How long have you been colorizing pictures?
My first work in colouring was back in 2011, and at that time, I had no idea that it could be a business. I am a translator by occupation, and so in 2012 I received a book on colour theory that needed to be translated. If you ask me, I think it was a sign, nudging me in the direction of this kind of work. It helped me tremendously to structure my knowledge about colours and I learned a lot about colour combinations, complementary colours and so forth. Naturally, I wanted to put it all in practice, and so I gradually grew into it.
Are your client predominantly Russian or do you work on an international basis as well?
For a long time I had clients from all over the world but Russia! Initially I posted my colourings on Russian sites but was subsequently heavily criticized and received tons of negative feedback. Part of the reason for this was, the fact that I colorized pictures from Russian history and there are plenty of experts who were eager to find mistakes in uniforms, weapons etc. Art lovers also frowned upon the idea, in their own opinions exclaiming how tasteless the work was.
It then only made sense to me, to post colorized images elsewhere.
A young Romanian gentleman convinced me to publish a website and a Facebook page with my colourings and was even so kind as to set it up for me. This led me to receive some interesting commissions, such as the cover of the last book of Paulo Coelho about Mata Hari. I also had some deals with Russian publishers but the experience was not always positive.
Do you have a special interest in history or more toward the form of arts and visual expressions?
Both. Russian history fascinates me. It is full of dramatic, cataclysmic events, which not only had an impact on the history of the country, but also on the rest of the world. I regret to say that many people have an unbalanced view and understanding of Russia. Sometimes a picture can say more than many words are able to, and it gives me great pleasure to add to people’s knowledge and learning about Russia, through my work in colourings
I also find it interesting to work with colours, achieving different effects or copying the manner of great painters of the past.
Do you do a lot of research on a picture when you give it colour?
Yes, of course I do. Eye colour, uniforms, medals, and colours that were ‘fashionable’ at the time and many other factors. Andrey Malov, an expert in uniforms, has helped me a lot during the past few years. He, for example, pointed out that Nicholas II on the famous photo with his family from 1913 wears a crimson shirt, and not green as many others and I myself originally thought. He wore the uniform of the Life-Guards of the 4th Imperial Family’s Rifle Regiment.
There are many interesting people among my followers. Some of them are experts in fields like history or aeroplanes and they often criticize my colourings but also help me in the process. I’ve learned so many facts and history, and I know it will continue in this fashion.