We had the good fortune of connecting with Ekaterina Soyuznova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ekaterina, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance is quite a difficult thing to achieve. I still struggle with it these days. In the ideal world as my friend said there is such a thing as a Wheel of Balance. Family, work, Leisure, Health, Hobby, Friends, Self-growth – These sections should be distributed evenly throughout our daily lives. I managed to make a system each week, i have a rule get up early, that helps to fit in a lot of things in my day, and it always brings satisfaction to see the sunrise, heh. I try to make a list of things i should do each day. Although sometimes what i do professionally can take up most of my time, I love my job! And That is why I have to even schedule my call appointments with my family so that if I got caught up with work, i still have a reminder to call them and see how they are doing. It is vital since we live in different countries and can not see each other that often. For me, being organized and good at time management helps to get close to that magical wheel of balance.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I guess I should start from my latest achievement, I just recently graduated from SCAD with an MFA degree in Illustration. Looking back on all these years, i can be truly proud of myself. Even though right now all the hardships fogged in my memory, I can not forget weeks and months of worrying what should i do to make my art better, Although i still have a long way to go, it was a great start. I collaborated with a lot of incredibly talented individuals and helped them in the production of their live-action and animated shorts. Some of them even won awards. Also, I had a great internship at Dark Fall and worked closely with its incredibly talented producer Stephan Bellesini. All of these experiences got me really excited about visual development and character design. I would want my art to be a source of inspiration joy and love. I can’t wait to become a great asset to the big team and help create films that will touch the hearts of future generations. My biggest tip for all the people who just started or thinking about becoming an artist: “Practice makes perfect!”. I know you’ve heard it before, but still. Draw every day, do wrong, learn new software, ask a lot of questions, and, most of all, believe in yourself. If not you, then who?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My first choice would be to show them the Georgia Aquarium! It is fantastic!. Also, my favorite cafe Intermezzo, they have the best cheesecake and tea collection EVER! And I would take them on a trip to Stone Mountain, wonderful and peaceful place, great for recharging and clearing the mind! Although I would also take them to the High Museum of Art and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Live classic music will touch anyone’s heart!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a big shoutout to my family, for always being supportive of my dreams! Also, shout out to my wonderful professors from both SCAD and UAL for giving foundation and needed knowledge to keep growing not only as an artist but also as an individual. And of course, my friends who have been by my side all these years! Mark my word, we gonna do great things together!
Paulomi Mukherjee, Brian Wanjugu.