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Coffee Story №17

Diplomatic Art

Darya Smirnova is a representative of the Moscow creative community, she is an active participant in various art projects, art clubs and platforms.

Darya Smirnova

As a child, she graduated from the Art school, but she still says that she is in a creative search, and hasn’t decided yet who she is – an artist, a musician, or after all, a business English teacher at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Each Darya’s picture is a small explosion – of bright emotions, joy of color and lightness. Although her main characters are mice, small cartoon creatures, the life of which the artist parallels with human relationships, the realities of our everyday life. This is only partly seems to be the other world, in fact, the artist speaks with us in a very subtle, and, on the other hand, brave and intuitive way, in fact she is talking about ourselves through her art, encouraging us to understand our own actions and even feelings.

 – When did your first mouse appear, Dasha?    

– Oh! The mice came very symbolically! They appeared in 2020 … it was the year of the Mouse, and it was in this year that we were all covered by a pandemic, we were on the lockdown at home, deprived of the opportunity to communicate. But! Not deprived of the ability to think! I took a pencil in my hands and, remembering that as a child I loved to draw, I drew a mouse.

And then I got carried away. I could no longer stop. One after another, the mouse episodes flashed through my head. Then there was Instagram, where very soon they noticed my “mice fuss”.

First, I was invited to collaborate as an illustrator of children’s books. However, even there not everything worked out as usual, because the children’s writer came up with her own fairy tales based on my pictures with a plot about the mice. Very often we could not stop with her, because after her fairy tales I again wanted to draw something and I wanted to illustrate an instructive children’s story in more detail. It could go on forever. In any case, the result exceeded all the expectations, because our books quickly became successful with customers.

– What are your sources of inspiration?

I was born in the South, in Pyatigorsk, a resort town with beautiful mountains (the Caucasus chain with the peak Elbrus), rough vegetation and old mansions. These things give me a lot of energy, and now, being in Moscow for many years, and being separated by 4 thousand kilometers from my homeland, I feel the sound of my mountain fresh air and sometimes, believe me, I even see pieces of my southern blue sky among the everyday Moscow gray clouds.

A cup of coffee, as always, stood next to me, and I sometimes had time to take small sips. It seemed to me that even while talking on the phone, I could feel the positive coming from the artist. And she added:

– I really want people, while looking at my paintings, to feel good …

With this phrase, she seemed to embrace the whole world …

Dasha loves to participate in various projects. She is in a drawing club, where she communicates a lot with like-minded people and considers it very important. On the basis of her drawings one satirical journalists is creating his work. The nearest plans are to arrange a creative evening in one of the Moscow art galleries, where Darya will not only present her art works, but will also sing by herself.

– Darya, are you really only interested in mice???

– It is not at all. My academic background obliges me to do different kinds of work. I try portraits and abstract works. From materials I like watercolors, but also a lot of pastels, graphics.

– Tell us about your successes and achievements.

– First, I will say that no matter what questions the journalists ask me, I always have something to answer! My works have undergone a number of transformations – now they decorate T-shirts, mugs, postcards. I have had personal exhibitions. And the most interesting thing, perhaps, is that my pictures have now folded into metaphorical cards, which are also in great demand. I’ve always loved studying psychology. Perhaps that’s why I allowed my pictures to help people and solve their problems.

             – Darya! This is incredible! When do you have time to do all this? After all, do you spend most of your time at work on the Department of English at the Diplomatic Academy?

– No way! Most of my soul is occupied by my family …

Darya is a happy and successful person, I think you understand that now too … I’m going to finish my coffee. See you again soon …