I am a self-taught artist. I create mixed media works that depict a fantasy world featuring two main characters named Sam and Lily where daydreaming and a simple life exist. In my work I intend to focus on subjects such as mental health, basics of happiness, kindness and hope. Growing up in Kazakhstan (Central Asia), completing my professional degree in Dubai (East) and living in London (West) for four years, had a significant impact on my worldview about core human values and the oneness of humanity. In my art practice I intend to focus on such values and put them under a spotlight.
Website: www.elisla.com Instagram: @illustorm
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I was born in Kazakhstan but had spent half of my adult life living abroad. I lived in Dubai and London for several years. Both are incredibly culturally diversified cities. Living there had a significant impact on my worldview and my view on humanity. It taught me that, no matter the nationality, gender or social status, we all want the same basic things: happiness, love, understanding, appreciation, good health, respect, security etc. We all want to feel good within. Everything else is just decorations. I live in Kazakhstan at the moment. I enjoy my city, I live by the mountains. However, my feelings may change tomorrow, and I'll move somewhere else.
Our planet is beautiful everywhere. Choosing to become an artist was a difficult decision. Of course, I loved art with all of my heart for as long as I can remember. I always sensed it in me and wanted to become an artist early on. However, I had to define my own agenda first – a true motive to enter that space. I wanted to have realistic and grounded expectations. I wanted to have a mature mind and a peaceful heart before professionally pursuing this path. It took me a while, but doing this right now, shows that I had figured it out.
What themes or ideas do you pursue in your work?
I hope to become part of an artistic movement aimed at inspiring the public to become more self-aware, mentally healthy, tolerant, accepting, respectful, loving and kind. Times change, people change, and mental health and spiritual growth have become very relevant in our days. People begin to accept its importance, and I think artists can do a lot in that space. Art has an incredible power to shift public mentality. It happened before, and it should happen now.
Can you tell us a bit about your project, Lily & Sam?
Lily and Sam are my two little guides to an adventurous world of a kid. But it's not important who they are. It is more important what Sam & Lily do. And what they do is take care of plants, enjoy nature, are friends with animals, playboard games, read good books, and never rush. They're kids that we, adults, have a lot to learn from.
Can you tell us about your process and the supplies you use? What part of your process do you enjoy the most?
The first thing I do is choose the right colour palette. In such a way that chosen colours resonate within an inner feeling. If it doesn't feel right, it's out. The second thing is having the right music on. The one that puts me in a meditative state. When I work, my mind is where my paint and brushes are. I invest a lot of my emotions and feelings into work; it's almost like having a relationship with the story being created. I enjoy that a lot.
What's the most peculiar thing or situation that sparked your inspiration?
I am an advocate of the responsible and therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms. I believe that, when done properly, it can contribute to massive spiritual growth within an individual. It certainly did that for me. Sometimes on a trip, I'd feel like creating artwork, and those would come out particularly interesting.
What artist(s) do you admire?
I am a huge fan of Van Gogh. I am not only moved by his paintings, incredible style and choice of colours. I love his life story. This man died thinking he was a loser and a complete failure! If only he knew... But he didn't. It's sad but also so beautifully tragic. His whole life is a rightful masterpiece of its own.
How do you relax and recharge?
I try to keep my work and personal life in balance. I rest from work when I focus on my kids and home routine. I rest from my kids and home routine when I work. When I feel like getting away from both, I take a trip to the mountains. Nothing heals like nature.
What is your dream project?
I dream of creating a project that would manifest acts of human kindness on a global scale. I believe there's a lot of kindness in humans. I wish we spoke about it more. It feels great to be able to inspire people towards kindness, thoughtfulness and respect towards each other. The life we live is really about lessons we learn and moments we share with loved ones. These treasures are of true value.
Tell us about the future: plans, dreams, anything you'd like to share with the world.
Creatively I have a lot to accomplish. I work on my second series dedicated to dance. I view dance as such a wonderfully universal language. A dance can be beautiful, threatening, saddening, cheering, healing... Dance connects people of the past, present and future. It connects people of various ages, cultures, races... Studying and working on this subject gives me a lot of pleasure and inspiration. Imagine. Without uttering a single word, a dancer can tell a story of a lifetime, invoking a whole bouquet of feelings within an individual. It's an art of being a human being. I hope to stay focused and work towards my goals. And my major goal is to be one of many artists who will popularize further subjects of spiritual and personal growth, mental health, kindness and hopefulness within an individual and humanity.