"I remember and love all my projects because I put part of my soul in all my work. "
Known as Mashutkas on Instagram, Maria Suslova, Ukrainian based artist, is known for her rare style that combines fashion illustration and still life photography. Intricate details and airy brush strokes brilliantly attribute Maria’s whimsical illustrations. While emphasizing elegant nature of woman’s figure, Maria creates graciously feminine heroines with fearless expressions. Combination of a traditional fashion illustration with a hint of modernism defines detailed yet unique style of the illustrator’s work. Mainly concentrating on feminine nature, Maria brings alive subjects that are strong and absolutely flawless.
Tell us about you and your work.
My parents are from Saint – Petersburg. I was born and raised in Kharkov, Ukraine. I’m very lucky because from the early childhood I was exposed to art.
Describe your personal style as an artist. Do you like to dress up to express yourself?
For myself, I call it feminine abstraction. I try to make my works beautiful and airy. I love to dress up and because of that people often ask me for an advice in a selection of their wardrobe.
As I mentioned previously, your Instagram is impeccable. Do you have a background in still life photography or graphic design?
I’m very pleased to receive such a compliment. For many years I’ve been collecting small and interesting things (small figures or anything that interests me). Now, I found a purpose for them. I design miniature sets for my illustrations to complement every detail and photograph them. I find my inspiration from the outside world while noticing unusual objects and understanding how they can emphasize a particular composition.
What do you most enjoy depicting in your artwork?
I like to illustrate women and dresses from haute couture. I like to find a balance between the original and abstraction.
What was your favorite project so far?
I remember and love all my projects because I put part of my soul in every project. Really like to illustrate for Maison Irfe, Missbach Jewelry, Anna Russka Couture.
What is your creative process?
I draw with music it charges me with the right energy. In the beginning of the process I try to estimate every small part of the illustration such as a dress, make-up, bag and only then make sketches.
Where do you shop for your art materials?
I shop in local stores; like to work with watercolor, ink and pencil.
How did you begin a career in fashion illustration industry?
First fashion illustration I drew when I was 10 years old yet over the years I began to pursue a career in an advertising design. In 2012 year I started to share my sketches; they were immediately appreciated by the society. You can see my illustrations at: Helen Yarmak,Zhanna Bianca, Lily Kwong, Tanja Gacic, Olga Sorokina, Fiori Couture, Gigi Vives, Umeromaan, Georgiana Boboc, Rubeus Milano, Sunita Mukhi, InesArroyo, Alina Blinova, Purplepr, Clarins Uk and lots of others. In USA I was published several times in The Alchemist Magazine. In addition, I joined the list of the best illustrators at Trend Space ru.
Do you have a background in fashion?
I developed prints for several Ukrainian brands (T-shirts, scarves, dresses) and now trying to participate in their design.
Do you draw full time? What other passions do you have?
I like to paint everyday. I also enjoy taking photographs of children,
animals, art, makeup, fashion design, jewelry, toys, textiles and create collages on my phone.
Do you have a certain routine in your life?
It depends on the purpose of the task. It all starts with an idea, then sketch and then finished illustration.
How do you think the use of Instagram has benefited your art practice?
Instagram has helped to make new friends and admirers of my work, also it gave me an opportunity to follow the news in fashion and art world.
Are you actively involved in a community of artists?
Unfortunately not, my day has only 24 hours, at that moment of my life work fills up all my time.
Name your top influences (artists or otherwise):
Dali, Monet, Renoir, Rossetti, Botticelli. It can be a longer list because
I am very fond of the old masters and impressionists, architecture, art
history and of course the modern world of fashion photography.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to open a Fashion Illustration School in Ukraine where artists from different countries would come together and share their experiences with each other.
What moves you?
My passion for work and an ability to create my own perfect world.
Your favorite color, why?
It is a difficult question for an artist. Maybe color of the sky – it inspires.
Your favorite place on Earth:
Home sweet home.
Your dream place:
New York City, Paris, Tibet
What can make Earth a better place in terms of environment, energy and peace?
A protection of our environment would be a good start because as of now seems that many people do not appreciate what we have. Nature is perfect and beautiful.
Your advice to emerging illustrators:
Seek out for your own style and do not be afraid to experiment.
Your wishes to Fab Ego:
I wish for your goals and dreams to come true; much of success and lots of interesting interviews and articles.
Support Maria Suslova @Instagram @mashutkas
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