By Katy Temple | Editor in Chief
As a 22-year-old Biology student with limited time left at BCC, Tatiana Vorontsova is tackling the local art scene. A long-time resident of Paramus, Vorontsova enrolled at BCC after leaving the University of Delaware.
Art runs in Vorontsova’s family. Her “musical family” includes her well-accomplished composer of a grandfather, who had a successful career after his time at Julliard.
She says “I’ve basically been doing art since I can remember, since I was really young. I took a long hiatus from it and then when I came back into it that’s when I started doing shows.”
Most recently, Vorontsova showcased her digital media work at Ridgewood Coffee Shop, an intimate setting popular among Bergen County residents for their non-traditional drinks. The show brought in a profit close to $1000. While shows are a source of income, Vorontsova makes most of her money off of commissioned pieces.
Commissioned work allows her to “explore a lot of different styles, but (she tries) to keep it mainly minimalist with a mix of pop art elements”
Her style is centered on pop art and mainly self-portraits. She says “I do a lot of self portraits because I don’t have a lot of models… I do a few still lifes and things, but it’s very pop-arty, very acidic colors, and sometimes I go heavy on pastels. I do a lot of black and white outline sketches, where it’s simple, minimalistic outlines, which are actually probably the most popular form I do.”
Like any local and independent artist, Vorontsova struggles with capitalism in the modern age of DIY and easy online printing services. People often like to undervalue independent work whether it be at a local bakery, on an etsy shop and even on social media. Sure, you can go buy a $10 print online; But, you could also support a local artist and get an individual piece of art for a little more money.
Vorontsova’s pricing criteria focuses on valuing her art, time and work while also keeping herself in check. She says “As my resume builds maybe my price will go up a little bit more but i do try to keep it on the low end. I know as far as quality goes I’ll charge different prices for different things so if it’s a cheap frame I’ll keep that in mind when I’m pricing or if the t-shirt material isn’t the best I’ll keep that in mind.”
She strives to “balance being affordable and likeable where people want to buy but you’re not under-valuing your work and your time and your art.”
Other than her grandfather, Vorontsova pulls inspiration from artists like Shepard Fairey, who is mostly known for his OBEY series and Barack Obama campaign images. She also draws inspiration from various street artists, listing Banksy as one of her favorites.
“I accidentally developed my style to lean towards the street style– especially with the t-shirts. So I’d say a lot of those skateboard classic artists, I appreciate them and i love them and I do see some of them in my art” she says.
This “street style” aligns well with her main audience– the skating community. As much as that community loves Vorontsova’s pop and street art aesthetic, she wishes to branch out of her comfort zone and dabble in the fine arts and more realistic paintings rather than “a bear on a skateboard”
As far as the future goes, Vorontsova walks the line between pursuing her disease pathology route in biology and doing art full time. Because she works on a week-to-week basis, the dream of pursuing art full time seems more plausible some weeks than it does the other.
“I would love to always pursue art on the side and make as much money on it as i can because not only do you make money but it is fulfilling like ‘wow I made this i spent time on it and someone else appreciates it and wants it’ which is the cool part about monetizing being an artist” she says.
However, her art might not stay on the sidelines; She might have found the perfect niche that combines her two paths.
She says that “there are digital realms in biology. Harvard recently released life of a cell and that’s a ton of graphic design but it’s still very scientific, very mathematical, so there are ways to mesh to two. I’m still young so I think like get my feet wet in both and see what happens in the future with it.”
Tatiana is one of many artists presenting her work in Bergen County and her passion is obvious the minute she starts talking about her work.
To see more of her art, follow her on instagram @tatianavor_art and be on the lookout for her next magazine spread.