It finally felt like summer might be here, well for a split second in Scotland. We can atleast keep the summer vibes all year round on our walls and in our browsers with the work of talented London based illustrator Viktorija Semjonova of And Smile Studio.
You’ll recognise her work for it’s beautiful watercolour style, cool stylish ladies, florals and strong female voice.
Let’s find out a little bit more about Viktorija and her wonderful And Smile Studio 🙂
What do you love most about what you do?
I love how different each day is. Sometimes it’s a lot of drawing and sometimes it’s a lot of organising, planning and packing prints for customers. But I love to be able to change things quickly, I’m a one woman band and I don’t need to get an approval if I want to launch new print or change direction of my work. It’s great to be flexible!
What Made You Choose Illustration to study?
I went to art classes after school and wanted to do something creative as a kid, then once looking at a book, I realised that someone was actually doing the illustrations so I thought I could try my hand at being that person. I then I realised that illustration is such a big and exciting field and my decision was made! 🙂
Where did you study and why?
I went to study Illustration at the University of Bedfordshire. I was a 19 year old aspiring illustrator and somehow came across that university, they had cute pictures of students sitting on the grass and a description for a perfect illustration course, so I packed my bags, moved from Latvia to the UK to pursue career in illustration and haven’t looked back.
Just Arrived are these beautiful prints based on Viktorija’s Russian Roots
Where do you base yourself and why?
I’m based in London, my studio is in Brixton. I’ve been living in London for the last 10 years and first moved to London because of art, exhibitions, beautiful parks, incredible people and that’s the reasons why I’m still here. I don’t like the commute but I adore London, I fall in love with it all over again every day.
What do you like to do when you escape work? Where’s Your Favourite Coffee Spot?
I do love to go on bicycle rides or go on walks in nature (and by nature I mean big London parks of course) or swims, visit an exhibition with a friend or just walk London streets.
My favourite coffee spot is 5 minutes walk from my studio in Brixton Village, Federation Coffee, I love to get an Oat Latte and just people watch.
What are your favourite tools as an illustrator?
I love sketching on the go, love a good pencil and a paper. In my work I mainly use gouache and pencils and mix it with digital work (but even in digital work I try to go for lots of textures and organic washes).
What’s been your favourite piece to make so far?
My favourite piece is always one of the last pieces I make however I have some old favourites. Like this Dog Lovers print (above), I loveeee dogs and it’s my goal (to have at least 5 dogs for the next 20 years)
What advice would you give your younger self?
Have fun! Illustration and freelance is a long term job, which will involve a lot of work but remember to have fun in-between, don’t take anything so seriously and stretch that wrist and shoulders!
Who’s your favourite artist at The Red Door and what would be your top purchase?
We’d like to thank Viktorija for taking the time to let us get to know her and her work a little bit more. Have you been following our social media posts? This week we share some of our favourite summer holiday inspired goodies. Where are you heading to catch the sun? Don’t forget to check out our stories and Highlight Reel too 😉