graphic design studio as a manager and it is almost a full-time kind of work. And also studying. studying is a constant process for me (illustration, art, fashion or any other things which I’m interested in at the moment, my interests are rather wide).
Last book you read:
It’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, not about fashion at all)
(But the previous one was “Blood beneath the skin”, McQueen's biography.)
Any advice you can give to any aspiring artist out there?
Listen to yourself. Don’t trust what you think, trust what you feel. Our feelings and emotions are your best advisers in the world. Positive and negative emotions are the person’s most reliable navigation system. They can help you to find your style and visual language or understand what field of illustration/art is suitable for you.
If you’re a book, what book would you be and why?
Actually, I love mystic, mind games and thrilling things, so it would definitely be some dark strange story) Let’s say, it will tell that you are what you think, show that world is much more complicated that your eyes usually see and your mind usually thinks, explain that there is another side of reality, death and darkness. I have an idea to write a book someday, so maybe I’ll tell this story someday, in the future.