Could you tell me us about yourself? Where are you from? How does the place you live in inspire you?
I am originally from Russia but have been living in the United States since 2001. I was always immensely interested in art, but thanks to my amazing high-school art teacher, Wendy Hall, I was able to explore it fully and eventually get my Bachelor’s in painting.
Right now I am based in Delaware (close to Philadelphia), and my community in both Philly and Wilmington inspires me the most. I am fortunate to be surrounded by incredible people who help each other with exhibition opportunities, advice, general support and encouragement. Without my community in this area, neither the magazine or my own art would be possible.
You are a founder of Create! Magazine which is very popular among emerging artists. Could you tell us how you started and how the magazine has evolved?
Thank you! I started self-publishing in 2013, with my first magazine (FreshPaintMagazine). Over time though, my vision changed and I was interested in a more diverse representation of today’s contemporary art scene, especially in the emerging aspect of the art works.
In 2016, I rebranded and we launched Create! Magazine with the help of Maple Projects. I wanted to combine the work of artists and creatives from all career levels. By inviting guest curators, online bloggers, writers, and art consultants we make each issue a unique experience.
This year we had a few exciting mentions by other brands such as Apartment Therapy and Stack Magazines.
We are just getting started and are in this for the long haul so taking risks, switching things up and always thinking about our artists and readers is a priority.
Currently the biggest focus is expanding our distribution to more cities. Right now Create! Magazine is available in New York, London, Cape Town, and Amsterdam.
There is a lot of new magazines popping up the Internet. What makes Create! different?
I really love that there are so many magazines and indie publications available. Our biggest differences are the creative and ever-evolving design by Maple Projects (Shelby) and our community. The artists that we feature automatically become a part of a larger conversation. We love connecting people on social media and recently started planning studio visits and live meet ups.
Is the magazine directed only to emerging artists?
No, the magazine features a wide range of artists. I think it’s important to be inspired by those who have already achieved what you dream of doing, but also leave room for discovering emerging talent.
What do you think is the future of artists-led programs? Do online activities of artists make it easier for them to succeed?
I strongly believe in taking matters into our own hands. There is definitely a place for traditional galleries and programs for artists. However, in my experience, the opportunities that I was looking for just weren’t showing up, so I had to create them.
What is the next step for Create?
We are gearing up for Miami! Our anniversary issue launches during Art Basel Week and we are excited to be a media partner for Art Miami Fairs.
I hope that the exposure to thousands of visitors, artists and galleries will be beneficial to our artists and I also am hoping to meet a few people in person.
Since you founded the magazine, what do you think has changed in the art market?
From my experience, it seems that it’s now easier for artists to sell their work directly and connect with galleries through social media. It’s exciting to see a few artists that we featured gain massive recognition. It gives me hope that creatives are paving their own way in today‘s society and that art definitely has an economic future.
What would be your advice to artists?
Keep making work and meeting people! My career started flourishing when I got out of my comfort zone and started volunteering and attending openings. Other artists have connections of their own and are often happy to share exhibition opportunities and more. Plus, it gets lonely in the studio so having creative friends is a definite plus!