Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.
A: Hey! I’m Kai Karenin, a russian graphic designer, illustrator and painter. Since 2002 I worked as a graphic designer, participating and winning some international design contests. Abstract painting and clean minimalistic graphic are characteristic features of my creative vision.
Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?
A: It was the long way, and I think maybe it’s still in progress. As I said, I work as a graphic designer, but it was more of job than pleasure, that’s why I just started to make something for myself. I love the fashion world and photography, I love to enjoy some results of a collaboration between the great models and the great photographers. This is my inspiration. When I’ve started to make these illustrations, I imagined that I want to tell some story, but through the art, like it would be through the photography. And also I thought how I can make it more minimalistic and abstract, with less details, I have tried to make every iilustration as a graphic design object.
Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?
A: I’m afraid about any influence, cuz I want to save my way. Of course I know Laura Laine or Alexey Kurbatov, many others masters of illustrations, 3d or paintings, but the photography is more important for me. When I see some photos by Richard Avedon I’m jealous and have a feelings like I need to make something right now.
Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?
A: Adobe Illustrator only. All my art is a vector, and AI is the best tool for my work. And also I have another way – watercolors experiments, but it’s all real watercolors on real paper, of course I scan it, but there is no digital changes!
Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?
A: I obstinate. I had the big desire to become the graphic designer (my first profession is the jurisprudence), and I have spent more than a year for studying of special programs, have read more than 20 books. It was self-training. After a couple years, I had my first clients and first results. It was hard times, but after my first contest and first prize I had a feelings that I’m on the right way. When I started to learn in an university, I already knew all what the teachers would tells me.
Q6: Do you think its possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?
A: Less is always better. I think it’s harder to find one perfect line, than draw big detailed art. Of course, people like the different styles, but I’m really big fan of minimalism and abstraction. One line, one spot can tell a big story. The colour is also important, I love to play with it! And – it is very important – all my art have a portrait similarity, it is not easy to draw real persons by means of several lines.
Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as an artist?
A: Time! I always don’t have time for all my ideas.
Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?
A: Yes, basically I’m also writer and poet, have some publications (on russian) of a couple short stories, and now I have an idea to write the novel.
Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?
A: Tools is not really important, but every artist must to have some feelings, emotions, inspiration. If you make your art sincerely, people will love it!
Q10: What do you think the future will hold for all artists from all backgrounds from now?
A: Maybe digital art have a great future, but also I think, something more traditional, like oil paintings or watercolors always will be on top.
Q11: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you, – Where can we find you?
A: I have the blog (http://kaikarenin.blogspot.com) with the all last news, official page on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kai-Karenin-Visual-Art/101875989925125) and of course my portfolio on Behance Network (http://www.behance.net/kaikarenin). Also everybody can buy some of my art on Artflakes.com (http://www.artflakes.com/en/shop/kai-karenin).
Q12: Ok this question is optional for you, you and I know that art theft is so common now in the internet world, so are there any words you want to share or shout at to those who steal people arts?
A: I don’t understand the reason of it… if somebody stole an art, what next? Some client will want you to do anything, but you can’t do it, cuz it’s not yours… it’s stupid, I think. Respect yourself, do something yours.
Thanks Khuan Tru for the interview!
With best regards,