Contemporary figurative artist based in Moscow. Born 1983, as a portrait painter Katya had been practicing for more than 10 years, simultaneously working and well known as an art director/production designer in both cinema and theatre.
Since 2006, Scheglova as an art director made such films as “Dead Daughters” by Pavel Ruminov, “Cold Front” and “Blockbuster” by Roman Volobuev, “Middleground” by Alisa Khazanova and “Student” by Cirill Serebrennikov, and numbers of others.
As a portrait painter, Katya did over 300 people, among which are 100 portraits of children from different countries during her long-time project Kids Of the World, exhibited several times in Russia.
Hello Katya! What are the benefits and challenges of being a professional artist? And how did you make the decision to pursue art as a career?
Katya: Hello! I guess the most important benefit is being free and the fact that external circumstances can’t interfere with your primary activity in life. . “Being an artist means never being bored” – that’s what it means for me. I know what I’m living for and I always got something to do, whatever happens – be it an epidemic, a revolution, winter, whatsoever. That makes me a complete person, knowing what my place on earth is, and I’m really happy and thankful for that!
The challenges are the same as benefits – you have nobody and nothing to rely on actually, and you can’t skip work because you yourself are your work, so no excuses, 24 hours, forever, while you’re alive.
I did’ t choose who I am. My work chose me, I guess.
What does the figure mean in your work?
Katya: I’m a portrait painter, so human face means absolutely everything in my work, that’s the only thing that was ever truly interesting to me in all my life as I remember myself, even when I was a little kid. When I design a painting, the first thing is – I fall in love with a certain human face, this is a place where it all begins.
But I do not consider myself a realist! I think I’m a contemporary artist, and what I make are objects of contemporary art. Even if my artist’s statement manifests my only admiration for humans.
What do you think are some of the most important things for an artist to learn when developing skills? What are the foundations of a great artist?
Katya: PRACTICE! There’s no such thing as a great artist only grueling hours of work! Your power is in your hands. Whether you’re figurative or abstract or whatever you are. The talent needs circulation. So practice.
How important is having a personal connection to the subject matter that you choose to paint?
Katya: Important. Very important!
I love the use of colors in your work. How do you select the colors you are going to use for a painting? Are these decided before you begin work or as you go along?
Katya: Thank you! Usually, first I start with a concept of a picture, it’s like a plan of the main colors that work there. And then, inside that primary structure, I let the painting happen, feeling free with the colors, as the big decision was already made in local spots.
What art material do you love to work with above all others, and why?
Katya: The usage of oil gel mediums is crucial for me because they let me keep the heavy body of paint and protect the transparency of colors at the same time. And this is a key technique for my work.
What has been the most important creative lesson you have learned?
Katya: Never stop, whatsoever. Stick to your profession in any situation; it will always save you.
What work are you most proud of from the past 18 months and why?
Katya: The one I painted during the first quarantine in spring, named “Grit” because it has set me free even inside four walls and my anxiety.
What sources do you look to for inspiration?
Are you currently working on any new projects? What’s next on the horizon for Katya?
Katya: Yes, currently I’m working on a project called “Mirrored heart” – it is a series of portraits with reflections, I also call it “A Single Group Portrait”, it is a project about loneliness. The exhibition is scheduled for May 2021.
And the next on the horizon is a project of 100 portraits of older people from all over the world. It is similar to the one I have already done, but with kids.
To learn more about Katya and her art, please check: