Meet the Illustrator: Anna Osyatinskaya – Ellie and Lou

How did you become an illustrator?

That was something that I always wanted to do. I used to draw a lot when I was a kid and my parents always encouraged me to study arts. However, I became an engineer, and it took me about 10 years to realize that I should pursue my passion and work in design and illustration.

What is your favourite piece of art equipment?

Of course, I adore my Ipad; it is a must for anyone who wants to work fast, effective, and have fun in the process. However, one of my favourite materials always was and always will be watercolour. Even though it’s quite hard to use, I love how alive the result looks.

Where were you born?

I was born in a small city on the Black sea, in Russia. Sea surrounds the city on the one side and mountains on the other, no wonder there are many people drawing – it is a beautiful place.

What were you like as a child?

Oh, I was a nightmare for my parents, always getting into trouble because of my curiosity and the urge of exploring everything. I couldn’t sit calmly even for one minute, except for the time when I was drawing.

What was your childhood like?

Adventurous, bright and full of travelling. My parents did everything they could to ensure that I had everything I needed. I can say I was an extremely happy child.

What was your best subject in school?

As you can guess, it was art class; it didn’t feel like studying at all. Also, I always loved geometry and it was very easy for me to understand. I believe it had something to do with drawing.

Where do you live?

Now I live in Netanya, Israel. Surprisingly, it’s like a twin city of my native city, Gelendzhik.

What is your dream project?

It has been for a long time that I wanted to draw a short animation for children about farm animals and their features and abilities. Also, I have plans to make a short cartoon about sea creatures and plastic pollution. However, even a short video takes a very long time to produce, but I hope one day I will finally make it.

Have you always loved to draw? When did this love surface? Did your parents encourage you to do art?

Yes, I love to draw since I can remember. The most common gift for any holiday for me was something for my art hobby. My parents always supported me and believed in me. And I am very thankful for their support.

Are you self-taught or did you go to school or art?

I never studied arts, everything I know I learned from open sources like YouTube. I believe that nowadays you can learn almost anything with no investments but time.

Did you ever do any other jobs besides illustrating?

Yes, I used to work as an aviation engineer and business consultant. I did quite different jobs trying to find what was right for me, and it took me a long time to understand that my hobby could become my career.

Why do you think art is important for kids? What can grown-ups do to encourage kids to engage with art?

Art is essential for children as it allows them to express their feelings, to form them in shapes and colours and process them. It is also beneficial for their brain as drawing includes fine motor skills which are proved to boost children’s intelligence. It is an exceptional skill to have as a grownup because it helps to tackle anxiety, and by forming this habit from a young age we provide our children with a tool for stress relief. The best way to encourage youngsters to spend more time creating something is to lead by example. Children tend to take it after their parents. For instance, I started to draw because my mom showed me how fun it is. Also, by spending more time together, practicing arts with children, we improve our connection and form stronger bonds.

You can find Anna’s portfolio here:

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Kiana Posted on

Kiana Sosa is an 11-year-old Canadian-Dominican children's book author.

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