Traversing the Freedom of Artistic Pursuits with Alina Zamanova

Advice for How to Harness Free Reign of Your Work

When two mediums such as art and fashion collide, it naturally triggers a sequence of questions. Upon pursuing an understanding of its ambiguous borders, BLOOME's fashion & arts editor Olga Korovina delves under the surface of fashion illustrator Alina Zamanova, to explore her creative pursuits as an artist. 

The principle of Alina's artwork challenges the concept of beauty as she works to debunk our perceptions of beauty while "conceptually reworking what is perceived as ugly". By scrutinizing the genuine beauty of ugliness, she has created an aesthetic out of depicting the uglinesss of human beings, and the ugliness of beauty. 
To aspiring artists, Alina advises a process driven approach, and stresses the importance of experimentation and process. She warns that originality is the most difficult attribute to maintain amongst all art pathways, and offers insight as to how she overcame the most difficult of creative roadblocks, as we travers the freedom of artistic pursuits with Alina Zamanova.

DISCLAIMER The photos used within this article are not exclusive to BLOOME and belong to Alina Zamanova, fashion photographers and numerous collaborators on behalf of the publications Schön!, Nakid and Wonderland.

BLOOME: So we would firstly like to know what's your definition of Art? Could you agree that Art is not the product but the process?

Alina Zamanova: For me art is something very special, because through Art I am able to find inner piece and be totally present in the moment when I create something. I would definitely not give up Art in my life as it is one of the things that give me total freedom. The process is the only important thing not only in Art, but I think in every field. If you are running after the result it will never work out in my opinion. Only pure aspiration to develop your style and progress in the career as an artist can lead you somewhere. 

BLOOME: Could you describe your design and creation process? How has your practice changed over time? 

AZ: The art process has changed a lot since 2012 lets say, as before I was only creating detailed realistic drawings  on maximum A3 paper, but now I am not limiting myself in materials, colour and size of the canvas which gives me the ability to make my artworks the way I actually want and see. The process is mostly spontaneous and projects are always fun to create. 

Original illustration for Fashion Book: WTF

BLOOME: What do you consider to be the origins of your manner?  What did it take for you to get your personal 'artistic twist'? And is originality really the most difficult attribute to maintain?

AZ: It is definitely a challenge to find your style, I am still pretty sure that i didn't find mine yet. But I know people sometimes recognise my works and I can't be more happy! I don't think it is necessary to push the idea to Find the style, if you are rushing that would never work out. I guess just making your job and experimenting with materials and techniques will help you.

Art direction for Schön! Magazine. Photographed by Anna Radchenko

BLOOME: Ok, going onwards, what does the concept of beauty mean to you?

AZ: It is really weird for me to define that concept, still, as i am looking at the world from different angles and observing the information in my own way... Maybe by putting synonyms together would define it somehow: beauty/ugly/being yourself/freedom/weird.

BLOOME: Do you somehow rework conceptual understanding of what a thing should acquire to be perceived as ugly?

AZ: I don't really give it a lot of attention or a lot of thinking of what is to be called ugly. It usually just 'sortes out' itself in my head and memory. I read a lot of books based on different theories around the concept of Ugliness and they just became a significant part of my art pathway.


 Art Direction and photography in the "Overdose" editorial for NAKID magazine

BLOOME: Our readers should be very interested in knowing about your experience working at Alexander McQueen in 2014. Could you please tell us more about it?

AZ: It was a very productive period of my life, I have learned basically everything about the textile and print. It was a dream to work at this fashion house and I am very grateful that I got in this environment to experience the working days and nights there. I just could imagine how it would be working there when Lee was alive, but I am happy to have the experience I had, because I met a lot of creatives that are now my best friends. I once saw the famous couture dress "Butterfly dress" in the basement at the studio and I was so fascinated by the whole concept and how it was beautifully done, no words to describe how it looks in real life. 

Hand drawn prints for ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

BLOOME: What artists inspire you and why?

AZ: I am inspired by Frida Kahlo, Matisse, Basquiat. I am always fascinated by the story about the artist's life and their approach to the art and world. 

BLOOME: What role does the artist have in society?

AZ: I don't like to play roles as it seems fake to me. Better to stay yourself and I think the artist does not have any role here at all. 

Fashion Art project with photographer Sasha Samsonova for KTZ fashion brand. Model Shaun Dross 

BLOOME: Describe a real life situation that inspired you.

AZ: Me, sitting in the park. 

BLOOME: What is your dream project?

AZ: I never thought about it really... Every project is step forward in my experience and you would never know what is going to be next. I would say that any future projects are my dream projects.

Collaboration with Photographer Thang LV for WONDERLAND magazine

BLOOME: Why, why do you do what you do? Is there a reason?

AZ: Just being myself really, no reason here.

BLOOME: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

AZ: Make mistakes!

Check out Alina's website to stay on track with her latest projects


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