Hi! My name is Anna and I am an illustrator from Illinois. Although I call myself an American and have lived in the US for 25 years, I was born in Russia (or, as it was known then, the Soviet Union.) As a child, I spent every summer with my grandparents in their summer home in the Ural mountains. My grandfather was a hunter and a fisherman and made up stories about forest creatures for me every night before I went to bed. My grandmother took me into the woods mushroom gathering and berry picking and she also told me stories — not only about animals, but about leshys and forest spirits; mermaids, who lived in the springs; baba yaga, who had her home hidden in the deepest of the forests… Of course, those were fairy tales, but deep in my heart I always believed there is real magic deep in the woods. When I got older, I was swept away by the wonders of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and elves and dragons joined my list of favourite magical creatures.
Every summer I took my sketchbook with me and sketched every day, filling the pages with landscapes and studies of plants and flowers from my grandparents’ gardens. Gathering pieces of bark, twigs and dried berries from the forest, I made jewelry and decorations that I pretended were designed by the fair folk.
When I was 17, my family moved to the United States. Facing so many changes in life, growing up in a new world, I almost forgot my love of the faerie and fantasy. I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago majoring in graphic design, however magical and fantastical subjects kept coming up in my drawings. After two years as a graphic design major, I realized I needed a change and transferred to the illustration department at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. In 2000, I graduated from Pratt with a BFA degree in illustration.
Now I am a fantasy, comic book and botanical illustrator. Among my inspirations are medieval illuminated manuscripts, Northern Renaissance masters, Russian folk art, Native American art, art of the Pacific and contemporary fantasy illustrators and film concept artists. I illustrate for Orson Scott Card’s InterGacalctic Medicine Show magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, work on book covers and more. I have exhibited in New Zealand, London, San Diego Art Institute and New York Public Library.
If you are interested in working with me, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.