Few artists can seamlessly weave the tapestry of reality and fantasy as enchantingly as Kristina Makeeva. Her photographs, vivid and dreamlike, transport the viewer to fantastical realms where the boundaries between the real and the imagined blur. Delving deep into the world of this prodigious photographer, we unveil the inspirations, techniques, and the soul behind the snapshots.
Retro Kolkata : Kristina, you started your journey in photography at a very young age. Can you share a bit about what drew you towards this art form and how your passion has evolved over the years?
Kristina : Most likely, all my conjectures can be combined into the phrase: a difficult life. We lived in a small, ugly gray town on the border of Moscow, and this saddened me to the core. I couldn't find the meaning of life and found it... by escaping into a reality created by itself: fairytale and bright. As I began to receive new cameras, I increasingly comprehended the art of photography. With the emergence of Instagram, my development accelerated exponentially! Instagram greatly aids an artist's growth, as posting interesting shots daily is excellent training. Over time, I evolved into a multifaceted creator, adept at shooting with various devices and organizing shoots internationally.
Retro Kolkata : Your work is often described as magical. How do you define 'magic' in the context of your work, and how do you incorporate this element into your photographs?
Kristina : Magic emanates from within me. I strive to create an otherworldly reality—crafting photographs that are believable yet filled with elements rarely seen in daily life, like intricate flying trails or objects.
Retro Kolkata : How has your academic background in graphic design and web design influenced your approach to photography and your unique aesthetic?
Kristina : Being trained as a graphic designer, a related discipline, I started constructing my photos using parts from other photographs I took. Sometimes, hundreds of elements make up a single image, and sometimes, a picture is simply a picture.
Retro Kolkata : You've mentioned your affinity for fairy tales and fantasy stories. How do these narratives inspire your photography, and how do you bring these fantastical elements to life through your lens?
Kristina : My flying fabrics echo elements of the Chinese epic. I'm often surprised by the parallels I discover, such as the Fairytale painting style from the Victorian era in Britain. While I don't recall them consciously, my subconscious has stored the images and narratives that left a profound impact on me.
Retro Kolkata : How does travel enhance your art and creativity? Can you recount a particular travel experience that influenced your work significantly?
Kristina : Travel undoubtedly enhances creativity and seemingly stretches our subjective perception of time. When we learn something new, it captivates us, feeding our inspiration. Some trips that profoundly affected me include visits to Baikal, Socotra, and Cappadocia.
Retro Kolkata : Your photos convey captivating cultural narratives. How do you immerse yourself in the cultures of the places you visit to capture their essence in your work?
Kristina : Rather than sticking to common photo spots, I explore deeper within countries, forming my routes based on the diverse information I gather.
Retro Kolkata : You started with a humble Panasonic video camera. How have advances in photographic technology influenced your work over time?
Kristina : I embarked on my career during the shift from film to digital photography, witnessing every advancement. I always strive to acquire top-tier equipment and can't resist exploring new shooting methods; it's my passion.
Retro Kolkata : Your initial encounter with Photoshop was during university. How vital is photo editing to the final output of your work?
Kristina : Without Photoshop, I'd be incredibly unhappy. I've been intertwined with Photoshop since 14 years after its inception and am continually amazed by its dominance in image processing. I'm also honored to be a Photoshop Ambassador, and we've collaborated numerous times.
Retro Kolkata : With your extensive portfolio of locations, is there a particular place or culture that deeply inspires you creatively?
Kristina : While every culture intrigues me, my roots in Russia, a vast and multicultural nation with a tumultuous history, influence me the most. The connection I feel with my homeland's culture is unparalleled. Other cultures, though fascinating, can only be superficially touched upon.
Kristina Makeeva's work stands as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and perspective. Each photograph tells a tale, woven with threads of imagination, reality, and a touch of magic. As we journey through her captivating frames, we are reminded of the beauty that surrounds us, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead when one views the world through a lens of wonder. Safe travels, Kristina, and may your journey always be filled with magic and discovery.