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5 & 3/4 Questions

EVGENY PARFENOV

CURRENT RESIDENCE: MOSCOW

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: RUSSIA

https://www.behance.net/evgenyparfenov

portrait of morrissey by evgeny parfenov
portrait of ryan gosling by evgeny parfenov
portrait of christiano ronaldo by evgeny parfenov

1. Describe yourself and your work.

I am an illustrator. I love cinema, Flaubert, and cooking. Some of my favorite painters are Kandinsky, Petrov-Vodkin, Deyneka, and a few expressionists.

Newsweek cover illustration by Evgeny Parfenov
Macklemore portrait by Evgeny Parfenov
LA Dodgers portrait by Evgeny Parfenov

2. How did you get started?

I used to draw well as a kid, but my ambition was to become a scientist, so I went to technical college. In my student years, I worked part-time at a newspaper and fell in love with design. This led to many years as an art director at various design studios, with some success. In 2006, I got fed up with office jobs and turned to freelance illustration—something I simply loved to do—with no strict work schedule, a downshifting of sorts. I thought I would just catch my breath a little and move on, but I ended up doing it for ten years. One of my first gigs was a couple of classics covers for Russia’s Eksmo Publishers; I did well and went on to create about 30 covers for them, in all. Little by little, I developed my own style, and magazine assignments started to flow.

PJ Harvey portrait by Evgeny Parfenov

3. What piece of work best represents you and why?

Portraits. When I started out, I often followed the story [I’d been commissioned to illustrate], making symbolic moves and weaving in character interactions, but after a while this started to look phony. I just love combinations of lines and colors, and I want to use them to channel emotions and meaning. This is why I mostly draw portraits.

Edgar Allen Poe portrait by Evgeny Parfenov
portrait of hip-hop artists for Rolling Stone magazine, by Evgeny Parfenov
portrait of Thom Yorke by Evgeny Parfenov

4. What are you into currently?

I am currently doing what I like most—drawing. I plan to release a comic book soon (done in a different style).

5. What are three things you’ve learned that young creatives should know?

Do what you love as long as you get a creative kick out of it, never give up, and dream on!  

Peter Dinklage portrait by Evgeny Parfenov
Timothy Spall portrait by Evgeny Parfenov
L'One portrait by Evgeny Parfenov

5¼. Favorite color? A combination of red and blue-green.

5½. Favorite website? Behance.net

5¾. Pet peeve? I am upset that mankind still fails to learn from mistakes and continues to resolve problems through armed conflict.