Aniko Kolesnikova`s fantasy world

Dear Aniko,

I saw many polymer clay items, mainly jewelry, but your journals have something special, they introduce you in a story land. I have a state of well being and curiosity just looking at them. The first thing that came in my mind when I saw your dragon journal was the movie Jumangi. It is like from one moment to another, mystical creatures expect to burst from that journal in order to introduce you to a world of fantasy 🙂

Snowi, me and my studio

Tell us a little about yourself

Every time I write about myself I feel like I can just copy and paste it from the previous interview, but then I realize that many things in my life and in my head and heart did change drastically 🙂

At this point of time and life I have 5 and a half years experience of working with polymer clay. Behind my shoulders there is 7 and a half years of artistic education ( Architect assistant, Interior Designer) and a lot of practice and experimenting. So it seems like since I turned 18 and got into a college I tried to use my artistic skills on a professional level.

In general I always wanted to be an artist. Whenever adults asked me who I want to be.. I always answered “an artist”. They laughed..profession of poor and unrecognized.. or recognized after your death. What a future!

How did you start to work with polymer clay?

I started to work with polymer clay on my last course of university after a half of a year sculpting class I took. Not like it gave me a lot of knowledge, but mainly it burst that fire for making things. Before I was only drawing or making some floral ornaments. That summer 5.5 years ago economical crisis hit hard Latvia (my motherland) and I left my last job and couldn’t find another one. It was a messy time, I was on the last course of my UNI and I wanted to do something creative, not to work in the boring office making blueprints in AutoCAD.  So I made my research on Deviant art website and found some polymer clay items. I didn’t know what the material was called before and so I started to ask people about it. I received a reply from an artist called Mandarin Moon ( Chris Kapono) and she told me a little bit about it. She became my biggest inspiration and I learnt a lot by copying some of her works (not for sale of course, just for practice)… And I didn’t just copy the designs but mostly practiced on shapes and movements that she did. Slowly but surely when I felt more comfortable with clay as a material I moved on and my style started to evolve, develop into my own with a good base that her art gave me.

How did you come up with this brilliant idea of decorating journals?

That wasn’t my idea. I saw journals before decorated in different ways and of course Chris also decorated her journals. I actually started with jewelry boxes and only tried to make a journal after 2 years of practice. My fiancé challenged me to make something different than jewelry and at that moment I had an amazing silver wing pendant, which I found in a local shop. So I used the wing as a magnetic clasp and this is how the “Angel’s Flight” journal was born. It was my first ever journal I made.

Angel Flight

Tell us in a few words your creation process. What instruments do you use?

I started with using just a knife tool, needle tool and my hands. Later on of course I managed to accumulate 2 boxes of sculpting tools. They are carving tools, ball tools, dentist tool looking tools, brushes, shapers, blades, and spatulas. I don’t use them all on a regular basis, but I constantly keep updating my collection and try and squeeze some amazing effects out of each tool. I grab it and start playing with it trying to figure out what else this tool can do.

My most favorite tool I guess is a ball tool. You can really do so much with it. My very first ball tool was an old ink-less ball pen. I absolutely loved making textures with it.

Check out this video I made ! 🙂

 

Are the covers reusable? This is a question that many have in mind 🙂

No they are not and yes they are. Ha! You are probably wondering how is it possible?

I make my journals with intention to never reuse them again. If you own a journal like this, you most naturally would want to use it for something very special. If it is all filled with special things like a themed poetry or some amazing inspirational phrases, why would you want to rip off the cover and then stick it somewhere else? We are creating stories and each journal is one of a kind, a one of a kind story, poetry of that particular time, inspirational phrases that helped a person through that particular period of time. So if you are starting a new chapter, you might also order or make a new journal that match the current mood!

But from the technical point of view… the cover can be cut off with a sharp wide and flat blade. Can crack. But I did take couple of them off. So it is possible.

Do you make custom orders too?

I did before for about 3 years. I needed to get recognition, I was chasing money, I was chasing fame. But a week ago I finished my last custom order and that’s it. From now on I am only going to concentrate on making things that I want in time that I have and no pressure. This way I will progress faster, explore the spaces and places my mind and my creativity never been yet. Custom orders mostly are not challenging. Majority of them I just have to do, not want to do. Do you understand what I mean? Sometimes I am having almost de-evolving feeling. So I told myself “enough” and kept to it.

I am willing to concentrate more on making great things and sharing it in a way so that people can watch how I make these things from A to Z (YouTube videos, tutorials, time lapse).

What is your inspiration source?

Mainly it is nature, but also I get so much inspired from fantasy films, anime, dragons, computer games and other artist’s artworks.

Where can we find your work?

www.mandarin-duck.com

This is my blog type website which has all the possible and impossible connection links to my flickr pages, facebook, twitter, youtube, Etsy and other. So join in, make sure you subscribe and follow me everywhere and leave all the rest up to me.

And always remember:

“It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it with love”

Aniko

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