Victoria is a self-taught photographer of Russian origin. She moved to the UK three years ago to chase the biggest dream of her life and has been residing here since then. She works predominantly with street and nature landscapes and abstract photography.

Hi Victoria! How did your artistic journey start?
My artistic journey began in 2018 when I was in the third year of my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism back in Russia. One of the modules was devoted to photography. It also included some workshops where we had a chance to use various cameras, including the film ones. Once I got a chance to use the first model of Zenit-M (Soviet film camera) made in 1952, I decided it was time for me to think about turning a hobby into a profession. I was quite lucky with my uni tutors as well, they encouraged me to take more pictures and guided me in my artistic self-expression. Since then I have been practicing various styles and genres trying to find my place in the world of photography.

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
To be very honest, I didn’t even think that one day those particular photos would ever be exhibited. I love travelling and try to do it quite often, so I took those pictures when I was travelling around Scotland in 2021-2022. They were intended to be for personal use (like social media, etc.) only. I am so happy that they got a chance to claim their fame.

Can you walk us through your creative process?
I can’t say that I have any particular way of creating art – I never wake up with a thought ‘today I’m going to make some art, this is the day’. As a street and nature landscapes photographer, I take pictures practically every day wherever I go, if something strikes or inspires me. I feel like I can sense when I can take a good shot and everything (the light, the setting, the objects) will work out. And if I get this gut feeling, I stop and take a picture. However, I can never plan it in advance – it just happens accidentally or casually. That’s why I always carry my camera and phone with me – you never know when you will get inspired!

How do you overcome creative blocks?
There are days, weeks and even months when I can feel a bit down and not take any photos at all. I think it’s absolutely normal for artists to lack inspiration and take little breaks. As I’m a very excitable person and I need a constant spark inside me to create, on the days like that I try to talk to myself and find out the reason behind my reluctance to take photos. Usually it all comes down to a lack of inspiration. My cure in such situations is just forcing myself to leave the house and go to places that used to inspire me. I live on inspiration, so once I get passionate or excited about something again, the desire to take photos comes back.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
My main advice would be – don’t be scared to share your art with the world! I think the biggest problem of any artist is low self-esteem. Normally people tend to think that they’re not good enough or not talented enough to do something. I still think so about myself and try to overcome it every single day in my practice. However, art is such a complex topic, as anything these days can be called art. I believe that every single artist (no matter a professional or an amateur) will find their audience. It’s all about getting out of the comfort zone and actually starting doing something/exhibiting, etc.

What emotions or reactions do you hope viewers experience when they see your artwork?
Naturally being a very emotional and sensitive person with a dreamy mindset, I perceive places and environments through beauty and aesthetics in the architecture and people around me. When taking pictures, I try to convey an open message that anybody could interpret the way they want – depending on their mood, life situation, etc. It can be compared to a film with an open ending when everybody draws their own conclusions.

See Victoria’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find her on Instagram @victorious008

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