Artist Interview: Marija Tiurina on Self-Identifying with her Collection "7 Deadly Sins"

Marija Tiurina, a game artist by day and illustrator by night, chatted with us about her new collection 7 Deadly Sins, her relationship with cats, being grumpy and the bottomless ocean of inspiration she feels when browsing online portfolios.

Marija Tiurina

Marija Tiurina

Thanks for making time to chat, Marija! Why don't you start out by sharing with us your path to becoming an artist...

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember! That means since nursery/primary school. And, I never stopped. I guess that's the reason I am where I am now. The only things that changed with time were art materials, skills and techniques, never the hobby itself. My art quietly grew into profession.

We see that you're partial to pens and pencils, as well as digital tools. What are your favorite mediums and tools as an artist?

I love being able to choose between different materials. I can spend several months creating a detailed ink drawing, and after that, come back to painting with Photoshop brushes. It's the balance between mediums that brings true satisfaction.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from anywhere - people on the tube, morning cafes, unknown galleries, internet image threads, markets or art material shops. But, the most inspiring things are created by other people. I love browsing through online portfolios. There is no bottom to that ocean.

Some of your past work involves detailed collages. Is that quite the right word to describe them? Where do you even get started with such detailed prints, and what's your process?

I’d just call them detailed drawings, actually. Usually all I need to get started is some sort of theme or idea and a blank piece of paper. The details always come to me during the process, and I never know where the process will take me.

Tell us about the inspiration and story behind your collection, "7 Deadly Sins."

I’ve always liked darker ideas, and I’ve always liked cats. And, Neonmob was just perfect! They basically told me to do whatever I wanted. So, I combined the idea of deadly sins and cats, which turned out to be dark and humorous at the same time - my favorite combo.

Also, deadly sins are quite symbolic and interesting. But, just a google search shows you boring fantasy art, and pretty much the same style of drawings repeat on every page of search results. I thought that the topic deserves another chance!

But, this isn't your first work featuring cats. Tell us why cats are your favorite animals and what your relationship is like with them. Do you have any of your own?

I wish I had a cat (I will, at some point.)! Cats are cute and smart, and they can be total selfish assholes. But, they still have character and dignity, unlike many other domestic pets.

From your collection, you mentioned that you can relate to "Envy." Why is that?

"Envy," from Marija's collection.

"Envy," from Marija's collection.

Not many of my internet followers know what I am like in real life. I can be cold and grumpy to people I don't know or don't like, and sometimes I whine. I rarely smile or laugh. I often wear a mask of frowns or “serious face.” The grumpiness of the "Envy" cat reminded me of my own weekday morning mood right before I have my coffee.

Please don't think I'm a monster! That’s just the door mat. I don't let many people inside my “house” but those invited prefer to stay for a while, or so I’ve heard.

On a different note, how do you think digital impacts your work as an artist? Good or bad?

I think that the more materials the artist is familiar with, the better. It's good to be able to choose. Digital work is a lot easier, as traditional painting barely gives you a chance to fix your mistakes. Once you screw up there's no way back. That's why traditional drawing is a lot more valuable, and I am glad I love pens and paper.

Any thoughts on the future of art online?

Art online is flourishing right now: shops, galleries, exhibitions, portfolios, social media. Art can be, and should be, shared everywhere. Anyone can show their work, and that's just great. Though, we shouldn't forget where art came from. I personally still love a good old gallery exhibition and art market. Art is a little more authentic and alive there, if you know what I mean.