A Chat With Masha Gubar aka Limkis
– website –
Until very recently, I had never seen such painterly illustrations made with a vector based software platform. That is until I met Masha Gubar; an artist who has completely infused a most technically proficient watercolor element to all of her work — orchestrated pastels that dance across the page in a beautiful ballet of laser precision. The work she creates is oh so delicate, all the while being very precise; a beautiful combination. I caught up with her a few weeks back. We had a email chat. This is what transpired:
Engels, Saratov-Region, Russia
So Masha, how long have you been an artist?
Since I can remember, art has been an essential part of my life; when I was a little girl I already consumed loads of paper, paint and crayons for my sketches, drawings and paintings. My sister teased me ,telling me she might probably have to become a Greenpeace member in order to compensate a bit for all the trees that had to be chopped down because of my paper consumption.
My delight in painting has not developed by chance: my mother is a well-known Russian painter and so has supported me as good as she could. At the age of 13 I entered the Saratov Art School founded by Bogolyubov. I finished my studies after some terms abroad in Switzerland and got my diploma in Saratov.
It was also in Switzerland that I got familiar with computer graphics in 2003. From the very beginning I have only been using Illustrator, and I have never really considered working with a different programme. Concerning my illustrator skills I would say I am a self-taught person because I have never done a computer course or anything like that. It was pure “learning by doing”. Possibly that is why my illustrations seem a little unconventional.
Who would you say are some of your favorite artists?
Yes, there are some. In the childhood I liked Hieronymus Bosch, Aubrey Beardsley, Alfons Mucha. Now there are a lot of contemporary artists, watercolorists but I don’t remember their names. Most likely I choose several pictures for myself where I like the idea and the giving – it may be even a part of a photo, then I create the feeling like I feel looking at them – the model, the principle of giving, which I saw in the vector shape. I understood for myself that the world of an artist may be contaminated into strokes and they may depict everything and in a very naturalistic manner. That is the question of a personal restrain – which is necessary to be resist. I try to do so – I mean, to be speedy in some actions, but this is not the question of a day.
And, how would you describe your work?
I have never paid any attention to the question of style. What would one call my style? Perhaps others might think of a term for what they are creating. Concerning my work there are elements of fantasy and comics for sure, but I dislike categorizations or putting people into certain groups. That is what bookkeepers might be keen on, but not me.
Honestly, I don’t care about what is going on in the vector community, either. I don’t read blogs or tutorials or anything of the sort. As for me, people there talk too much about technicalities, styles and tricks; that is only about tools. It has little to do with creativity, but never mind.
Everyone should do what they like most and what is fun for them!
I couldn’t agree more. There is way too much attention given to the machine, but ultimately it’s the human behind the machine that comes through.
Now, in your opinion, what is the future of digital art?
Digital art takes already a major important place in all ranges of art. And I think, it will be increasingly important – if people some day realize, that not the computer makes the artwork, but the artist behind! The computer is only a tool, not more. It’s like in the authorship: the programs for writing – like Word or so – don’t make the stories. It’s the author and his creativity. And in digital art it’s the same. Maybe “digital art” is a wrong term: “art made by digital tools” would be better. Even the computer is very important. From year to year this machines – or better: the software – have more possibilities, makes the handling easier and give artists more freedom and facilitate the creativity.
Masha, thank you for your time. It’s been wonderful.
- Max Eternity, 2009