Illustrious: Yanadhyana

This week, Illustrious be taking a look at the fantastic tonal works of Yanadhyana, a Russian artist and teacher. Yanadhyana’s works are a mixture of the surreal and emotive, tickling curiosities with bold, yet simple palettes and a wide-variety of symbolism and motif. What I have here is only a tiny sampling of her extensive portfolio–make sure you take an in-depth look at her gallery as soon as you’re finished reading here!



All images © yanadhyana – Please respect the artist and credit her work if you share these images.

-The Interview-

I need to sit back for a moment and take all of this in! The detail in your work is absolutely exquisite, and what I love best is how the color palette of your pieces allows for that detail to be highlighted fully, keeping the image crisp and truly expressive. How did you develop this style? What other artists would you say influenced your technique?

Symbolist artists made a strong impression on me when I was in university. Later, I fell in love with Art Nouveau. My favorite artists are Ivan BilibinLeon BakstNicholas RoerichViktor VasnetsovMikhail Vrubel, and Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva. I love the creativity of Odilon Redon, and the illustrations of Kay Nielsen. My style developed under the influence of these artists.

I checked out the folders on your deviantArt gallery. What is “Between the Worlds”? (Is it going to be a book? I want one!)

“Between the Worlds” is a series of works about the unconscious. The main characters of this series are shadow rabbits. Their adventures are based on fairy tales and myths, and often on my subjective experiences. I did not have a specific purpose in mind, but I think about creating an artbook with works devoted to this theme.

I really hope you do. The collection is truly lovely. Another question about your folders. What is “The Garden”? I’ve noticed a lot of the pieces are part of murals. Is this a personal project or is it displayed in a public space? How long have you been working on it?

I’ve had an idea and the desire for a long time to try my hand at painting walls, and I’d wanted to make it a non-commercial project, so I would not limit my imagination to the deadlines and requirements specified by a customer. I had a suitable place to do this––it is the country-house of my parents. The painted wall is eleven meters in length. I wanted to create some associations to the fairy world, in which there is a place for free interpretation. I chose my favorite theme for this painting: “living lights”. I think I need another two summer seasons to finish painting.

What an awesome idea. I would love to live in a house like that. When you are planning a project, do you figure out the essential shapes, and let the embellishments naturally establish themselves, or do you plan every little circle and twist?

On the canvas, it all comes across so naturally.


Usually, I have some idea about the overall composition. While drawing I try to stick to the chosen concept and story, and the details can happen spontaneously. My sketches, of course, have a more unpredictable nature, but later, they usually become a larger composition.

I think one of my favorite pieces of yours (though it is really hard to chose one) is Whispering Grass. There’s something so peaceful about the woman’s expression, and I really enjoy the simplistic palette. What would you say are some of your favorite pieces currently?

Thank you very much! I’m very glad that you like this work! My attitude to my own works changes a lot. I think I can name a few works that are considered successful based on my personal criteria and taste: “Lighthouse” and “Castle of Dreams” are the examples of works that demonstrate my love for stained glass and fairy tales. “Late Warm Evening” and “Guardians of Light” reflect my main focus in graphic art. “Fancy 3” and “Garden Lanterns” are decorative works that reflect my love of monumental and decorative painting. I dream of making a mosaic or panno out of them.

All of those pieces are so stunning! Are you a self-taught artist? How long have you been painting, and how would you describe your work?

My profession is an art teacher. I got my art-teacher education at the Samara State University, and I was engaged in studio painting for nine years. During this time I challenged myself in classical and contemporary paintings, book illustrations, and in the graphic arts. My main focus at the that time was drawing, so I spent most of my time on it.

Let’s talk about commissions. How should an author contact you, and what should they expect from the process?

Authors can contact me by email at yanadhyana@gmail.com or send a note to deviantArt, then we discuss the details and the author sends a detailed description of the task. Afterwards, I develop a sketch, or a few sketches, depending. I make corrections and changes if necessary, and then start the main work. In some cases, the author relies on my taste and style, so they give me a less-detailed description.

What are your favorite subjects to paint? What kinds of stories would get you excited to do covers for?

Most of all, I love to draw fairy tales and magical landscapes, and sometimes histories with metaphorical content.

If there were absolutely no limitations, what would your ideal art studio look like? Where would it be located?

I would get something like the police box from Doctor Who, so my studio would be small on the outside and huge inside, and with the option of moving through time and space!

I think that’s the best answer for that question I’ve heard yet! While we’re on the subject of Doctor Who and media, do you have a favorite author or novel?

I don’t think so, the idea of one or several “favorite” books is a little bit too restrictive for me. I think that a lot of books are “good enough” for reading. From the list of books I’ve read recently, I’d like to mention a fantasy story about student life (“Cinnamon Flowers and Plum Flavour” by Russian author Anna Korostelyova), but it’s not translated into English.

Sounds like you’re an avid reader on top of everything else! Awesome. Thank you so much for doing this interview with me Yanadhyana. For all of our readers out there, be sure to go check out her gallery (seriously!) and also her full commission information, with prices, available here. Until next time, keep creating!

Illustrious is part of an ongoing interview series designed to connect indie and self-published authors with exceptional artists for their cover and illustration needs. If you are an illustrator (science fiction, fantasy, children’s book, comic) and would like to be considered for an interview, please feel free to contact Country Mouse via the contact form. Country Mouse also interviews graphic artists (for book covers), editors, agents, and small or indie presses.