From Russia with love, Hybris Mag presents Sveta Shubina, an artist who develops the Pin-Up style (from an english term meant to be "pinned-up" on a wall) but distinguishing herself from others exponents of the same genre with a very particular stamp. Any character or concept that you can imagine could become a Pin-Up ladie by Sveta. In her work we can appreciate how the style of the line, the treatment of color, the narrative and the shapes of the bodies can be conceived in infinite ways, so this versatility could be the proof that there aren't limits when it comes to give life to these ladies.
Sveta, What are your origins and where are you currently based?
I was born and raised in Rostov-on-Don, South of Russia. And I still live there.
What does the Pin-Up style mean to you and how was your first encounter with something of this movement?
The passion for the pin-up style arose from the general interest in history and, in particular, from the graphic art of the middle of the last century. In 2011 my husband and I started the HOBO AND SAILOR project in which we made clothes with prints inspired by vintage advertising, comics and animation. We also resort to pin-up aesthetics. Later, around 2015, when I started to draw my characters in more actively way, I discovered that there was a whole subculture around pin-up.
How is your creative process to decide what character, stylist, acting and context you will develop in a work?
When it isn't an order, the process of developing an idea is often very spontaneous, which happens too many other painters as well. Inspiration can be found anywhere: from a movie to political events. "Oh, why not draw this? And in this way I have never drawn, I should try ”. Considering that in the majority of cases I paint for myself, I can play with the themes and techniques as I like. Art hasn't limits.
"I have been painting as long as I can remember, since I was approximately 4 years old. Besides school, I went to Art school. After graduating I entered to the University of Architecture and Arts. So in one way or another I have always related to painting".
What other artists have inspired you and why?
I have always been guided by the works of the artists of Playboy and Humorama magazines, from the 50s and 60s. I like the slight satire of their works and the sense of the beauty of the female body in the plasticity of the lines. Now many cartoons from that period are objects of criticism, but, since I am able to laugh at myself, I completely accept humor in my works, especially considering the time.
When we see your female characters, one perceives that they are self-confident and are generally in control of the situation. Do you see any relation between female empowerment and eroticism?
I don’t put any special social message to my works, but any work of art in one way or another is a product of its time. Having been raised within the Soviet paradigm of gender equality, the strong position of women in society never seemed strange to me. This is probably the reason for the strength of the character of my characters, even within the framework of my themes, it's not “forced”, but quite natural, since all my life I have been surrounded by women like this (and men, in fact , too). As for eroticism, I don't think it has something to do with the increase of women's rights. We all remember nude figures created in the times of slavery, or the same pin-up of the 50s, where the housewife woman was an example to follow. Josephine Baker danced burlesque in the era of hard segregation. But social changes influence the perception of a particular phenomenon, including the naked body.
"I doubt that the narrative is my strong point. It's difficult for me to tell stories through images (that's why I'm never going to do comics)".
Why do you think many women identify with your work?
To tell the truth, it's a mystery to me, because in my normal life I am very different from my works, except that my character is the same as rebellious. I suppose they identify not only with the physique of the character, but with the image of her in general. Although they don't have the typical pin-up forms, my ladies are expressively sexual and in a certain way idealized, simply because I find them beautiful. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is familiar with this approach to feminine beauty.
When you finish a work, what does it have to have to make you feel satisfied with the result?
I am not a perfectionist. I draw a lot and quickly. I can post a quick sketch, a "buggy" drawing, and even something provocative. The degree of finishing depends as much on the overall impression of the work as on my laziness.
Have Fashion and Cinema also been important sources of inspiration for you?
As I have already said, an idea can come at any time due to different factors. Fashion and Cinema are important parts of today's culture and, of course they also influence us.
What do you think you have in common with your ladies?
What character from your works would you be for a day and why?
They are all great, how could I choose one? :) Well, being in a dream, I couldn't reject a skeleton motorcycle.