Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Plebeian goes international again as we are happy to release our interview with Sergey Svetov! Svetov is an incredible illustrator who combines detailed line work with elaborate stippling to create wildly deep pieces. He creates an intense contrast in his work by pairing extremely detailed, stippled elements with elements that are made up of only black. This effect helps to bridge the gap between the elements he brings together in his imagery, for example the skulls atop human forms, and it helps to further push the detail in his stippling. Svetov’s work often features halos, a play on classical catholic imagery, which build up backgrounds as they’re either created by a void in a series of lines or are a sharp contrasting element against real photo backgrounds. Contrast is certainly a keyword in Svetov’s work as he rarely uses color and relies strictly on the details of his blackwork to create his illustrations.
I’m always excited to get to speak to any artist who I follow closely, but this interview was great because although English is not his first language, Svetov agreed to power through the google translate process to do this interview with us. His interview is short and sweet but still a great read with some cool insight to his work. I’m always fascinated by artists who use stippling so marvelously and Svetov is one of my favorite examples of this; even more fascinating, he’s self taught. Check out Svetov’s work and Enjoy!
1. So, first tell me about your background in art. What got you started? Any Schooling? What helped form you into the artist you are today?
I loved to draw from childhood, I didn’t have any art education, I studied on my own, started training with various video lessons on the Internet, reading books on anatomy and various articles. The pursuit of my dream led me to become an artist, I have always wanted to create clothes with my designs.
2. Your work is fairly dark in terms of subject matter, so what are your big inspirations both in and outside of art?
I really like horror films, and I watched them a lot as a child, probably this influenced my art. Usually I am inspired by music, works of other artists and various experiences in life
3. Moving into process, your work often features a collection of imagery either merged together or sitting next to each other. So how do you select your imagery? How do you relate images together? Is there a lot of trial and error? Or do you know what you want to do going into each piece?
Usually a ready-made image comes already in the process of drawing, for me it was very rare for me to come up with a ready-made image and draw it. These were mainly orders - they told me that they wanted me to draw - we discussed the details, and I draw, a lot of errors were fixed in the drawing process, it so happened that I had already finished the whole design (it took me a lot of time) I calmly deleted the picture because I didn’t like how the design ended up
4. Your work also features a lot of amazingly life like representations, what type of references do you use for things like human representations? And the same question for the use of things like skulls and objects?
There are no specific references, I just use a google search engine, both for humans and objects and skulls
5. How much of your work is hand done? How much is done digitally? Does your process vary piece to piece? Or do you have a set routine?
Hand work is much less than digitally, over the past year all my work is done digitally, I draw on a tablet is much more convenient and interesting than on paper, I have a set mode, I draw 2 hours before the main work and after I come from work.
6. You've got a very limited color palette in your work, so how do you decide which pieces are worthy or in need of color?
My favorite color is black , with only one black color you can show anything, Works in which I add different colors, mostly old works, sometimes I want to add color diversity to my designs
7. How much time goes into stippling each piece? Do you find comfort in the routine of doing all of those dots?
Basically from 3 - 7 days , the dots calm me down, while drawing you can stay with yourself - all the problems, various experiences go by the wayside while drawing, I am completely comfortable
8. You also have a few pieces that appear to use real photographs as backgrounds, what is the difference in process for these drawings? Are you taking these photos yourself? What is the narrative difference between these pieces and your other works?
Yes, some of my works use real photos of different places, these photos were not made by me, I just found them on the Internet, there is no difference in the drawings, it's just an addition to the design, so to speak, a creative impulse, I think the combination of real photos with a picture is very interesting and unusual
9. The human form, anatomy, and a variety of dark subject matter are certainly staples in your work but you've also satirized classic cartoons on several occasions. Is this an avenue of your work that we can expect to see more of? Do you have any other big future works planned?
Yes, in the future I plan to make a series of designs for cartoons, both foreign and Russian , at the moment my plans for the future is to open a clothing store.
10. Finally, PLUGS! Where can people find you? Any Shows coming up? Anything and anywhere that you'd like to share with the people!