Anastasiya, it’s been quite the year. How have you been dealing with it?
Honestly it’s not been easy at all. But we’re all in same situation, right? It’s up and down, sometimes it can be very depressing, I’ll not lie to you. But I’m trying to keep myself busy. I started my clothing line brand, called AMM – AskMyMom, I’m working on my third photography book and shooting my art nonstop. But yes, I also have days just watching Netflix, eating pizza and hanging with my dog next to me feeling so low and desperate with no idea what to expect from tomorrow. I’m dealing with it as best I can and putting all my feelings into my art.
Where were you before Covid hit, and how has that affected your plans?
I was in the USA, New York and Miami, meeting galleries, planning do some art projects and exhibitions with them. It was a very interesting trip. I met legendary people, made some friends, and I was about to stay but then all this started. It was very upsetting as I’d been chasing this for so long only to have it derailed by Covid. My dream was so close, but the universe had other plans. I’m very grateful I was lucky enough to make it back to Bali.
We’ve worked together for some time and we’ve seen you work become more refined. How would you define your style now, as opposed to say, a year ago?
Thank you. ‘Refined’ – it’s a nice word to hear. I think my style has grown with my feelings. Since all this started I have become softer, I’ve opened my Pandora’s Box and let my love out. I was going through some issues and finally I found a way to feel that changed the pattern of my relationships and allowed me to admire the beauty of everything, even pain, without fighting. Everything in this life is about love. I just started to pay attention to it more. I think that has affected my work.
You’re in many ways displaced, as a Ukrainian from Crimea. What are your options in terms of where you live and how does Bali fit into your future?
Ahaha. Thank you for calling me Ukrainian, I love that. Mostly I am labeled as a Russian. Well, I’ve been in Bali for two and a half years now and before that I was travelling the world, so it’s been a long time since I visited Crimea. I really do love this island, it’s one of the most beautiful and incredible islands I have ever been. But it’s impossible to plan your future here, and while that may be true for many places I think it’s doubly true in Bali. I’m also feeling in more of a New York stage of my life. I want success in many things and sometimes I feel Bali cannot give this to me. Nevertheless I will always return to this island.
You’re shooting mainly nudes right now, and many of yourself. Do you feel comfortable in front of the camera as well as behind it?
I really love nudes. There’s something wild and real in it. Something very powerful and at the same time completely open and disarmed. Like Mother Nature. And it’s not easy to keep this line between dirty and pure in nudes. I always love something that is not easy. As far as me in front of the camera, well I have experience modeling for the last 12 years. I was a top model in Russia for four years and a nude model for 3 years. With time I realised that no one can catch me like I can. I doesn’t sound modest I know but that’s how I look at it. So I’m ok with self-portraits and on a book called 12 Sec, which I hope will inspire women to love themselves as much as they can.
We loved your shots of Mark Baker with his wolf pack. What was it like to shoot so many animals together in the studio?
Thank you, it’s one of my favourite projects as well. But come on. It’s Mark Baker and six puppies. What’s not to like? I adore Mark. He is my favourite person in Bali. And wolves … I was always closer to nature than to people. I really feel them. But these wolves are something special. I feel like a wolf whisperer. They just let me shoot them as I have spent a lot of time with them and their mother. I think they now see me as part of the pack.
How do you think your style fits in with today’s commercial world?
Honestly, I never feel like I fit into this world in anything I am doing. I have felt this way from childhood. I’m not sure how to explain it but I feel like I’m from a different century. Nevertheless I think this opens up a lot of possibilities for brands that I work with – companies that are not afraid of being different. I can also create a lot of interesting projects in one day, which is efficient in terms of creativity.
What’s next for you?
I truly have no idea. But I feel that right now it’s the best time to clean away some of the old thinking and patterns in my life, which will let me walk into an unknown future with ease.
Anastasiya, best of luck and many thanks for your time.
About the ring:
TRIPLE GODDESS RING by Pandolfo Renou is a
63-carat Rainbow Moon Stone set on a 950 Sterling Silver mount representing the sacred symbol of the three moons: the triple goddess, the daughter, the mother, the grandmother. It is a powerful symbol of protection and fertility. The Moon stone that brings the energy of femininity is activated by the sacred geometry of Svadhistana and the element of the air.
Prints available from http://otkidach.com/