Focus talks with artist & costume designer Yuliya V Krylova

Yuliya V Krylova in her Lambeth North studio

Yuliya V Krylova in her Lambeth North studio

When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?

I was sketching with coloured pencils when I was 5, and from the age of  7 I knew I would never stop drawing and experimenting with paints. Everyone who ever told me I was good at mixing colours and making shapes is fully responsible for my present career choice. 

From which artist’s work do you take the most inspiration and why?

I admire many artists, but they have never directly inspired my creative process. I like the paintings of Francis Bacon, Chagal, Egon Schiele, Picasso, Kandinsky, Hokusai and many more. I do not often look for direct visual inspiration, rather I get it through the great pleasure I gain in reading on the subjects of psychology, medicine, biology and neurology. Another reason for this is that I use performance as an artistic language to tell stories, which can not be shown literally though illustration. but through movements, sounds, costume and lighting design. 

When did you sell your first artwork?

When I was 20, whilst exhibiting in my home country Kazakhstan, my exhibition got terrible reviews in the local press. Regardless of that fact, I sold some paintings and got commissions to do more! My mother, however, was upset about the unkind reviews and suggested we do not organise any more exhibitions, hahaha!

What has been the most pivotal moment in your creative career thus far?

The most pivotal moment in my creative career was actually the moment I decided to embark on it. After doing a degree in law and practicing as a lawyer for sometime, I chose to give my dream a try and embark on a new path. It was scary, difficult and full of uncertainty, but I do not regret making that decision one bit.

What do you think the hardest thing about being an artist is?

This is different for each person. The thing that is difficult for one person might be exactly what made another succeed, or be recognised for, or just be happy about. The hardest things are the ones which push us away from our comfort zones and make us grow. Art is subjective and you have to be prepared to not be accepted, liked or understood by everyone who sees your work. It might be difficult to find a channel by which you connect with a broad audience, and maybe the only people who like your art are in small numbers, but knowing that you have the potential to change everything, to make a greater impact on society with your passion, gives artists the hope that we need to believe we have what it takes to succeed and to transform the world to be a better place for us all. We have the gift - free will.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to create a career in the arts?

We have to be prepared to fail a few times, to fail badly and start over again. The more you fail, the more you have learned, the better your connection with others becomes. Art is there to connect us. Failure is vital part of being alive :) 

You can find more of Kylova's work on her site



Untitled, 206

Untitled, 206

Untitled, 2016. 

Untitled, 2016.