Faina – Victoria Yakusha
1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
I was born in Ukraine and was lucky to spend my childhood among its beautiful nature. My grandparents lived in the village, and I often spent my summer there. It was precious.
There, around the nature, I felt free. I believe my worldview was formed during that time.
Hence the connection to nature, love to the earth, and ‚live design‘ — a philosophy of FAINA. Two years ago I moved to Belgium where we opened FAINA gallery.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
It’s difficult to recall the first, but I remember my feelings when I’ve discovered the works of primitivists. One of my favorite is a Ukrainian self-taught painter Maria Prymachenko. I’m endlessly inspired by sincerity, honesty, naiveness of her works. It’s very pure art.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
I studied architecture, and from the 3rd year of the institute started working on design and architectural projects. I don’t imagine myself in other field. Design is something that has always been with me. I’m interested in fashion, love to explore new in the fragrance industry, but it’s always crossed with design and aesthetics.
4. What led you to the design creation ?
In 2014 Ukraine was a few steps away from losing its identity. That was a hard time for us, and I decided to create something that will tell the world about my country and its cultural heritage. That’s how FAINA began. We pass our story by the means of design.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
My biggest influence and inspiration is Ukraine. My roots. I am glad to be born on this beautiful land. Its free spirit, wildness, sincerity – it’s all within me. Some symbols and local crafts which revive in FAINA design are familiar to me from childhood, and very dear to my heart.
I don’t think that there’s something special in my creative process. It’s a flow. I just sit down and do sketches.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
I usually work from home which isn’t easy when you have 4 children. Throughout the day I can do some paperwork, design an interior, curate styling. It depends on the current projects of our studio.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
In FAINA, we work with living materials which naturally comes from our philosophy of live design. It’s clay, wood, willow vine, natural fabrics.
We feel our responsibility to live sustainably, in tune with the living world. A few years ago we developed our own live material ‚ztista‘ which can decompose in the soil. In Ukrainian, ztista means made of dough. The material has a sticky consistency and allows us to sculpt very textural tactile pieces.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
All our objects are handcrafted, therefore it’s almost impossible to make two identical design pieces. They naturally differ in thickness, depth of tone, textures which makes the objects even more precious for me.
I value the objects with natural imperfections and love unique peculiarities they gain during the process of making.
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
To feel and listen to your inner voice.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
‚New primitive‘. We have very primal, minimalist design.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
I studied architecture and was influenced more by architects when starting my path. I love the pure laconic approach of Tadao Ando, his perception of the void in space. It resonates with my vision. I always try to eliminate the excess, to reveal the essence.
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
Martin Margiela. He was different and ahead of the time.
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?