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Interview: Polina Oshurkova

I adore Polina Oshurkova's Instagram page, an abundance of much-needed joy and meditation in the otherwise self-indulgent platform. The Latvian artist makes simple, colourful patterns everyday in her sketchbook with her Posca markers, which she then shares with the world. Her unique understanding of colour, spacing and forms can be seen throughout her bright sketchbook pages and embroidery experiments. So it's no surprise that collaborators are always approaching her for commissioned projects.

Polina was kind enough to take out time from her pattern-making and let us in on her world:

Your sketchbook seems like a place where colourful dreams are born. How many sketchbooks have you filled already, and what are your favorite tools to work with?

Ahh thank you! I think I've filled around 15 sketchbooks. My favorites are Posca markers.

Which is your preferred medium to work with?

I made my first embroidery in the spring of 2019. I had been wanting to make art using thread for a year and a half, but I didn’t have enough courage. After I visited the studio of an extremely talented embroidery artist Liza Smirnova, I made my first embroidery based on my patterns. It's a very different experience compared to using markers. Embroidery is very slow and more unexpected for me.

I also make a lot of digital patterns (vector and raster) and take commissions. But all my digital patterns are always based on the hand-drawn ones. Digital is just a way for my patterns to be created on different surfaces and products. My loveliest pastime and favorite medium is drawing in a sketchbook with markers.

I'm curious to know about your desk and studio space.

My desk is very big and it is rather clean because I have two little children. They are very curious about all my art stuff, and I love to keep my work safely. The desk is white and stands near big windows. There is a notebook, graphics tablet, scanner, computer screen, iPad, a lot of markers, a couple of sketchbooks, embroidery supplies (which I'm working on at the moment), planner, plants, lamp, and some embroidery and pictures on the wall. I keep a tripod near my desk. I need all of these to start the work quickly, without wasting time searching for the necessary media and tools.

Tell us about your relationship with patterns.

I fell in love with patterns in the Autumn of 2017. I enjoy working at my home on my sketchbook while there's still daylight out, sitting alone in silence or listening to a podcast. What I like most is the endlessness of the pattern.

Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:

Colorful, joyful, simplistic

Who are some other pattern creators whose work inspire you?

There are so many talented artists. Here are some of them who I follow on Instagram: @michelle_morin @monika_forsberg @caglazimmermann @kittymccall @sasha.ignatiadou @namasriniumim @kindahkhalidy @ashleymaryart @jessraephoenix @art.iisan @mirdinara @sannaannukka

Do you have a motto that you live by?

Enjoy life and see the beauty around you.

What is a dream project you’d like to work on?

Big walls in a space with beautiful interiors, and fabrics for a clothing collection.

I've never interacted with anyone from Latvia. But I'm curious to know about the art and design scene there. Please share some thoughts on how the place affects your work.

Currently, I based in Latvia, but I was born and lived till I was 26 in St. Petersburg, Russia. So I’m not an expert in the Latvian design scene. Nature in Latvia is very beautiful and it’s a really quiet place. There are dense pine forests and a very long coastline along the sea on the North and Northwest part of the country. All of this inspires me with a spirit of calmness and slow life.

Sounds wonderful! What’s your vision going forward?

I would love to do more collaborations with brands that are close to me in spirit. I also would like to develop my drawing skills. I've always wanted to learn how to draw people beautifully.

Follow Polina's beautiful world on Instagram and visit her website here.


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