Maria Lebedeva

Artist Statement by Maria

Storytelling is the primary driving force behind my work, inspired greatly by my irrational love of children’s picture books (which I obsessively collect), and my work as an illustrator. Illustration generally implies creating a visual story-line as an accompaniment to text, and I am greatly inspired by writing, where words I read or hear trigger an image, or vice versa. My work almost always starts with a story or notion, a daydream or observation – something that triggers an idea which begs to be expressed visually. Folklore and fairy tales have always been my greatest inspirations, and I like to combine these playful influences with a good dose of everyday reality, resulting in some whimsical dissonance. Ultimately, I hope to encourage an audience to engage with my illustrations, to interpret and make associations, and to create stories of their own.