Meet the artist – Anastasija Pudane
Anastasija Pudane portrait

Meet the artist, Anastasija Pudane

MA Illustration, Camberwell College of Art, 2019

Anastajia is a narrative focused freelance illustrator currently living and working in London. Her work, often described as mythic and poetic, brings femininity to the forefront. She draws inspiration from experiences and often refers to her illustrations as a visual diary that focuses on emotions that surround recent experiences.

With a hint of nostalgia, Anastajia captures these emotions to reveal the true grit of the human mental state. Her work flows between varied forms of media, including drawing, painting, monotype and screen-printing.

What was the inspiration behind the piece(s) in not just a shop? And how did you make the pieces in not just a shop?

I prefer working analogue – drawing or painting by hand, and printmaking is my favourite thing, so the process of this print started as a small painting which was just a stepping stone in the whole process. And then one morning I woke up with the quote from Haruki Murakami’s novel 1Q84: ‘If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.’

I read 1Q84 over two years ago and the overall feel of this book stayed in my memory. Perhaps the cold air of that particular morning reminded me of the story, and I had these characters in my head straight away, so I started to play around with paper cut outs and sheets of mark-making until the artwork was ready to be taken through the screen printing process. ‘Love in a cold climate’ is a narrative inspired by Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. What interests me the most is that the authors’ protagonists are always missing something, searching for it, surviving these experiences and then in the end they are not sure anymore whether it’s the same thing they were after or if it’s still needed. In this artwork I wanted to explore the idea of yearning, these characters are incomplete without each other, they love each other but they can’t get together. Apparently, infatuation lasts for approximately a few days or weeks up to a year or so, so this scenario is about them being in love and at the stage of strong passion. I’m currently working on a body of work about human relationships in different scenarios.

Painting by Anastasija Pudane

Who has influenced your work the most?

I’m influenced by magical realism authors and Frida Kahlo who painted her own reality.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career as an artist?

Since early childhood really, drawing and painting felt like the most natural path.

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

Excitement about everyday things, love, empathy and mystery that have been lost in this digital era.

What three things are essential to your practice?

It’s difficult to name just three. There are quite a few things that shape my practice. Pushing the boundaries, keeping the drive to create and knowing that there is someone who will appreciate my hard work.

Two pieces by Anastasija Pudane

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

Painting the Modern Garden a couple of years ago was the one that inspired me. I hope to make it to Frida Kahlo – Making Herself Up. And I’m planning a visit to Kew Gardens soon, which is one of my favourite places in London. Once or twice a year I visit the V&A, and the Natural History Museum to draw.

Describe an average day in the studio.

I’m not studio based. I proudly say I work in my kitchen. I’ve got two small desks and I prefer to work from home and be surrounded by my plants where everything is handy, rather than renting a studio somewhere in London. I’m currently setting up my own printmaking corner, as I’m quite sure I do want to carry on with screen-printing.

I’m often quite melancholic and I like to work in complete silence, so I can hear my own thoughts. My working day is short – I force myself to wake up early, I do school runs, then I got approximately 6 hours to draw, read or write and do admin bits. Evenings depends on my daughter’s mood. Sometimes we draw together, sometimes we play ponies. Sometimes I have a sudden abstract idea, I make a quick notes or a very rough sketch. When I have the time to start a new artwork, I start working on it and only stop when it’s finished. It’s the most enjoyable to create something not knowing what it will be at the end. My process is very experimental. Sometimes it’s very spontaneous and I embrace the ‘happy accidents’, it makes me excited.

How does it feel to have your work displayed in not just a shop?

I’ve heard about harsh boundaries and pigeonholes that exist in galleries regarding design, illustration and fine art. So, I’m very proud to be selected as an artist.

What sort of a person do you imagine would relate to your work?

Someone who enjoys poetry and mystery.

Great to hear from you Anastasija! Take a closer look at Anastasija’s work at not just a shop – 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY

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