Possessing a myriad of creative outlets, French-Russian queer feminist artist Daria Ivanova explores trauma and sexuality with a focus on LGBTQ representation. Daria finds inspiration in the written word as well as other artists, and firmly believes in making art that serves you firstly before it serves others. We spoke with Daria about her art and her goals for the future.
Where are you from and when did you start your art practice?
I am a Frеnch-Russian artist, photographer and filmmaker who moved 10 years ago to Lyon, France, from Russia. Before becoming an artist, I was engaged in journalism, which did not inspire me much, but brought in income. I was in my final years at the Faculty of Journalism and was working in my profession when I realized that I wanted to do art and started learning to draw.
How do you describe your vision for your work?
I am a queer feminist artist and I work mainly with my community. In my drawings, I talk about trauma, in photos I try to represent the members of my community, their beauty and strength, and in films I explore the topic of sexuality.
What are your artistic/creative inspirations?
Many people say that my drawings are similar to those of Egon Schiele, and indeed, I love this artist, but I am inspired by many, many authors, contemporary and more. I spend a lot of time on social networks in search of authors and works that interest me, I am inspired and stimulated to work by other people’s successes.
Tell me about your process.
For me, drawing is, in a sense, personal therapy, I draw a lot when I feel bad, this allows me to concentrate on something productive and not think about anything else. I draw from my head and always very quickly and a lot, but I would like to learn how to make more elaborate drawings, although expressive creativity also has its own charm.
Do you think your work has a message? How is it received?
I bring up the subject of trauma, it is a rather difficult subject, and many people say that my images are dark. But a pretty form helps convey the message.
What do you like about the artistic community of today? What do you dislike?
I am very inspired by other authors, in particular women and the LGBT community. I am glad that today female artists and LGBT members have more opportunities to be seen than in the past. The constant competition and chase for followers on social networks frustrates me. I would like to see more support, although I understand that everyone just needs money to live, and competition is inevitable.
What is safe and/or dangerous in terms of experimentation?
I believe that creativity is always a risk, and I like to take risks, try new things, change. But it seems to me important not to lose yourself and do what you like yourself first of all rather than what others like.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your artistic career that you would pass on to an artist who is just starting out?
I find it important to take criticism calmly. Even if only you like your work, it’s important to keep going if it makes you happy.
Where would you like to see your work in 3 years? What goals do you have for your practice?
In museums. Now, I like making films more, I would like to continue in this direction. I would also like to have a real and stable income from my work.
Check out more of Daria’s work (photography, film, drawings) on her socials: