Meet Sergei Romanenko
What's your background?
I am from St. Petersburg, Russia, and I lived for some time in Montreux, Switzerland, where I was studying, and in Aspen, Colorado, for work. Now I have moved to Batumi, which is a small Black Sea resort city in the Republic of Georgia. I have been living here for two years already and I am planing to stay here for a while.
I always have been fascinated with art and drawing (The Hermitage museum was just 20 minutes from my place), but it was only when I was 17 when I actually started to draw. I didn't have any formal training in arts, therefore I can be called self-taught artist.
My first portraits were inspired by my friends' photos on social media, than I drew from newspapers and magazines before I discovered the Sktchy app.
Sktchy helped me to stay motivated and not give up the drawing. I really liked the idea that anyone could see the inspiration photo that gave birth to the portrait and that every portrait was created, not just for the sake of itself, but also as a gift to the person I drew.
What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?
I like to change my mediums and don't get to attached to something specific. However, most of the time I am using watercolor or watercolor pencils for colors and ink liner or pen for contours. One of my favorite pens is UB-155 Uni-Ball Micro Deluxe Pen by Mitsubishi – I even have a drawing of it on Sktchy.
In addition from time to time I switch to digital and draw with the Procreate app on my smartphone or tablet. I used to draw with my fingers, but recently I have purchased the Apple Pencil and have now discovered its possibilities.
How did you build your creative habit?
It would be fair to say that my creative habit was formed by the Sktchy app. Since I discovered the app, in 2013, I have created around 850 portraits. It's not like I am drawing a portrait a day, but it's still quite a lot.
The main force pushing me to keep up with drawing is excitement to draw someone on the app and get the person's feedback as well as the reaction of the Sktchy community.
Anytime I have a creative block, I switch to a simpler technique and just post whatever I have created even though I'm not really satisfied with the result.
I constantly bring a small notebook and essential tools with me, so whenever I have a spare minute–riding on the subway, waiting in the line–I can start drawing. Sometimes I draw people around, but I find it more satisfying to draw someone on Sktchy, since I know that my drawing will be seen by the person who posted the pic and by the Sktchy community as well.
If you're in a creative rut, experiment with a new medium. If i get stuck with analog drawings, I switch to digital and vice versa.
Which of your recent artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?
I think that's the one. On the one hand, the drawing is very far from the original inspiration photo. But on the other hand, the subject's personality comes through.
As an artist, I am not aiming for a formal likeness. Instead, I try to capture the mood and personality of my subject. As those are quite intangible, it's up to every one of you to decide if I get it or not.