Art and design have always had an important place in my life. Since my early childhood, when I travelled with my parents (who have been in the shoe design business over 20 years now), from one shoe fair to another, I knew that this was something I wanted to do in my future.
My multicultural background, mother who is Russian and father from Estonia, has helped me to understand different cultures and stories behind them, which has influenced my artwork a lot. Being fluent in Russian, English, Estonian and studying French for 7 years has given me many opportunities in design world.
I’ve been interested in photography for years and developed my photographic skills, using darkroom and digital photography (e.g photoshop) in my A-level photography course. My photographic work is influenced by Magnum photographers and Steven Meisel, who takes fashion photography to whole new level.
I try to connect my artwork and photography as much as possible and different workshops and extensive research(including screen printing-8 weeks, art textiles-6 weeks, 2 x 6 weeks life drawing etc) have taught me how to do it in more visually interesting ways.
Robert Rauschenberg and Christian Boltanski are two artists, who have influenced my work the most. I admire how Rauschenberg has used screen printing and 3D objects in his “combines” . Lately, I’ve become more and more interested in installations, because Boltanski’s work impressed me so much. It is amazing how much his artwork can challenge and question our minds in relation to our perception of life and death.
I was winner of multiple fashion and design competitions, including Estonian’s Best Young Fashion Designer 2007 and The Pink Scissors Grand Prix 2006. On 2007, I was also invited to organize the Pink Scissors show, which was a great experience. I learned so much about entire fashion industry and media, which also helped me to develop my organisational skills. Winning Quelle’s,the International shopping catalogue’s, design competition in 2007 has been one of the highlights of my life. An entire range(7 garments) of my designs were produced in large numbers, sold online and in “Quelle” catalogue as a special edition part of the Spring/Summer 2008 collection.
I’ve also been running an Estonian fashion and art blog and was a fashion editor in a Estonian national student newspaper from 2006-2007, before I came to England.
From 2006-2009, I worked in multiple places in design industry. From 2006 to 2008, I was assistant shoe buyer in Suurtuki Kinga- ja Nahaari, visited design fairs in Italy, Riva del Garda and met people who has been involved in this business for years. From 2007-2008 I worked with Quelle and designers from the Hula group, who helped me to make my designs more commercial. In 2008 I worked with Estonian photographer Mardo Mannimagi as a model and became very interested in photography. I spent part of summer 2009 working in Tiina Talumees couture house to get some more work experience in that field. I've worked with new estonian brand Tallinn Dolls and helped them develop and promote their brand. Also, being part of styling team in magazine MOOD, Eesti Naine and Marie Claire Estonia, has been such an honour and a really good experience.
Workshops, work experience, research and my cultural background have all made me really open about different aspects of Art and Design. I love to challenge myself and break lines between art, design, fashion and photography. If my artwork and photographs challenge people’s minds and make a small change at how people see things around them, then I think I have achieved what I have set out to do.