Maker Mentors has curated a collection of 30+ Independent Artists for our first-ever Online Art Sale. You can order Art Prints or Greeting Cards from our exclusive shop now through June 27th. We are interviewing all of the artists featured in celebration of our Online Art Sale.

Today, we are talking to professional artist KSENIA ANNIS from HOUSTON, TX.

What is your background?

I graduated from an architectural college in Moscow, Russia, where I’m originally from, and then worked as an architect for a number of years.

How long have you been an artist?

I always wanted to do something creative, so in 2014 I decided to wrap up my architectural career and got a job as an art consultant here in Houston to learn more about the business side of art. I founded my company Tummy Rubb Studio in 2015 to be an artist full time.

When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?

I was drawing and painting all my life. When I was little, I thought that is what all people do, same as eat and drink or go for walks.

What kind of art do you create?

I want people to smile and be happy when they look at my art. I paint flowers and whimsical animals. Lately more and more of my work involves human figure, especially mothers and children.

How would you describe your style?

Very colorful and whimsical, with a lot of movement. I like my paintings to tell a story.

What is the name of your piece featured in our Art Sale?

The pieces submitted are part of my African Journey series, which is about animal mothers and babies in Africa. It started as a commission for a children’s hospital, but I loved working on it so much, I expanded it beyond the client requirements.

What inspired the piece featured in our Art Sale?

There is nothing more moving than mother’s love for her child. My elephants and lions, as well as lovebirds’ families, will make a great gift for a friend who has children or really for anybody one cares about.

Can you talk about the process you used to create it?

I did quite a bit of research before I started painting. I wanted to animals to be recognizable, but not too realistic, which required looking at a lot of reference photos and reading about what areas of Africa they are found in to show the correct background. I had so much material, that my partner Patrick Miceli and I decided to turn it into a coloring book – African Journey. A Coloring Book for All Ages.

You can purchase Ksenia’s piece as an Art Print or Greeting Card right here during our Maker Mentors Art Sale.

How is your personality reflected in your work?

I’m a pretty cheerful person and I think my work reflects that. I also think that there are enough scary and sad things in our lives already, so artwork should bring people joy and happiness, not more negativity.

What is your favorite medium?

I mostly paint with acrylics, they allow me to achieve clear saturated colors. I also love pen and ink for quicker sketches, it conveys movement really well.

How do you decide what subjects to include in your art?

I’m always on the lookout for cuteness around us. I also try to ask myself a question – what if. For example, I was at a chamber music concert and thought to myself – what if the musicians were not humans, but cats? That’s how my series of musical cats (found on my website www.tummyrubb.com) started.

What do you love most about creating and being an artist?

For me being an artist full time means being myself and living my life the way I want it to be.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

My dream is to break into book illustration. I have two self-published books on Amazon – Baba Yaga: A Fairy Tale and Always Be a Friend: A Christmas Story, but I would like to do more and have a chance to collaborate with a big publishing house.

What are you doing when you are not creating? Do you have other hobbies?

I love to travel and I play classical piano

You can follow Ksenia on her social media here: WebsiteFacebookInstagram

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