Aliona, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.Today we’d like to introduce you to Aliona Kuznetsova.
I was born in Kiev on Nov 25th, 1985, in a family of geologists. As a proper Soviet kid, I was taught to use science, reason and common sense and try to be good and useful – only to see how all these things did not work out for my parents later in the 90th. At 17 years old, I went to Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology to start my own life.
As the time passed, I started to discover things within me that were not useful for a young engineer I was becoming: deep overwhelming emotions, mood swings and the need to engage with people on a deeper, empathic level. All of this, plus the profound understanding of the properties of light, formed my new hobby – photography. Before long my new hobby became a full-time job. For a year I polished my skills in a studio working as a portrait photographer. This work brought me a good understanding of faces and experience working with people outside the fashion industry. It also gave me an understanding of how to express strong emotions in a subtle way. But I felt that portrait photography still lacked the tools for me to express myself, so I started to work in fashion.
After my studies, I moved to Switzerland. Six years there brought me my first serious success: publications in Forbes, Marie Claire, Elle Swiss and many other magazines, collaboration with the leading model agencies and designers, but also few rough patches, like being diagnosed with a mood disorder and losing my dream job over the stigma of it. All in all, it formed my vision of the art as a tool for direct empathy, which does not require words. Too often, people who are going through strong complicated emotions find themselves estranged from those around them. But discovering an art piece – a song, a painting or a photograph – they can feel a connection to someone else who felt the same way.
I came to the US a little more than a year ago, but I already found a good response to my art, which can be seen at Liquid Art House, Raw Artists Showcase, and as my personal exhibitions in the Trident, Trade and La Voile. I feel like New England has a unique combination of European charm and American ambition. The extreme weather, northern beaches, forest with little lakes really bring a lot to my aesthetics. But most of all I like the people I work with, whose talent creativity and skills inspire me every day!
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?I believe that my art is a mashup of everything I saw, felt, thought and experienced. More than this: through all my life – four countries I lived in, dozens of cities I traveled to, a mood disorder I am battling, meeting and losing my closest friends – my art has been a silver lining that helped me day by day to refine the understanding of who I really am.
My inspirations does not come from photography only. Many of the characters actually come from books, stories and songs. Like I recently found this “One More Cup Of Coffee” song by Bob Dylan and since then I try to translate its character into a character of a fashion story. What would she look like? What light looks like? What is the color pallet, body language etc? I find the story that touches me on a personal level and try to build a visual language for it.
As for the message, I think with my work I try to create an image of a woman who is ever changing, mysterious and yet warm and loving. Someone who has her own world inside her head.
How can artists connect with other artists?Being a photographer is not lonely at all. I am working among the team of talented people on each photoshoot. Everyone has his or her own universe and it’s just amazing to explore together.
I also have quite a lot of response from my viewers – the number of them is reaching 77.000 now and it’s rarely a day when don’t get messages or comments on my work.
I also like to connect with other photographers – some of them I know from my master-classes and some are people who’s worked I followed for years.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?My social media links are: http://alionakuznetsova.com/https://www.facebook.com/pg/aliona.kuznetsovahttps://www.instagram.com/aliona.photography/That is also the place where I announce my upcoming publications, exhibitions and showcases.
Most of the support to my work comes from the commercial photoshoots I do. Work for hair salons, small but creative brands, model tests and occasionally personal photoshoots for musicians, book authors and just inspiring people. I don’t take too much client’s photoshoots though because I need to make sure to maintain the quality that I am ready to put my name on. So when I am planning bigger projects I reach out to my fans for support, for example here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aliona-kuznetsova/on-the-road-exploring-american-fairytales.
- Website: alionakuznetsova.com
- Phone: 671-820-3458
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aliona.photography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliona.kuznetsova
- Other: http://blog.alionakuznetsova.com/
Image Credit:Brianna Morrell, Yomi Rivera, For Susy The Dreamer, Karen M @ Fotogen, Diane Bracciane, Julia Percia David, Girlys Magazine, Claudia B. @ Maggie Inc, Fei Xu, Anica Buckson, Vogue Italia Online, Cédric Duchêne, Institute Magazine, Eenee Jaki, Sodgerel Yadamtsoo Seuret, Atlas Magazine and Lucire Magazine, Chun-lin Hung, Viktoriya Ye Kai, Ana Lloris, Sarah H. @ Options, MOI Magazine