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To look around

March 12, 2012

Gleb Solntsev (an illustrator and an artist) was born in Tbilisi. He got his artistic education at Serov art school, MSPU, ISI, VGIK. Gleb worked for many magazines. Projects for «Afisha»’s workshop, «Grant’s book of the great discoveries» and the trip to India for the purpose of creating comics based on lama Tai Situ Rhinpoche’s ideas for «Snob» are ones of his favourites. Gleb is living in Bali now and he’s doing very well. 

Gleb draws charming and true pictures of the life around him. In his works full consideration is given to the objects and details. It would be a child’s play for Gleb to make his way up as a secret service man and to leave all those guys with their photographic memory and power of observation far behind.

Where do you get your passion for details from?
I like to feel every moment of life, to  crystallize it. This feature may influence my illustrations. I am absorbed in details.

Is there any correspondence between your style and your temper, your personality? How much time can you spend drawing until the picture starts annoying you, if it ever does?

I have never thought of it. Sometimes you just need to stop and realize. It’s the question of study. I am not a follower of the prolix inspiration theory, so I try to do the work in three days. Firstly, I think it over. Then I arrange the composition, the architecture of the picture. And on the third day I correct and complete it.

In theory, a camera fixes a moment much better. So why don’t you take pictures?
A camera fixes nothing; itleaves the feeling of void. But when you spend 40 minutes drawing you absorb every line, every detail. You feel the Sun going round the very spot in the Universe where you are. It’s some sort of meditation. Once in India I spent a month drawing one picture every day. Now I have30 places where I can return whenever I want.


What do you enjoy looking at?

I’m more likely to enumerate the things I don’t enjoy looking at.

What won’t you ever draw?

How do you manage to organize and set up all the complicated things on a sheet of paper? What do you begin with?

Harmony first. A general idea, a sketch gets extra details to be integral. And then I cut off the odd ones.

You seem to be an artist whose major working instrument is a sketchbook. How many of them do you have? How often do you run out of them?

 I’ve always had a sketchbook and I can hardly count the notebooks, of which there are two types: journals for thoughts and comments (Moleskine) and many other ones for everyday work. 

But for drawing, what else do you do?

 I surf, I travel. I concern myself with easel painting. I have equipped a spacious studio. First I wanted to go to New York or Berlin as soon as I had a stereotype ideas of Bali as a place to work. But it appeared to be a godsend for an artist with its art shops for me and all sorts of exotic leather for Nutsa (Nutsa Totebadze, a leather designer). There are many interesting people and there is much work. So now we are staying here for another year as we have the resource to do the job.

Are there any plans for the future?

I want to open a contemporary art gallery in Bali. I want to assemble a retro-style motorcycle. And in the near future I want to open an exhibition of coffee drawings (F.R.E.A.C.K-a very trendy coffee brand) in Ubuda.