When you read a story of someone's successful start, you know that it says a lot, but it also leaves a lot out. So here are some questions about things that remained behind the scenes.
Xenia, artists rarely venture out into business territory. How did you do it and what has the experience given you?
From my experience working in a company, I have learned some of the most important lessons: how to work in a team and to respect deadlines, how to plan my own projects and bring them to the finish line, which was quite unusual for me before. Prior to my experience in business, I was a completely different person. I was unable to communicate, I existed out of time and space. I did not understand whether I could work at all and in what position.
Why does an artist need a career?
I often come across an opinion that a career can only hinder an artist, distracting him from his work and turning art into commerce. I don't agree. How can it interfere? With or without a career, you are the same person at heart and you would not be able to make any other paintings or any other artwork. However, a career gives you that positive impact and feedback that are very important.
Is that why you need to have a team?
Yes, the right team can strengthen you. I work as a creative director of the factory, but I'm still not a manager, my task is to come up with creative concepts. Therefore, in my own work I also have a manager – my sister Nadejda. She takes on the organizational and commercial tasks, plans the promotional strategy, and my task is to concentrate on my art. We are different and we do different things, but when we combine the efforts of different team specialists – the results are excellent.
And what is your team's ambitious dream? Or your personal dream?
I would really like to have huge furnaces for glass blowing – the complete production line. I want to create my own brand and to make glass sculptures based on my sketches. I have developed a range of large and small totems, which can become a talisman for someone's home. In addition, I want to create large park sculptures out of concrete and special glass. This material will withstand all kinds of weather as well as wear from nature and people. For example, I'd like to make a monumental totem of the Earth so that mankind will always remember that the purpose of our lives is not only to consume, but also to be grateful.