Anastasia Sakalouskaya is an illustrator from Belarus. She was born and received artistic education in Minsk. Anastasia designed a number of books and covers for publications of Belarusian writers. An important place in Anastasia's work is occupied by illustrations for children's books, which can still be purchased in bookstores in Belarus and online. Anastasia Sakalouskaya was a participant and winner of a number of international competitions and festivals. She conducted workshops for adults and children at events around the world.
Anastasia often works with various social topics, she participated in the projects of the Prague Civil Society.
It should be noted that the school of Belarusian book illustration is strong and is known all over the world, such names as Mikalay Selyashchuk, Valery Slauk and Pavel Tatarnikau are known in the international context. Anastasia Sakalouskaya is a bright representative of a new generation of Belarusian illustrators.
The work of an illustrator is always distinguished by scrupulousness, attention to every detail, thorough drawing of all elements and every little thing, elaboration of a visual image. As a professional in her field, the artist experiments with methods and techniques and works not only for publications, but also creates independent works that are distinguished by courage and character.
In the works of the illustrators beloved by the artist, such as Jirí Salamoun, Adolf Born and Miroslav Sasek, one can see those features that are also inherent in the works of Anastasia. Kindness, love for their characters, humor. Anastasia is inspired by the approach, for example, of Käthe Kollwitz and Horst Janssen, the artists who plunge into the infinitely complex space of the human character and soul, into the existential depth of human nature through the expressive plasticity of lines and forms.
The series of works presented as part of the Art Context’s virtual exhibition, comprises sketches and rough drawings, in the watercolor character of which one can perceive not only the images of human characters, but also the atmosphere and mood of a certain moment, a one-second time period taken out of the context of time and place.
Watercolor, perhaps one of the most difficult materials, which does not allow for a mistake, masterfully shimmers with bright shades in the Anastasia’s works done in a smart and daring way, lays down easily and transparently in the shadows of the figures, showing either a voluminous solid silhouette of an old lady selling blueberries at sunset or at the first rays of the golden sun, or branches of trees soaring in the wind like living beings. Such delicacy of lines, precision of tone selection, the ringing palette of color in the format are deceptively easy, while it takes years of professional training and practice to create such watercolor sketches. Also, the process of creating watercolor sketches, on the one hand, can never be thought out to the smallest detail, and, on the other hand, it is a complex and difficult task that requires strong concentration in a short moment, as the author herself admits.
Anastasia tells about the history of the appearance of the series of these works:
“After the Academy, I started working with illustration, but after a while I realized that I was a little “stuck” in a painstaking, thoughtful process. I realized that I needed to find lightness and become braver. The best way to do this is sketching. I chose watercolor as the liveliest and the most unpredictable material and gradually began to work with sketches, taking the subjects from everyday life. At first it was painful and hard, but gradually it began to bring great pleasure. The more freedom appeared, the more the watercolor obeyed, the more joy I found in the process.
The works were painted from memory, sometimes using photographs. I use photographs not for copying, but as a help for capturing the details that grabbed my interest, or as a kind of reminder of my impressions or emotions from what I saw”.