Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Ukraine, I’m married, and I have two daughters. I’m an engineer and a logistician, but I left my work 11 years ago when my youngest daughter was born due to her health problems. I was drawing a little when I was a child. I was not learning drawing, but I loved copying illustrations from books and photos from magazines about cinema.
After that short period in my youth, I didn’t do anything creative. I was a ‘desperate housewife’ when, by chance, I explored the world of photo manipulation seven years ago. It happened when my husband asked me to make a couple of collages for his work. At that time, I had an iPad mini, and I used some simple app to make those collages. This process captivated me so much that I could not stop to this day! My first manipulations were quite simple, but my imagination just gushed—I could create four to five manipulations in a day! Sometimes I miss that time. Well, that’s how I have become an artist.
You’ve been using Affinity Photo for iPad for three years now. What made you fall in love with the app?
I love working on an iPad. I have created most of my ‘masterpieces’ on the iPad 9.7” just with my fingers, half-lying on the couch with the tablet in my hands. It’s very comfortable! At the end of 2017, after all my torments with different apps, I seemed to have opened a new world with Affinity Photo for iPad. I’m serious! I have risen to a new level in my work, I really felt almighty with such a universal instrument, and it stays the best photo editor for iPad to this day.
You’ve since started using Affinity Photo for Windows. How did this expand your possibilities?
Since I didn’t have an Apple Pencil, the desktop version of Affinity Photo gave me the possibility to use a graphics tablet. Now I can draw and retouch, and it’s another stage of me growing as an artist. On Windows, I can use plugins that are not available for the iPad version. In addition, I can now record video tutorials which were also impossible on my 32GB tablet.
All of your work on the iPad is done with just your fingers. That’s pretty impressive! Tell us more.
I think my experience has to say no matter how and where you create, the main thing is to do it. I started to work on an iPad mini, now I have a usual notebook and a small graphics tablet, but I enjoy every moment of creation, and I have never been as happy as I have been in the last few years.
One of our favourite works of yours is ‘Longing for Silence’. What inspired you to create this piece, and how long did it take to complete?
I made that work for the Animal Spirit Guide contest in DeviantArt. Participants had to portray a human with some animal familiarity. I chose fishes. The desire to get in silence and loneliness comes to me very often (a few times a day to be honest!). When I feel tired of people and noise, fishes are the only company that I’d like to have beside me because they don’t make a sound. They are like an embodiment of my desires, the spirit of silence. It took some days to make this artwork, and by the way, I won that contest.
What is your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?
Booksburg (below) is the one I am proud of most. I used about 40 photos and spent about a month creating it. You know, books are my other passion after art, and I think that’s why a compilation of these two hobbies is so dear to my heart.
I also love the series of these little dolls; Fleur, Violetta, Wendey, Fanny and Jackie. I came up with the technique of transforming childs faces to cartoon characters, and they are all my favourites.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I adore the moments when I find some interesting, intriguing ideas. My heart starts to beat faster in anticipation of some magical action! And then if I can create them, if I get a result similar to an image that I had in my mind, this brings me true joy!
What would be your dream brief or project?
I haven’t got anything concrete in my mind. I still search for my own style (although people say I already have it, ha!). I’d like to say something new with art, to create something different, unique, and recognisable that people glancing at my pictures would say “these are Lora Vysotskaya’s artworks,” but I think that’s the dream of any artist.
Do you have a way to organise your day to maximise your work?
I try to do all things related to my real life in the first half of the day and leave the evenings for my hobby. But the most productive time for me is hours when my daughter sleeps!
What inspires you these days?
You know, lately, I learn constantly. I watch lots of lessons and tutorials, take interactive digital painting courses, and exchange ideas with other artists, like-minded people. This is a kind of creative workshop where we hold challenges, contests and inspire each other.
Lastly, if you weren’t a digital artist, what would you be?
I would not be a very happy person. But I’m an artist, and I’m happy!