Sweet, innocent, and carefree - these are the feelings that you can get when you look at Julia Prokhotskaya's sketches. Vibrant, colorful, and beaming with life, her work for children's books has created an impact on the art world, and we're all here for it!
"My name is Julia Prokhotskaya, and art is the journey of a lifetime. I liked to draw from the age of 6, and in a way, I never stopped. There were ups and downs. Sometimes I have wandered far from my calling; for example, at university, I decided to study the theory and history of fine arts."
Julia, a ball of positive energy, is proof that it is never too late to chase after the real passions of your heart. We are glad that she did because since then, the world has been blessed with her one-of-a-kind creations!
"After graduating in 2014, I worked as a tour guide in museums and galleries. Two years later, I realized that I wanted to make art, not to talk about it. Now I am a children's book illustrator, artist, and aspiring embroiderer. I have about 15 books published, and two more will be published this year. I make picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books."
Her desire to create art sparked a turning point in her career, propelling her back to her true calling. Determined to make her mark as an artist, Julia transitioned into a children's book illustrator, capturing the hearts and imaginations of young readers.
"My all-time favorite theme is a serene childhood and admiring nature. I usually explore one of these topics or try to combine two of them in one illustration, sketch, or even embroidery. Childhood shapes us and makes us who we are. Every child deserves a happy childhood full of love and care. And nature is our roots; it is our support, and we must love and care about it too."
With a knack for storytelling through visuals, she began weaving enchanting narratives through her illustrations. Her ability to bring characters to life and create vivid worlds is a feat that we admire the most!
"There are many more themes and plots in the books I have illustrated, but in the end, my hope is that my books will give children and adults a place where they can escape, where they can go on wonderful adventures with fun and exciting companions, exploring new worlds."
Her portfolio encompasses a wide range of genres, including picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction works. Each one of her projects is a testament to her prowess and imagination - all of them are so picturesque!
"First, I love colors, and I like to have a variety of colors, to be able to mix the colors that I want. That's why it's harder for me to use, for example, only colored pencils, because I always lack shades. Also, I really like layering to achieve the complex lighting that gives my work depth. Gouache and watercolor provide such an opportunity.
Other than that, I love textures a lot. It can be a thick layer of gouache or an ultra-thin layer of watercolor. There can be expressive strokes or a layer of colored pencils on top of paints - it's just so delicious to mix it all up to create a rich texture!"
Through her skilled use of these materials, Julia creates depth and richness in her artwork, captivating both readers and viewers with her attention to detail and imaginative flair. If you want to know the secrets to wielding these two mediums like a pro, take it from our magical art wizard, Julia:
"Buy good materials. Don't use the cheapest ones just because you are a beginner. Appreciate your choice. If you want to work in watercolor, the choice of paper is crucial. Gouache gives more flexibility, and you can use regular paper for this. Learn how to handle color, mix it, and combine shades.
For example, you can only buy three colors like, yellow, blue, and red, to create all the colors. And I would add white paint if you chose gouache. Play with this limited set of colors; it gives you so much freedom in perspective. Experiment a lot, and don't worry about the result."
Think that you won't do well on your first tries as a beginner? Think again! Julia inspires us to create and keep on creating because that is the ultimate key to excellence: practice.
"Do 50 crappy paintings, and then go watch tutorials. You will already have some experience that will help you better understand the information and apply it in your practice."
But even wizard artists have to slay the dragon of the art world: creative blocks. So how exactly does Julia go about slaying hers?
"I think sometimes a creative block is some kind of personal crisis or just lack of rest. If it's a lack of rest, just go outside and do nothing! If it's more than that, it could be a personal "block," and psychotherapy can help a lot.
When we don't know how we want to show ourselves as artists, I would advise you to think, do we really know how we want to show ourselves as a human? Maybe you are afraid, to be honest and open, or you are afraid of failure, conflict, or misunderstanding. It seems that all this is much more than just an unwillingness to draw.
So, the next time you feel a creative block coming on, try answering the above questions for yourself. And if you find the answer to be awkward and painful, go to a therapist, or if you don't have the money, go to your closest friend or journal if you don't have one. And be honest. You will succeed!"
All in all, her artistic vision is unique, and we are confident that the children of this generation will appreciate the beauty that she plants in their eyes and minds! By immersing herself in art and constantly pushing her creative boundaries, Julia continues to evolve as an artist and inspire others through her captivating illustrations.
"That's why I love reading biographies and autobiographies of artists, writers, and musicians. I admire people who love what they do and excel at creating something new."
As Julia Prokhotskaya's art continues to resonate with both young and experienced audiences, her remarkable talent and ability to evoke emotions and fantasies through her sketches solidify her place in children's book illustrations and beyond.
Get Inspired by Julia’s Joy-Filled Art!
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