Dmitry Ligay
Interview for Archikultura
2017-08-18 23:10:07

Interview for Archikultura

Is drawing your main occupation? What is your major? 

My major is architectural environment design. I graduated from Tashkent Architecture and Civil Engineering Institute ten years ago. But telling the truth, during my second year of study I suddenly realized that I wanted to be a graphic artist.

Where do you find inspiration? 

The word "inspiration" does not exactlyfit here;I’d rather call it an impulse. I refer the illustration mostly to craftwork, although there is a very fine line between it and the art. I have deadlines, contracts, briefings and other technical requirements, so in this regard I'm not much different from the designer. Of course, every project needs a special approach and the impulse which I find everywhere: in people, in music, in movies, in beautifully falling shadows.

How does the illustration change over the time? Where is it going to? 

It is hard to say, but, probably, it will come to diversity. Technically, nowadays 3d and vector, pixel art, photography, collage, linocut, watercolor, silkscreen, digital painting, etc., may be also related to illustration if they have been selected for work by an art director ....The question is to what extent in this or that technique the illustrator will appear to be successful and in high demand.

How long can you be out of work?

I try to work every day, so even if I do not have any orders I still work on my projects. Usually after project submission I allow myself one day off, just to sort my thoughts out and get enough sleep. It's hard for me not to do anything for more than one day.

What is the easiest for ypu to draw?  

The easiest way is when the customer gives freedom of action and completely trusts you. Actually I cannot say that something is more complicated to draw, except for architecture. This is the most ungrateful work, since you draw in details all those little things, spendingplenty of your time, and then you find all your work covered with large font by some designer...

How does the process off illustration development go? 

Usually the customers contact me via mail request, send technical requirements, a brief or material that needs to be illustrated. We discuss the concept, the details of the contract, the deadlines, the stages of the work, the fee, and any other customer’s requests. It is important to save all discussions in correspondence since it can serve as a reference documentif any problems arise during the work process. Usually I draw everything individuallyby hand, which means each element in the illustration is drawn separately. Once all the elements are drawn, I start to collect the picture and make a collage in Photoshop.

What is your best piece of work and who it has beenmade for? 

It is difficult to pick one best piece of work, but I can tell you about the most difficult one. It was a project for Leo Burnett Moscow, the advertising agency. My task was to draw the monkeys for their corporate package. It took me a long time to work the things out. Every letter from the art director contained 10-15 corrections. Many times I started doing it again and again and even began thinking that the project would fail. After several weeks of unsuccessful attempts I eventually found the right style, and later on I was pleased to know that the Burnett office staff was thrilled by my work. It was then that I realized that Burnett staff is professional; they do know exactly what they want.

What is the most inadequate reaction to your work?

"What a nightmare"

Where should the person, who wants to devote his life to illustration, start from? 

Just go and do it! If there are no orders, then you can illustrate whatever you like, for example, your favorite book, or make a poster for your favorite movie, etc. You should take every single order, even if it is poorly paid, because the most important thing is to make a portfolio and gain experience.

How can inexperienced illustrators, who live and work in Tashkent, receive orders from abroad?

In order to receive big orders it is necessary to make a strong portfolio. It may containonly few works, but they shall be kept in a single, neat style. 

Believe me, no matter where you are, in Tashkent or in New York, if you do it cool, you won’tstay unnoticed. Else, you can try to send 5-6 of your best pictures in your style to some foreign illustrating agency or edition and add links to the rest of your works. At the present time there are loads of illustrators, but big orders are given to the best ones.

Tell us about what you are currently working on and what is of a higher priority to you? 

Recently I began to work more with author’s graphics art; I feel a call for it. It excites me, because I strictlydivide the illustration and the author's art, to which I earlier could hardly dedicate my time to.

 

What is the most important for you in illustration? 

Well, I could say some high words  but, honestly, I have no idea ... At all times besides following all the requirements received from the customer, I tried to put into the illustration as much of my senses and feelings as possible. I think this is right since it brings oneself closer to art. 

What programs do you use in your work? Is it possible to use only traditional tools nowadays? 

Usually I draw everything by hand, and then I scan and edit it in Photoshop. In my work I use watercolors and pencils;and I'm not too much into computer graphics. I prefer handwork art because it is performed with soul. These days the number of projects performed only by computer graphics or digital painting is many times higher. But it does not necessarily mean that the time of traditional materials and technology has come to an end. To my mind, handwork art will never lose its relevance and will be appreciated as it has always been.

What is your favorite color combination?

It’s hard for me to say since there are a lot of them. I prefersober colors because they are compound. My works are never full of colors, everything is very sober.

What is bad illustration?

Illustration with no personality

Tell us something about your work, what do you illustrate the most?

Orders can be very different - online companies, magazines, advertisements, books, packages, covers, etc. Recently I have finished a series of illustrations for a novel in verse, it was a private order. I was lucky enough to cooperate with various companies, organizations and people andlearn how they work. This is a valuable experience.

Now that you`vementioned literature, could you tell us about the writers who you remember and love?

Due to my work, I almost completely stopped reading "for myself." I read only those things which need to be illustrated. There was Russian almanac of literary fiction "Noon: 21st Century". Boris Strugatsky was itschief editor and a founder. I worked with him throughout the year, and every month I had to read 8-10 fantastic stories. Mildly speaking, by the end of reading I nearly “went nuts”. Despite all the difficulties, it was a great experience, but unfortunately the almanac was closed after Strugatsky passed away.

What are your plans for the nearest future?

I plan todedicate more timeto author's graphics since I want to do the things which are really important to me. Of course, I'm always open for commercial projects as well. Besides, I am planning to open an online store on my website, because I feel potential and interest in my work. I consider myself a young illustrator and adequatelyassess myself. For example, I haven’t had a chance to work with such giants as Toyota or Nike yet, but I hope that the best projects lieahead of me.

 

Archikultura, №1 summer 2017, Tashkent.