Introduction of Anastasia Kalinovskaya
I was lucky enough to participate in a film and literary festival in Kazakhstan organised by Eurasian Creative Guild (ECG) London. There I met a captivating and romantic girl Anastasia Kalinovskaya . This lovely girl intrigued my mind more than my heart and asked me if I was an artist. When I had the chance to talk to a successful, famous actress, writer,an artist, a teacher, film and theater director, I could not let it go. So I interviewed this Russian beauty and recorded our conversation.
London Post. What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts?
Anastasia Kalinovskaya: Paintings are part of my multifaceted creative inner core. Paintings are my “soul diary”, which is one of the ways I communicate with myself and the world..
I am inspired by the opportunity to show emotions, talk about emotional experiences, share exciting topics, and “frame” thoughts and feelings through various methods of Visual Art.
LP. How did your education at the State Academy of Slavic Culture and Moscow State University of Culture and Art prepare you for your career?
AK: At these Universities, I received some knowledge base on theatre directing, which was given to me by two teachers who brought important aspects for my further development. It also trained endurance and critical thinking.
As for my professional path and knowledge, this is my personal contribution to development, through experience, observation and a constant desire to develop and be open to new research in the field of Art.
LP. What was your first experience as an actress like? How did it shape your career?
AK: My debut role in the Theatre was the character “Marta Garcia” – this is one of the main roles in the play “Potassium Cyanide…with or without milk?” (J.J.A. Millán). At that time, I was only 17 years old! And I just came to that Theatre. But the director entrusted me with this role. And I worked on it very hard and carefully.
This experience is unforgettable. With every appearance on stage, I more and more sincerely wanted to devote my life to Art!
LP. What is your creative process like when creating theatrical and video performances?
AK: My creative process involves two main stages: conceptualization and realization. In the first stage, I brainstorm the core idea and the key elements of the project, such as the characters, the settings, the music and the mood. In the second stage, I execute the project through rehearsals and/or filming (followed by video editing, where I fine-tune the sequence and the message of the production).
LP. What inspired you to explore experimental genres such as “Graphics of Images”, “Abstract Expressionism”, and “Symbolism”?
AK:I created the series “Graphics of Images” during a challenging time in my life, when I felt overwhelmed by various emotions, such as pain and loneliness. I recall how I would shut my eyes and let my Soul sketch with ink on paper. I think that this was the beginning of my journey from Darkness to Light.
Later on, I exhibited this series of works and it boosted my confidence. And a little after that, I added colours to reflect the mood of my artworks – I started to paint on canvases. I conveyed my emotions, experiences, feelings through vivid colors – this is how the “Abstract Expressionism” series emerged. “Symbolism” is a series with a specific idea expressed in symbolic images that invite reflection.
In general, a significant aspect of my creativity is seeking answers, posing rhetorical questions, activating the imagination, untangling the “knots” of consciousness.
LP. How do you approach photography as an art form? What do you enjoy most about it?
AK:I was interested in photography. And once I even wanted to study professionally to become a photographer.In photographs, I looked for interesting ways, angles, and also put meaning into photo images.Now, sometimes I participate in photo exhibitions, exhibiting my photographic works in different genres.I like artistic photography, as well as the astrophotography genre.
LP. What has been your favorite exhibition or performance that you’ve participated in? Why?
AK:I am proud of every exhibition and project I have participated in, as they have given me valuable insights and inspiration for my artistic growth.
One of my personal exhibitions that I would like to share with you is “Soul Diary”, where I showcased most of my paintings, art-objects and my original art-video. A special feature of this exhibition was the introduction of a new project “Augmented Reality” – we developed a unique app that allowed the viewers to see how the elements and themes in my paintings came to life on their phone screens!
This was a large-scale, vivid event that took place in the art space “Gates” in Kaliningrad, in 2019.
Another project that I find interesting is the Art-Performance “Graphics in One Gesture”, where I demonstrated to the audience how I create my graphic artworks, using emotions and awareness as a bridge between body and mind.
In September 2023, I participated in the International Festival “III Voices of Friends: Poetry & Art” in Kazakhstan. It was a great opportunity for me to experiment with one of my favourite genres of Visual Art: improvisation in front of a live audience. I created a unique piece of art on the spot, interacting with the poets, the spectators and the environment. It was a challenging and rewarding experience that I will never forget.
LP. Could you tell us more about your debut short film? What was the inspiration behind it?
AK:I also made my first short film, titled “THE CONJUGACY”. It is a dramatic fairy tale inspired by the play “This Property is Condemned” by Tennessee Williams, but with my own original script. It is a fusion of theatre and cinema, blending drama, fantasy and art. It does not follow any specific time or place, but rather creates its own unique world. The film raises philosophical questions about the human condition, such as how doubts and patterns affect our choices and our relationships with ourselves and others.
I put a lot of effort and passion into this project, paying attention to every detail: from the idea and the script, to the characters and the locations, to the costumes and the props, to the atmosphere and the direction. I also worked closely with my post-production team, overseeing the editing, VFX-design, colour correction, sound design, soundtrack, subtitle translation, poster and more.
This was an amazing experience for me – creating a film from scratch and winning awards at International Film Festivals!
LP. How did it feel to win awards for your short film at the International Film Festival “Independent-Star Film fest”?
AK: Like awards at other International Film Festivals, for me the award at the International Film Festival “Independent-Star Filmfest” in the “Drama Short” category is a great joy and pride for the work done! This gives an understanding that the Idea put into the film is understood, heard and received a response in the hearts of the audience! And it’s priceless…
LP. What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting out?
AK: Do not reject your individuality to please everyone who does not want to understand it. Do not give up when you fail, but taking into account the experience gained, continue to move towards your goal!
Develop yourself, believe in yourself, listen to your heart..
Interview by Raza Syed