What is your background? Did you have a creative childhood? How and when did you first begin to create dolls or figures? Describe the first doll you made.
I was born in Moscow. While still at school, I went to ballet, sports, literature and painting studios, and even a marionette theatre studio, but these were all hobbies.
My parents believed that professions should be serious so I graduated from the Railway Transport Institute. After I had started working as a construction engineer, I began taking courses for animation artists. Having finished these courses, I joined Pilot Studios where
I worked for several years as an animation artist. In our country, it was a time of crisis and I got no pay. I either had to leave the country or change professions. I chose the second. For that reason, I went to Tatiana Baeva's doll design courses. After completing these courses, I became a professional doll artist.
But I had created my first dolls even earlier. I spent the summer with our child at our summer house in suburban Moscow. My neighbour made cloth doll tea cosies dressed in traditional Russian costumes. I made the dolls' bodies from cloth and my neighbour embroidered the eyes, nose and mouth. Then we found some old bits of material and lace in the attic and turned our doll into a Georgian princess. Why Georgian? Because Georgian culture was very dear to me. I love Georgian poetry, songs and films. Everything in it is simple and originally ironic. The first doll was a symbol of my love for Georgia.
What kind of doll/figurative art do you make? How do you describe it when asked?
I think that what I do could best be described as figurative objects.
How did you learn to make your style of art? (formal training, or are self-taught?)
At Tatiana Baeva's courses, we were given separate parts – cloth bodies, porcelain hands and heads. We had to paint the head and made a wig and costume. Each one of us created his own image – and chose a certain style as the basis. I chose Klimt. After the course, we started putting on little plays that we made up ourselves based on poetry, fairytales, songs, friends' portraits and our concepts of friendship, love, nature, space, etc.
What is your favorite medium,
what do you like most about it?
Right now my favourite material is paperclay since it is quite light and strong enough to hold objects with
a small supporting point. When there's no weight
problem, I also use efoplast and ladoll.
Are there any technical "tricks" you have learned along the way?
For certain objects, I like to use thermally processed parchment with silk, threads and paste gossamer. As a result, you get a light, transparent material with unique patterns. Sometimes I use felt with threads sprayed through metallised cloth to make dolls for"winter themes". They create a sensation of warmth and comfort.
What inspires you? Are there specific images, artists, locations,
or materials that flavor your work?
Degas, Bernini and Michelangelo marvelously portray the plastics of the human body. Watteau and Norshtein (an animator) prove that an imagined world can be made real.Klimt, Beardsley, Fra Beato Angelico, McQueen and Japanese engravings exhibit graphics and decorativeness made to perfection. Turner, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rublev's icons and Serov possess air filled with light.
What led you to create your current style of work? How has your art, style, or technique changed over the years?
My most recent works are the result of my desire to create aerial images filled with light and sensuousness. It has become easier to solve plastic and anatomical problems. It is possible now to concentrate more on air and light.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned as a doll artist, and what advice can you pass along to aspiring doll artists?
I like the fact that the world of doll artists is very friendly – there is a lot of support and warmth. Possibly this is because these people are constantly in contact with the world of magic and fairytales. My advice to the artist – remain yourself: find your own style and keep it.
Where can people find your work?
In Moscow and at the annual NIADA conference and exhibition.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Ima Naroditskaya
Mail: Chasovaya Street 19/8 apt. 53, Moscow, Russia, 125315 | Phone: +7 985 233 8967
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.imaart.net | Art Rep: Dollcollection, Moscow