Framed: Eugene Plotnikov
Talking art, life and shit with Circo Festival Illustrator Eugene Plotnikov.
I had a quick chat with illustrator Eugene Plotikov after his recent completion of this year's Circo artwork. Throughout the whole process of getting the artwork comissioned, the dude was super cool and a pleasure to deal with; here's a few words to help shed some light on the workings of the young Melbournite.
Hey man, how are you? What have you been up to lately?
What's going on dude? I've got a few things on my plate at the moment, I've been working with a studio from Ukraine making concept art for an animation, so a lot of that, doing a bunch of club branding and artwork, various pieces of freelance, and of course evolving my personal artwork when I get the time.
Sweet man, not too much! Just post editing this interview to make it seem more personal. Where are you right now?
At the desk, where I spend most of my life.
In the hopes that someone from Corona is reading this, where would you rather be?
Travelling somewhere in California spending my time painting with friends, skating and getting tattooed.
Please describe a typical day?
Get up, eat, draw, eat, draw, draw, some type of recreational activity like skating, eat, sit around and do nothing, sleep.
What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be an architect and then I did work experience at a firm and it sucked! Definitely not for me.
Haha yeh it took me four years of studying it to figure that out, props to effiency!
When did you first discover your passion for art?
I found art class to be the highlight of primary school and everything else sucked!
What drew you to pursue it as more than just a hobby?
I think that if I did anything else for a living I would lose my mind and give up. I need to do something I enjoy because everything else just doesn't feel right. And if people value my artwork commercially, then I'm comfortable in pursuing it.
What’s been your favourite project to work on to date? Why?
Working with Monument Snowboards, I designed a graphic for their 2015 range of boards. I was able to pretty much go nuts and make something super gnarly, plus I skate and this way I figure it'll bring me a step closer to designing a deck, which is something I've always wanted to do.
What work are you most proud of?
There's this big flash sheet I drew with a giant wolf in the centre and all kinds of crazy shit around it. It took forever and it's mostly intricate line and dot work, done with a very thin pen. My hand was in so much pain by the end of it but it was worth it.
Do you prefer working on ongoing projects like your branding for Can’t Say in Melb, or is sinking your teeth into new challenges more your speed?
Ongoing projects are great, they give me a bit of routine and something solid that I can reinvent week-to-week which is cool. That being said, I'm always keen for something new, working with different people on different projects always puts the mozzarella in my meatball!
I really love the recent work you did for Circo Festival in Perth, where did you find your inspiration? Circo’s dark/twisted circus theme seemed to slot right in to your style and imagery really well.
I looked at old school horror comic books for inspiration. I love being thrown something new, and after hearing about the project I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted it to look. If I were asked to describe it I'd say the vibe is very Neon-Death-Vegas-Occult.
Did you find anything particularly challenging or exciting about this project?
It's pretty cool when making the poster, you're writing the names of some big musicians and you're able to place your work next to them, knowing it'll be seen by large numbers. Working with Circo was great because the guys there gave me lots of creative freedom.
What have you been listening to lately? Is music something that's playing constantly while you work?
Lately I've been listening to heaps of Ratking, Dirty Beaches, Schoolboy Q, More Than Life, Have Heart, Counterparts, The National.. lots of stuff, mostly hip hop and hardcore but lately I've been trying to keep an open mind.
Are you a night owl or a morning person? When do you prefer to work?
I find it very difficult to work at night so I try to knock everything out of the way in the morning / afternoon. Although I'm terrible at getting out of bed.
Name three creatives that we should check out..
Charles Burns, Phillip Yarnell, Lil Ugly Mane
On any given piece, how much time would you spend on paper, and how much in the computer?
Commercial work is usually all drawn on the computer because it's easier to change something if the clients needs me to, and I'm able to work faster. On the other hand I keep all of my personal work on paper.
Who or what inspires you and your work the most?
Anyone who is passionate about what they do and works their ass off.
Are you a self-motivator, or a down to the wire/night before deadline kind of guy?
It varies. I always find it difficult to get stuff done when it's such a nice day outside and I'm tempted to go for a skate, or I'm super into a personal drawing and I spend all my time working on that and I leave the jobs until later in the day. On larger projects I like to get some ideas in early so I can ensure the best result.
What’s next? What have you got planned for the rest of the year and what do you hope to achieve in the near future?
I wouldn't mind exhibiting some work in Melbourne later in the year if I get the chance. I also want to do a little bit more traveling when I can.
Thanks a lot man! Any last words/shout outs?
Last words? I guess do what you enjoy and screw everything else.
Shoutouts to Morty for your never-ending help!
Check out more of Eugene's work HERE
Circo Festival goes down June 28, all the info/tickets you need HERE.