When the call of passion is too loud to ignore.
Ilya Avakov is a Russian born automotive artist who prides himself on creating wonderful oil and acrylic paintings along with digital illustration that are characterized by creativity, realism and a ‘pop’. He is a distinguished painter who was won the Bronze Diploma Modulor award in 2011 and a Red Dot award in 2018 while holding membership at the Guild of Motoring Artists, UK. He has also participated in top automotive art exhibitions around the world include Art of Motoring, Concourse de Elegance, AFAS, Boca-Raton 2020 among others.
How it all began.
Ilya was born in Murmansk tells us that “like all designers” he spent his childhood drawing. He attributes his inherent creativity to his parents. His father is an interior designer and mother, a sculptor. Suffice to say, the spirit of creativity runs strong in the family. At 16, as he prepared to enter the St Petersburg state Academy of Arts and Industry, during a visit to St. Petersburg, he happened to drop by an exhibition called MODULOR which showcased the work of students who were to be industrial designers and was at that moment that he absolutely knew that this was what he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing.
"A beautifully designed automobile is in many ways similar to a carefully tailored suit – like those sold on Saville Row in London."J.Mays
Trusting the process
After graduating in 2001, he went on to work both as an industrial designer and Illustrator at companies and as a freelancer where he mostly worked on the design of toys and parts of agricultural machinery. He frequently works on car illustrations for LUC Chopard Classic weekend rally, an event that that takes place in Moscow every artist and undertakes commission works from car enthusiasts.
It was over the course of the past couple of months that Ilya began painting cars, on his time off from work, to blow off some steam. He now hopes to make a living off his painting skills. His approach to painting is a pretty straight forward process and he tells us that it first involves the study of analogs before the sketching process after which he then adapts the technical requirements to suit the sketch. Ilya tells us that he draws inspiration from Camilo Pardo who was one of the reasons that he picked up the paintbrush in the first place. He also claims to be influenced by the styles of Michele Leonello, Vadin Artemiev, Sangwon Seok, Markus Haub and Rafael Varela. His favorite racers he says were Daniil Kvyat, Michael Schumacher and Aryton Senna.
Developing his style
Although inspired by many, Ilya has developed his own style. He uses a combination of different techniques and materials, like oil on canvas or acrylic on paper. He begins by drawing on a tablet in Photoshop, as he believes that the original sketch is the most important, and then starts to work on larger formats. In terms of painting techniques, he currently prefers the oil on canvas technique and is now experimenting with digital printing on canvas and then subsequently refining the paint, something that is termed by artists to be called “mixed media”. This technique, he says, allows him to convey the expressiveness of the initial sketch more genuinely.
In terms of choosing what car to paint, he chooses the subject out of respect for the brand and model. Whether it is a modern car, or a classic does not matter too much but what matters to him the most is whether a good abstract photograph exists and the proportions of the car, the aesthetics. The Bentley Continental Coupe is a fine example, he adds, as he likes its proportions and emotional appeal. He currently drives a 2002 Mazda 323f and its pretty much the only car he’s ever owned. Now, that’s true love.
On a personal front, Ilya “looks up-to” God and is a firm believer of the “Never give up” philosophy. We asked him what made him want to join the GPBox family and he says that with his experience working with galleries and independent promotion, he could not turn down the offer to join us. Ilya is available on his Website, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube where fans, both new and old, can find him. We at the GPBox wish Ilya the best and hope he achieves his dream of making automotive art his main profession, participating in exhibitions and promoting his work all around the globe.
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