The following article was published in N-SPHERE Omega.
We are twin sisters – Ekaterina and Elena Popovy, professional artists and fashion designers.
What is your artistic background?
We graduated at Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts in Yekaterinburg. We started making dolls in 2004.
What brought you to created these wonderful miniatures?
At the beginning we were interested in realistic human gestures. The magic of certain personalities inspired us to create their images. We tried not only to make portrait dolls, but also to convey the nature of the characters through the gesture and costumes.
Thanks to this interest we deepened our knowledge of human anatomy and facial gesture. We also learned how to work with various artistic materials: China, self fusing plastics (paper clay, efa plast, la doll), fumo, baked plastics.
However doll portraiture didn’t let us express ourselves as designers, so we started experimenting with materials. Finally we found a perfect solution by combining our passion for fashion design and dolls art. This has grown into small conceptual collections of 10 to 15 dolls.
Where do you find inspiration for the themes you use in your projects?
Everything inspires us. travels movies, stories, countries, history.
What does your work process involve? How do you usually start a project?
At the very beginning, we do a lot of research on our theme, reading historical files, finding pictures, doing a lot of paperwork sketching and so on. We learn as much as we can, this helps us to fully and deeply get into the theme. It takes a lot of time but it’s an important stage of creation.
Many of your pieces have a culturally specific air to them. Is any additional research taking place at the beginning of a project?
Of course we learn the history behind them. As I’ve said before, we study as much as we can. Sketching, finding textures, proper materials.
How would you describe the level of difficulty in creating your pieces, both in design and development?
We find it difficult. The most difficult part is to create our own techniques. Like for example wigs, this is our own technology, it’s hard to develop from theme to theme. We also do a lot of work as designers, as I’ve said before – sketching a lot. We follow modern fashion trends. It often happens when we come up with something and then we see other fashion designers going in the same direction. I can say that we have good sense of fashion trends, and we use it.
What tools and materials do you usually use?
We like to use antique materials as well as modern high quality materials. When we travel in different countries we always buy new materials there. It’s exciting to have many antique fabrics from different countries. We also like to use modern Japanese silk and other materials. We also use organic materials such as animal bones feathers, insect parts.
How long does development usually take?
We work on the whole collection, it is difficult to say… our preparation stage can last up to two months. To create one doll can take from one week to more, it can take three weeks or so. It depends on how complex she is.
Which of your projects do you consider to have been most rewarding, both on a personal and a profesional level?
We can’t specify any project. All our projects are on top level. We can work one year on each project until we feel that it’s done the way we want. So each of our projects has been made with a high level of professionalism, we tried to get the maximum out of each one.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we’ve started our BJD line. It opens a whole world for us. Now we begin to work as fashion designers as we’ve never had before. Because it will take less time to create bodies. When we now make prototype molds and get their copies from the factory, we can spend more time on our art ideas, creating different themes, costumes experimenting with makeup and so on.
What future projects are in store for you?
We have so many interesting ideas for the future, if we could just work day and night without sleep ha-ha. We usually keep our new themes as a secret before their official presentation. but i can assure that there will be a lot of interesting stuff going on!
If you were to describe your work in 4 words, what would you say?
Concept, art, fashion, doll.
Artwork | Popovy Sisters. Bony and Light. Courtesy of the artist
Full article here.