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Share Your Colors: The Artist Who Delights in Florals

Share Your Colors: The Artist Who Delights in Florals

Bright and bold. Soft and delicate. Ann Zvereva’s patterns are as varied and beautiful as nature itself. Here, the artist gives an inside look at her process.

Everyone has a unique story to share, and Shutterstock has the assets that allow you to share it. That’s why this holiday season, we’re inviting you to receive 25% off, site-wide, as part of our Share Your Colors campaign.Click here to learn more.


Visiting Ann Zvereva‘s Shutterstock page is like stepping into a real-life secret garden—a world you never knew existed, blooming with vibrant flowers. But Ann, who’s based in Russia, hasn’t always been known for her delightful floral patterns. In fact, she used to avoid making them.

“Many artists consider floral patterns to be the most hackneyed genre,” she says. “Even I avoided drawing on this topic at first.”

To find out why she had a change of heart, where she finds her inspiration, and more, check out Ann’s Share Your Colors questionnaire below.

Oriental Motif
Image via Ann.and.Pen.

I’ve been drawing since … I was little. My parents arranged for me to study at an evening art school, and I always had books and magazines about art at home. I studied pictures and drew animals, insects, plants, and landscapes. Most of all, I loved to draw underwater scenes, butterflies, and the labyrinthine world of ants.

Then, at thirteen, I entered a school with an in-depth study of fine and graphic arts. I studied painting, drawing, composition, art history, ceramics, sculpture, and decorative and applied arts. It was a great time.

I love being an artist because … the very process of drawing makes me happy—creativity charges and drives me. Lines, spots, colors, shapes, rhythms, space—this is my language of communication with the world.

Mustard Yellow Floral

Blue Floral
Images via Ann.and.Pen.

I started drawing flowers because … If you go back to my very first works in the portfolio, you can see I drew animals, objects and icons, holiday themes, and characters for children. One day, I was doing other projects and didn’t have time to draw enough pictures for my portfolio on Shutterstock. So, to not stop uploading, I easily and quickly drew a collection of small flowers—and it immediately became very popular.

Colorful Florals

Colorful Flowers
Images via Ann.and.Pen.

To my critics, I say … Drawing flowers, for an artist, is as useful as making anatomical sketches.

I collect screenshots with messages on forums where novice artists are advised never to draw flowers. I think this is harmful advice. Flowers and floral patterns are an eternal and universal theme, they are always included in the top twenty requests by topic. Plus, flowers have everything I love—line, construction, color . . .

The colors that inspire me are … the colors of precious stones. They are bright and clean. Each flower in my pattern is like a precious stone in a frame of leaves.

The color that brings me the most joy is … pink. I am excessively fond of pink. Especially pink-fuchsia. Pink is the predominant color in my wardrobe. I often use it in my works. I enjoy it and it looks magical. Dreamy and romantic. Exotic and luxurious. It’s not aggressive, like red. I like to see the world in “pink glasses.”

Pink Peonies

Pink Pattern

Pink Background

Scattered Flowers
Images via Ann.and.Pen.

The color I stay away from in my work is … black. Black is the absence of color. I usually replace black with dark blue, dark purple, or dark green. I also don’t like neon colors. To me they are very wild/hostile. Looking at them can give you a migraine.

The color that captures my personality is … aquamarine. It is a sonorous, light, clean, and cool color. It’s fresh. It can be noble and infantile (playful). It is crystal, fragile, thin and transparent. It’s like water . . . like spring . . . like ice. Will you send me a psychologist’s report?

I work on my art … every day. I always have a sketchbook and colorful pens at hand (sometimes they are pencils, felt-tip pens, or markers). I draw while walking, traveling, and watching TV shows. In summer, I photograph plants in gardens. I can draw one plant for weeks in different angles and in different styles. I study nature very carefully. Most of my sketches from nature remain on paper.

Yellow Flowers

Ditsy Print
Images via Ann.and.Pen.

To start a project … I usually set myself specific tasks and look for different solutions. For example, “pink flowers on a pink background,” “vintage-style flowers,” “Matisse-style flowers,” “bright abstract flowers,” “meadow flowers,” “tropical flowers” . . .

Or, I come up with phrases that will guide my choice of color combination, shape, and composition. For example, “mint candy,” “sunny day,” “delicate silk” . . .

I also follow trends. I follow the collections of fashion houses, I’m interested in folk art . . .

One piece might take me … I’ve never timed it. I don’t like to count creative work in hours. I can spend several days looking for a good color scheme for a particular pattern, or moving elements from place to place. I’m not in a hurry and stop only when I get a result that I’m happy with. Also, I always feel pure joy from the process. It is a strong emotional adventure. I manage to do a lot in one sitting. I am efficient, and I don’t notice the passage of time.

My work rituals include … occupying my two children with something so that they don’t distract me. I also drink strong black iced tea.

Colorful Floral Print
Image via Ann.and.Pen.

My workspace consists of … a chair. Table. A stack of sketchbooks. Colored pens and markers. Notepad for writing. Laptop. Graphic tablet. The chest of drawers on which the cat sleeps. There are also six drawings by my son on the wall—he draws only rainbows, a lot of rainbows—and several by my daughter:

A duck walking in a meadow by the lakeSnowmen under the snowfallA lilac branchA tree with red leaves

I also keep a pin that says, “If it seems to you that you are doing something badly, remember that someone is doing it worse, but earns more.”

Green Background

Dark Blue Background
Images via Ann.and.Pen.

My advice to aspiring artists is …

Do not be afraid, just do.Done is better than perfect.Seek your inner freedom and express yourself.Believe that even if you don’t like something about your drawings right now, they will get better and better over time.Be attentive and curious; be surprised and study.Look at things more carefully and pay attention to the beautiful and interesting.Invent new things and inspire others.Fantasize and play, structure, experiment, explore.Share your observations with the world.
Pink Peonies
Image via Ann.and.Pen.

The flower you’ll always find in my home is … I don’t grow any flowers at home. The most that I can grow is a cactus. It seems that I make up for the lack of greenery and nature in the apartment with my works.

A pattern from my Shutterstock collection that stands out to me is … A pattern I call “Garden of Eden.”

Colorful Tropical Flowers
The piece Ann calls “The Garden of Eden.” Image via Ann.and.Pen.

This is one of the most popular works in my portfolio. I was inspired by Indian Sarasa prints and ancient tapestries. I looked at these images with antique patterns, and they were very interesting, but from time to time too pale/dim. I wanted to do something similar, but very bright, using all the colors of the rainbow.

The task was to combine different species into one plant—varieties of flowers, leaves, and fruits—so that they all looked harmonious together. I created my chimera. The task was difficult, but I am happy with the result.

Cover image via Ann Zvereva.

The post Share Your Colors: The Artist Who Delights in Florals appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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