Olga, welcome to the Palette Artist of the Month Interview.-
Thank you, happy to be here!
Tell us about where you’re from in Russia, and about your art background.+
Well, I was born in Moscow like my father and grandfather. So, It can be said that I’m an indigenous Moscow resident. I love this city and know it pretty well. Like most Russian people, I also have many other roots, for example, Ukranian, Polish and German. I went to some art schools and then I entered the All-State Russian University of Cinematography (VGIK) to study Multimedia direction. I decided I wanted not only be able to draw pictures, but to make them move as well. At VGIK, I drew storyboards, assembled film crews, was an animator and video editor – those were hard (and good) days but I didn’t have time to draw personal things at all. Once I graduated in 2015, I immediately started to establish my personal brand (Olga Davydova and Ollysweatshirt) as an illustrator and finally, since 2019 as an artist.
It sounds like you are very well rounded using drawing, video, and editing. As an illustrator, What is the creative process like for you?+
When I work with a client, I start from a brief. I need to understand brand goals and spirit before I start brainstorming ideas. I look at what designs are on the market and which visual innovations I can bring to improve a brand’s consumer experience. Then, I start making sketches to show the client what to expect. Because it’s easier to make revisions and to discuss ideas at this stage. Once we get to approval, I build the illustrations digitally, mostly in vector format. My favorite tools are paper, a sharp black pencil, soft eraser, and 15 inch Macbook Pro with Adobe Illustrator. When I work on personal projects, it all starts from ideas and pencil sketches too. In this case I make a brief for myself.
What sort of brands tend to seek you out for your work?+
I’m really happy with all the brands I work with! Very often they are related to something eco-friendly, something between healthcare and cosmetics. Sometimes brands will look to hire me for hard alcohol or smoking (vape) related projects but I tend to stay away from these types of products because I understand the power of a good design and don’t want to add to harmful messaging.
Where do you find yourself being most creative In studio, Traveling, behind a desk?+
Travels always inspire me a lot. I like to take photos and use them as references for my future illustrations and paintings. When I’m at home, even an everyday walk can bring me some inspiring ideas which turn into cool projects. I always catch a good creative boost when I get to my work desk.
How do people find your work today and what tools do you use to build awareness in other countries?+
I can’t imagine my life without Dribbble. I grow by sharing my works with this creative community, and the platform brought me my initial clients that I still work with today. In April 2018, Fiverr offered me to start working via their site and that was a great decision too! I've made many beautiful projects with clients who found me on Fiverr. Also, I love to license my personal works via Adobe Stock. I like the process of uploading on their site and the way they treat their contributors. Cheers to these guys! Regarding my acrylic paintings, I’m trying to win the attention of SaatchiArt сurators, but I just began this journey. I need to create way more paintings for it 🙂 Also, I use Instagram, Behance and Creative Market platforms.
We selected your print Plant Heroes for our Print of the Month. What's the background on this?+
This work is called Plant Heroes”. Based on the title, the illustration is inspired by relationships of human and nature. The characters like Titans from Ancient Greek mythology are holding plants on their hands. They’re trying to re-create the tropical ecosystem to help animals exist. Is it going to work or not We’ll see.