Personalities, feelings and individuality are central to the artistic expression of children’s illustrator Olga Popova. Every character she creates has their own story and outlook, and Olga’s approach to character development pays off in the richness and diversity of her illustrations. From piglets to parents and from puppies to little old ladies – everyone she draws is going about their lives, inviting us into their imaginary worlds.
Olga excels when it comes to wide-angle settings with plenty of participants – human and animal – and there’s always plenty going on. She creates people of all cultures, backgrounds and abilities – nobody is forgotten and everyone has their own unique charm.
Based in Cyprus, but originally from Russia, Olga trained as an architect but today uses her creative talents to illustrate children’s books. She is inspired by the real world – the people and places she sees daily, out walking through town or by the sea. Clients feel comfortable working with Olga – they can tell she loves what she does, she dives deep into the stories she illustrates and respects deadlines.
“Sometimes, the magic happens in my head. I read the text and the illustrations appear in my imagination. But usually, it takes a lot of work – gathering information, making mood boards, sketching and immersing myself in the topic,” says Olga. Working digitally on her tablet, she brings physicality to her work with shading and texture, sometimes adding pencil outlines and hatching by hand to complete the image.
Light-hearted and with contemporary themes, Olga’s images convey a playful sense of wonder, full of positivity and possibilities. Bright, saturated colours support this, with light and shade bringing depth and atmosphere to every work.
English and Russian