Literary Orphans

Interview with Natalia Drepina

1. What sparked your interest in photography, and when did you know you would pursue being an artist?
I’ve always been a very creative person. My mind is filled with images, pictures, associations. At first, I expressed myself through poetry and music, but once I tried to visualize the images of imagination into reality through photography.

And the magical world of photography was for me not a hobby, but my life. Since then, the more I learn the world of photography, the more I fall in love with it. This is a universe where you can create amazing things, embodying the fantasies, pulling to the surface fears and phobias, or something else … It gives me the opportunity to show others a piece of my soul.


2. What other artists and art forms have influenced you and your work?

I’m inspired by many artists, musicians, poets … I admire the many forms of art. Art for me is a very important thing and creative people are always connected to each other by this thread of inspiration. Each of the artists whose creativity I admire, to some extent influenced my work.


3. Can you describe your current artistic process, habits, techniques you have formed?

I love dark shades, pale skin, noise, grain and texture of the film, matte … All of this can be seen in my pictures. I often work with curves to mute the tone and strengthen the gloomy, melancholic mood. I think these preferences in processing helps to complement the atmosphere that inspires me.


4. Is storytelling important in your photography?

Yes, of course. Storytelling an integral part of my creative work. Characters of my pictures live their own life, sometimes I think they all live in a time loop, created by my mind and imagination. Each of them whispering to me his sad story and I visualize it.


5. What are some of your favorite books, poems, authors?
I am forever in love with the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. This is a man whose words make nests filled with amazingly beautiful images, feelings, emotions. Poetry of Lorca – an inexhaustible source of inspiration for me.

Also very close to me writers and poets such as Emily Dickinson, Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Blok, William Shakespeare, Mikhail Lermontov, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Oliver Sacks, Heinrich Boll. I love reading books and often spend free time for this.


6. Can you put into words the way you have evolved over time as a photographer?

I think that since the beginning my way as a photographer I have learned to better show the emotional component. Emotions are not only facial expressions, and this hand position and posture of the body.
Grief, sadness, loneliness, fear, melancholy, depression – all this has a multitude of colors. My photos became more emotional. Recently, I began to resort to symbolism. Color preference, things and objects appear in the frame is not accidental.


7. Where do you turn for motivation and new sources of inspiration?

I find inspiration in my dreams, music, nature (especially trees and disturbing weather). And as I said, I am inspired by the poetry of Lorca. And I have my muse. This creative people around me, they have a magical energy and inspire my imagination to the emergence of new ideas for photography.


8. Discuss the role of community and gallery showings, etc to your growth as an artist.

For artists, it is important to receive response to their creative work. Constructive criticism helps to correct the deficiencies and to develop further. Community and galleries, helping to find like-minded people, learn something new, to create joint projects. I met a lot of creative people who became heroes of my photo stories. This is a very important moment for me.


9. What do you think is more important for your craft: passion, dedication, or raw talent and can you elaborate on why?

Probably each of these parts is important in its own way. But I think that talent is still in first place. For me, photography is an art, but not monotonous work that can be learned. Here is a little assiduity and dedication, not enough to have a good camera and optics.
I admire the photographers who have their special vision and are not afraid to not go for the sake of fashion trends, but to create something that is really close to them, even if it will not enjoy wide popularity.


10. What is a project, or theme you are currently working on, or something that is currently taking your attention, that you are aiming to explore in your work?

I have a lot of projects planned for the spring. For example, a series of images combined my favorite themes: nature, dream, people. Interesting individual surreal shooting, video related to my poetry and my music project Your Schizophrenia… And of course I will continue my series of self-portraits, reflecting the play of shadows in my soul.Mysneakers | Nike SB