In this throwback interview from 2019, artist Anton Gudim talks about his peculiar perspective and his creative flow.
Anton now has over 1,000,000 followers on Instagram and has published a book in multiple languages.
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Have you always had this knack for witty and profound observations or is it something you have worked on?
My somewhat peculiar perspective on things around me is certainly not something I was born with. I tend to look at it as a skill that I’ve learned at some point; a skill that I have continuously been working on improving ever since. It is good fun being able to spot the things that I didn’t notice before, so I can share my observations with others and then observe what they would notice in turn.
How would you describe your style and what do you feel it says about you/your personality?
A: I suppose,a formal description for my style would be vector graphics. If we’re talking about the actual style of the plots that I tend to use – it would be something along the lines of “weird sketches rooted in everyday life”, an alternative world of sorts, a place that isn’t quite like the reality we live in. How all this relates to my personality isn’t an easy question to answer, though. I think we should leave this task to a professional psychologist.
Why do you feel your work has connected with so many people online?
When I draw, I prefer not to think about it. It’s great to realize that people feel they can connect with what I do, but I certainly wasn’t counting on this kind of reaction beforehand.
You are incredibly prolific in your work. Do you ever feel pressure to keep producing content?
The kind of creative outlet I’ve chosen is virtually impossible to maintain without practice. Ideas seldomly come knocking on my door when I’m simply relaxing; most of the time they need to be constructed, then refined and visualized.
Giving myself a break means making re-entry into the creative workflow harder. This doesn’t mean that I completely wear myself thin. Resting is necessary, but my way of doing it is switching my focus onto another activity for a while.
How do you unwind away from art?
Drawing doesn’t tire me much, that’s why I don’t need a lot of time to rest or unwind.
Normally, I can set aside a day without drawing, other than that my spare time consists of swapping one type of activity with another. For instance, if today I’m working on the material for my social media platforms, tomorrow I’ll be doing some commissioned work, the day after I’ll be painting for my exhibition, the day after that I’ll be answering some interview questions, designing gif-stickers or perhaps doing some work on my webshop.
You recently had your first exhibition. Had did you find the experience after years on online praise?
I’ve always found the format of real-life exhibition compelling – it has its own special atmosphere, which is partly composed of honest emotions and reactions shown by those attending. My works aren’t complex from the technical point of view, and transferring them over to canvas was only a matter of time.
All in all, this first exhibition was a positive experience that helped me uncover the flaws that will certainly be addressed next time around.
Can you tell us more about your artistic background and how you broke through?
Initially, I began posting my illustrations on Russian social media platform vk.com. After I had gathered a modest following, I started forming impressions of what interested me and what interested other people. On top of that, I had been following the other artists, which undoubtedly affected my style and preferences at that point.
After that, I discovered Instagram, where I debuted with collages that crossed my characters with real-life photos. After a while, I found out that the audience responded better to my illustrations just the way they were.. so that’s basically what I’ve been sticking to ever since.
What is next for you?
I’d like to arrange a few larger scale exhibitions in other Russian cities. Displaying my works outside of Russia seems quite compelling, too. I already have a few concepts and ideas on how my future exhibitions would look like and what content they would feature – let’s hope I’ll be able to bring some of those ideas to life.