From the moment I first saw these inked/watercolor creations I fell instantly in love.
They are by the young and very talented Yelena Bryksenkova, a Russian-born, American-raised freelance illustrator based in Baltimore. She seems to have recently graduated and is now ready to take on the world with her raw talent.
So far she has received many commissions from fashion magazines and specialty clothing lines wishing their products to be featured in a more stylized way. Bryksenkova accomplishes the task in the most lovely, tasteful manner.
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Bryksenkova has a style uniquely her own, with color palettes, textures, and patterns inspired by Eastern European art and culture. Here are some pages from her travel journals to Prague and Russia.
She also seems to draw inspiration from the years of glamour and fashion long since passed.
I absolutely adore the way she draws hands...
Perhaps what most characterizes her work are her delicately hand-painted patterns that dance from one edge of the frame to the next in sporadic harmony.
They add a depth and texture that remind me of the intricate patterns of Erte, and the organic nature of Alphonse Mucha's work, both Eastern European artists themselves.
Also, the contours of her figures and their relationship to space often reminds me of the work of Brian Kershinsnik.
Even if someone isn't an art connoisseur, or doesn't understand the "rules" of composition or design, I believe the human eye has an innate ability to determine if a line or drawing is amateurish or refined, inept or "beautiful". Yelena's drawings certainly have a refinement and maturity to them. You can tell she has a deep understanding of line and form, balance and weight.
Nature, and the whole universe for that matter, is embedded with mathematical equations that manifest themselves in ways which are beautiful to us. Whether they're the Fibonacci numbers found in plants, flowers, and trees; the "golden spiral" found in shells; or the "golden ratio" found in animals and the human body, we all have an instinctive recognition of what we may only be subconsciously aware.
I think that's why when you look at Yelena's drawings there is a sense and affirmation of the beautiful. I'm not sure how, but I think if we applied a randomness algorithm to her patterns, or the golden ratio to her work, we'd see that they correlate very closely.
Each time I revisit her blog I'm constantly taken-aback at what new pieces she has crafted. You can see how her creative process and skills continue to develop into more grand and intricate designs. It will be very exciting to see where her talent leads her in the future. Good luck, Yelena!