Based in Beijing, Russian illustrator Liuba Vladimirova draws romantic, idyllic images of the Chinese capital. Originally, Vladimirova moved to China to study Chinese and completed her master’s degree in the city of Shenyang. After graduating, without any jobs lined up, she made the move to Beijing. Looking back, she says, “It was a bold decision. But I guess I was so young, so I didn’t really think about it.” For five years, she worked a full-time job unrelated to art. During this time, her interest in illustration continued to grow, and so, to satisfy her creative needs, she began exploring the many nooks and crannies of Beijing with a notepad in hand.
俄罗斯插画家Liuba Vladimirova目前在北京生活，她以这座中国首都城市为灵感，绘画了一幅幅浪漫和诗意的城市画像。Vladimirova最初来中国是为了学习汉语，在沈阳修读完硕士学位后，在没有任何工作邀请的情况下，她还是毅然去了北京。回忆起当时，她说：“那真是非常大胆的决定。可能自己当时还是太年轻了，也没有想这么多。” 五年来，她做着一份与艺术无关的全职工作。期间，她对插图的兴趣越来越强烈。为了满足自己的创作欲望，她拿起一个本子，开始去探索北京的各个角落。
As Vladimirova continued to spend hours on her art each and every day, she began receiving more and more positive feedback. After much perseverance and hard-work, she eventually became a full-time freelance illustrator and now even runs her own company. Today, her time is split between completing commissioned work, conducting art workshops, and of course, drawing for her own pleasure. But as a self-taught artist, Vladimirova admits that she often still feels lacking in confidence. Regardless, she feels that any anybody who learns a skill by themselves is committing to an admirable endeavor. She says, “They consciously made the choice. They taught themselves. They invested their time to being something purely because they wanted it.” As time went on, her style continued to mature. Now, she’s honed in on an aesthetic that’s uniquely hers, one that’s been sharpened and evolved through countless hours of practice. In her artistic journey, the only thing that’s stayed consistent since the beginning is the preference of using watercolor.
In terms of technique, Vladimirova is inspired by artists like Carson Ellis, Lizzy Stewart, and Yelena Bryksynkova. Outside of these big-name artists, she speaks fondly of conversing with other like-minded professional illustrators in her early days as a working artist. “These were people similar to me,” she recalls with excitement. “They thought in similar categories as me! They saw the world through the same artistic lens and appreciate colors and shapes from the aesthetic point of view.”
在创作技巧方面，Vladimirova的灵感主要来自于Carson Ellis，Lizzy Stewart和Yelena Bryksynkova这些知名艺术家。除此之外，还有她早期与其他志同道合的专业插画师之间的交流。她说：“他们都是和我一样的人，我们有相似的想法，会用相同的艺术角度看世界，从审美的角度来欣赏颜色和形状！”
For subjects matters, much of Vladimirova’s inspirations come from the city of Beijing, or more specifically, the hutongs of the city. In her works, she beautifully depicts the day-to-day life and persevering traditions of the ancient city. She describes the attraction to these scenes as a fascination with the “romantic side of a simpler life.” Today, as the city continues to grow, many of the places that she’s drawn in the past or planned to draw in the future have completely changed or altogether disappeared. However, Vladimirova remains optimistic, excited by the dynamic nature of China. With a smile, she proclaims, “You never know what is going to happen next!”