Unique dolls and odd creepy cute creatures. That is what Natalia Rezvova from Russia loves to create. While currently living in Paris, she dedicated her life to making art dolls as a result of her interesting imagination.
We met Natalia on Instagram. She told us more about the materials she uses as a paperclay, wool yarns, a wool felt and all types of natural fabrics, beads… and we were simply curious to know more.
That’s why we got the idea to bring you more info in an interview with Natalia, so you can get to know more about her artwork, too!
Hello Natalia, it is nice to have you here. Let us ask you, how did you become an artist?
I never attended Art school and do not hold any diploma in art. My education is in a totally different field, although I always loved creating things in my free time. I made my first teddy bear in 2014, and I think that art doll making started then. The creation of teddy bears quickly changed into something different, I started sculpting, was making dolls and then gradually it all moved into a creepy-cute direction and that is when I started making odd and gloomy creatures.
Your art is quite dark and scary. Is there anything you are scared of?
I am not scared of creepy or horror things although they sure could make me uncomfortable. What I'm really afraid of is people’s indifference. That is a really serious thing that can lead to so many problems.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your artwork?
Very often I get comments that my pieces remind people of Tim Burton’s art. And it is probably true; like Tim Burton’s works, my creatures also have a hint of cuteness but are quite somber at the same time.
Can you tell us more about the materials that you use in your work?
I love working with fabric. Most of my creatures have fabric bodies and clay-sculptured limbs and heads. When I sculpt, I use air dry clays, usually “La Doll” and sometimes “Paperclay”. I also love working with wood and had some works made of wood. I also use fur, mohair, viscose, beads and different paints.
That sounds interesting! What is your favourite part of the creative process?
I really love sculpting and I would say that it is the most challenging but at the same time my favorite part of the process personally. That is the time when my idea and new character comes to life, which is one of the most important steps of the process.
And where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
I love art, and I think that I get inspiration from artworks that I see. Some of my most favorite artists are: Hieronymus Bosch, Egon Schiele, Pieter Bruegel, Marc Chagall, Jan van Eyck, Mikhail Vrubel, Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin. There are so many of them, this list could go on and on, but I hope it gives some understanding of what I love and what inspires me.
Out of so many of your sculptures you have created so far, which one is your favorite?
I love all the rats that I’ve created probably just because I adore pet rats, and the “HeartStealer”: a skeleton girl with a heart in her hands.
What’s your studio like?
My studio is a little corner in the living room. There is a table with a constant mess on it and lots of different storage boxes with art supplies all around. It is a very small space but I love it and find it really cozy with lots of light from two big surrounding windows.
What do you do when you’re not making art?
I have a family, my husband and three kids. The smallest one is five years old, so if I am not creating stuff I am usually busy with some chores and spend time with my kids. I am also working on a new project which is not related to art but takes quite a lot of my time. I enjoy Argentine tango and was taking classes as well as going to milongas quite often before Covid times. I’m missing it so much now and hoping it will resume soon as the situation gets better with the pandemic.
What are you currently working on?
Although this year was very tough for artists and galleries, I am happy I was able to participate in some of the exhibitions around the world. Currently there is an exhibition that is located in Japan and I am really honored that some of my works are a part of it. I am also working on some custom orders right now and making new characters while trying to invent new shapes and various materials.
Wow, congratulations! Thank you very much for a lovely interview Natalia, we wish you the best in your art and life.