Liuba definitely draws 绘画达人Liuba


Even though I studied architecture for my whole life, don’t put a pencil in my hands. I’m horrible at drawing. The reason why I had very high marks in high school in art? My husband. He would help me with all the drawing and panting. And he is so good at this. But this is another story.



I saw Liuba []’s works before actually meeting her. She is a Russian artist and illustrator currently living in Beijing, and she has this talent for hand drawing – and I loved her especially because she is not afraid of using colours. On the contrary. It looks like she enjoys using them so much.

在我见到Liuba前,我已经在 上看过了她的作品。她是来自俄罗斯的插画家,现在住在北京。她在手绘方面极富天赋 – 而且我特别欣赏她在颜色方面的大胆使用。相反,看上去她太喜欢大胆地使用颜色了。

jing a keg egg

We met at MOKA Bros. in Beijing and had a chat about her passion, which is also becoming her job.

我们在北京的MOKA Bros见面,并畅谈了她的激情所在,她把激情成功转化为了她的工作。


Where did you learn to draw?

When I was a kid, I loved to draw, but I never wanted to commit to attend a drawing school. My mum really pushed me to go – but I was really firm about this. Only a few years ago I realised how important drawing is for me – now I spend at least 6 hours/day with a pencil or a brush in my hands. Even if I strongly believe that only practice makes things perfect, now I regret I didn’t go to school.


当我还是个孩子时,我就特别喜欢画画,但是我从来都不想去绘画学校。我妈妈逼我去 – 但我很坚定不去。直到几年前,我才意识到学习绘画对我的重要性 – 现在每天至少有6个小时我手里都握着铅笔或画笔。尽管我坚信熟能生巧,但现在我还是后悔当年没有进行专业的绘画培训。

hutong map original

What would be different in your style if you did attend a drawing course?

Probably my background would be more solid, but I’m also aware that I would probably have wasted lots of time there. I’m 100% self-tought: I do my research by myself and nobody is shaping my style. The good thing is that I’m completely free and I’m perfectly capable of thinking outside of the box.



IMG_7994 copy

What inspires you?

Artists get asked this question a lot. Personally, everything can be, and is, a source of inspiration. I have to draw everyday, over the years I trained myself to be inspired. In a way, it’s simpler than what people think. It sounds like “I need to work, and I need an inspiration. So I’m inspired”. Full stop. During my whole life, I’ve been storing images in the back of my mind, and on my PC. And I look at them when I need to.




What’s your favourite medium?

I do a little bit of everything: sketches, acrylics, watercolors. But while the first two are more definitive, I definitely love that with watercolors the magic keeps happening every time you add a different layer. Right now, most of the times my drawings are scanned and then printed on paper, phone cases, mugs, T-shirts and more. It’s fun to see how the drawing reacts to different supports. And in digital drawings, it’s like giving the final touch with a mouse instead of a brush.




Do you look at the work of any other illustrators?

Yes of course! My favourite are Tommy Perez, Dana Tanamachi and Casey Ligon – I like their passion for lettering and how they use different medias to create stunning images. Also, I always keep an eye to Russian artists – Kalacheva Veronika, Dima Rebus, Yelena Bryksenkova, Lora Zombie, I like their unique styles and master level of knowing their media. I particularly like Yuko Shimizu’s super steady hand and inking skills and free spirits and eye-catching styles of Paula Bonet, Esra Roise, Conrad Roset, Gabriel Moreno, Kelly Mckernan, Katie Daisy and Agnes Cecile.


当然啦!我的最爱是Tommy Perez, Dana Tanamachi and Casey Ligon – 我很欣赏他们对字体的热爱以及他们如何利用不同的媒介创造出充满魅力的图画。而且,我一直很关注俄罗斯艺术者 — Kalacheva Veronika, Dima Rebus, Yelena Bryksenkova, Lora Zombie,我喜欢他们独特的风格及他们利用媒介的高超水准。我尤其喜欢Yuko Shimizu超稳的手笔和水墨技巧,Paula Bonet的自由灵魂和她引人注目的风格,Conrad Roset, Gabriel Moreno, Kelly Mckernan, Katie Daisy Agnes Cecile

deli de luxe

Who are your customers?

Unfortunately, or very luckily, everything comes out of personal relationship. So far my biggest commissions came from people I know in person, friends, supporters. This is ok for now, and I feel already blessed, but one day I would love to work with an agent – he would help me get exposure to multicultural and international crowd, and to broaden my horizon.


不幸的是,或者非常幸运的是,都是我的私人关系。至今,我最大的收入都来自我认识的人,朋友及支持我的人。目前看来这样还行,我已经感到非常幸运了,但是将来的一天我希望可以和经纪人合作 – 他可以把我介绍给更多元化和国际化的群体,并开阔我的视野。


What’s your wildest dream?

Ah! It keeps changing! Sometimes it’s all about living in the forest, sometimes it’s about opening my own studio and spending my days drawing. But actually the recurring theme would be making a living out of my drawings. I’m already at a good point, but it’s very challenging. This is why it’s a wild dream!




Liuba has an incredible talent, and people around Beijing already know about this. Now she needs to keep drawing and growing, in order to make her works more and more interesting for a more diversified public.



She is very determined, she knows it’s going to be a long and slow process, but she looked pretty sure of herself to me – and she’d better be. Her drawings are amazing.

她充满信心,而且她知道这将是一个缓慢漫长的过程,但是在我看来,她充满自信 – 这是必须的。她的绘画作品棒极了。


Liuba ha del talento da vendere. Disegna a mano libera per almeno sei ore al giorno. E il risultato solo delle piccole opere d’arte. Coraggiosa, non ha paura di usare i colori e di sperimentare nuove tecniche. Al momento, ha in piedi collaborazioni con alcuni tra i brand di ristorazione e lifestyle più interessanti di Pechino, ma non vede l’ora di aprirsi ad un mercato internazionale. C’e’ qualcuno interessato la fuori?


For the chat with Liuba at Moka Bros. I was delighted to wear:

和Liuba在MOKA Bros的交谈,我的时尚搭配:

Pink cachemire sweater粉色卡舍米尔毛衫: vintage 复古

Earrings耳环: Dior

Gold bracelet金色手镯: vintage 复古


The picture at MOKA Bros. was taken with my Sony NEX-5T.

在MOKA Bros的照片由我的索尼NEX-5T拍摄。

For all the other pictures, special thanks to Liuba.



Translation by Vivian Zhou.


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