What you are about to read is an excerpt of Urban-Muse Magazine Issue #1, currently available as part of $5 pledge on Patreon.com. Over the two weeks we will gradually be releasing all 20 interviews on the blog. If you want to read all the features, see the specific layouts/images chosen, read additional articles that will not be on the blog, view the images in High Res Lossless Quality, and support the project ensuring future issues can be made. Please consider supporting the Urban-Muse Magazine Patreon here:
When you look at the history of famous magazines, and periodicals the first issue is always incredibly important. Often the first issue and the image chosen for the cover can outline what the writers intend to be the entire feel and trajectory for their product going forward to the future. When I decided I wanted to try to use the Patreon system to fund the largest project in Urban-Muse’s history I knew I had to pick something BOLD, exciting, iconic, and beloved. I also wanted it to be from an artist that symbolizes the very best aspects of art shared daily on Urban-Muse. Because of this, I knew that if Urban-Muse Magazine was going to be a success, the cover was going to have to be absolutely killer.
Aleksei Vinogradov has been one of Urban-Muse’s strongest supporters and was always very friendly and supportive of Urban-Muse, also this image was one of the most liked Images in Urban-Muse in 2016. Although this is not one of the reasons I choose to feature Aleksei on the cover, this is an interesting thing to note: Aleksei is a Russian Artist and Urban-Muse is an American small business. So often in the media, the United States and Russia are positioned as adversaries or even enemies, but in terms of the art world, nothing could be further from the truth. I have made so many wonderful Russian friends in the arts, and have nothing but respect and admiration for them. Art is a universal language, and part of what makes us inherently human.
Aleksei’s work conveys all the very best things about the arts, hard work, dedication, and immense beauty. Aleksei Vinogradov has achieved mastery at the highest levels and is still young and will only continue to get better and better. Aleksei is where many of the Urban-Muse readers aspire to be one day. Come along on our journey, join us as we talk to this man, and try to get a better understanding of his world and the lovely work he creates.
Urban-Muse.com: So let’s get started Aleksei! Congratulations on being the featured cover artist on Urban-Muse Issue #1.
Aleksei Vinogradov: Thank you, very glad. Thanks to the Internet , Opens the artist all boundaries =)
Urban-Muse.com: What platform do you create art on? Mac or PC?
Aleksei Vinogradov: I use a PC and two monitors, but sometimes I use the Macbook on trips.
Urban-Muse.com: What is your preferred program to create with? Adobe Photoshop? Corel Painter? or something else?
Aleksei Vinogradov: At the moment, almost all the works are created in Photoshop. It is well suited both for workers and for creative work.
Urban-Muse.com: Do you use any specific plugins?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Only the color wheel.
Urban-Muse.com: Do you use any custom or specific brushes? An Urban-Muse reader asked this as a comment on one of your images, I said I would ask if you could possibly include them as a download for this interview if they are free and not owned by anyone else.
Aleksei Vinogradov: I use different brushes collected from different sources ( many resources where artists spread them). Maybe in the future, I will write a lesson and indicate the brushes I use.
Urban-Muse.com: What kind of Tablet(s) do you use? What has been your experience with them? Have you ever had them fail/have to replace them?
Aleksei Vinogradov: When I started to draw on a computer, I used a very small genius tablet, it was like that =). At the moment I’m using Wacom a4.
Urban-Muse.com: What about traditional art? You seem to mostly post digital work, but do you still work with pen/pencil and physical paints from time to time? Any cool pencil sketches you could include?
Aleksei Vinogradov: I drew more than six years of living material when I was at the academy. Now sometimes I draw sketches with a pencil or pen. Basically, all the work is done on the computer.
Urban-Muse.com: Most of the readers of Urban-Muse are artists themselves and when they see someone who can create breathtaking art like yours, art at the highest level, they often aspire or dream of being able to do something like that in the future. What advice would you have for aspiring artists who want to become better and create lovely works of art like yours?
Aleksei Vinogradov: In my opinion, it is necessary to watch and study great masters a lot, it is also useful to make quick sketches that help to understand the movement.
Urban-Muse.com: According to your profile you studied at СпбГХПА им.Штиглица (Saint Petersburg Art and Industry Academy), can you tell us about your time there? What was the curriculum like? Were there grueling critiques? Difficult classes/professors? Did you excel? Were you a good student?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Yes there was such a thing=) I studied at the department of costume design, there was a lot of freedom for creative ideas, I really liked to draw and invent. I also painted a lot myself. At first, I was studying with low grades, but by the end, I had improved my level well.
Urban-Muse.com: And what would be your advice to someone who is currently in Art School or is thinking of applying to an Art School.
Aleksei Vinogradov: The main thing is the desire to study drawing, and art schools can only help in this.
Urban-Muse.com: Do you think Art School is worth the money?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Depends on different types of training. There is not one answer. But good training should be well rewarded.
Urban-Muse.com: What can you tell us about your freelance time with Applibot? They seem to employ some of the top artists today. Was it a good experience?
Aleksei Vinogradov: It was an interesting experience. Yes, they work with artists whose style suits them.
Urban-Muse.com: What about your time as an Art Director at Creat. Studios? What was that experience like?
Aleksei Vinogradov: I got a good experience working as an art director on small projects (doing a little game about tanks=)). Excellent experience working with colleagues in the team.
Urban-Muse.com: Where are you currently working right now?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Now I’m only doing freelancing.
Urban-Muse.com: Social Media seems to be extremely important, even vital/necessary for an Artist in the 21st century. Can you talk about it’s personal importance to you and your work and how it may have affected your views on Art?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Yes, it gives great opportunities to share your skills with people (which is very useful). A great opportunity! Anyone can see your drawings, anywhere in the world!
Urban-Muse.com: You are on so many different social networks. Which to you would you say has been the most important to you and had the biggest effect on getting your work on the most screens?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Everywhere has its pluses. I’m more laid out in Instagram, facebook, artstation, behance, and deviantart. Often the employer writes me to the post office, and I do not know from what network he came from.
Urban-Muse.com: What is your painting process like? Do you have a favorite chair? A favorite spot at home? Maybe a Cafe? Do you have specific Music you like to play?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Very inspiring to drawing different music and emotions. The main thing is to just sit down and start drawing.
Urban-Muse.com: Who are your favorite Musicians?
Aleksei Vinogradov: I like very different music. Very much I love beautiful melodies.
Urban-Muse.com: Who are your favorite contemporary artists/influences?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Constantly I open that that new for myself. Therefore, it is difficult to single out specific ones. Everyone has their own interesting tricks.
Urban-Muse.com: One of the issues Urban-Muse plans to tackle in this issue is negativity and how to deal with it. When your work is viewed by tens of thousands of people across the world, eventually you’re going to find some people, for whatever reason, decide they don’t like you. Maybe they just are jealous, or they don’t like something you’ve said, or even just don’t like your style of art. They like to write, mean and nasty things as comments all over the internet. What have you done to deal with them?
Aleksei Vinogradov: I’m at the beginning of the road, so I do not often come across this. But everywhere you need to react calmly and adequately.
Urban-Muse.com: What would be your advice to someone dealing with a hater? A troll? or even someone just who is mean and negative?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Perceive with humor =)
Urban-Muse.com: When viewing your art you start to see a lot of familiar faces and some subjects that appear multiple times? Can you list some of your favorite models? We can link their Instagrams/links as well.
Aleksei Vinogradov: I usually draw new characters. There are a lot of beautiful things that attract the eye. There is a collective image that appears from all my experience.
Urban-Muse.com: Like our name implies, what is your thoughts on the idea of a “Muse.” Someone who can help to bring out the absolute best qualities in you. Do you have a Muse? Maybe multiple Muses?
Aleksei Vinogradov: As in music, inspires a lot of different things, and of course women’s faces ha ha.
Urban-Muse.com: Do you have any large projects coming up?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Develop to develop. There are things I’m working on. When they are ready I will show them right away. It’s better to show projects than to talk about ideas =)
Urban-Muse.com: Any plans/wishes for the rest of 2017?
Aleksei Vinogradov: Now is the time to create something unusual, innovative! There is a great opportunity to show your art to the whole world, you need to use it! I wish to try to invent and not stop at failures!
Urban-Muse.com: Thanks, Aleksei!
You can follow Aleksei’s work here: