Truly. I am almost speechless looking at the work of Saint-Petersburg, Russia artist John Fenerov. His mastery of charcoal portraits is immediately obvious. His subjects' eyes draw you in in a way that is almost trance-like. When you're finally able to break free of their hold, you begin to notice the fine details and a flow that seems effortless. As a fairly novice charcoal artist, I feel the urge to study each of his pieces with a magnifying glass, not wanting to miss anything. Most portrait artists struggle with capturing the essence of their subjects. This is where John excels. His expressions give you a glimpse into the mind of his subjects. You could have a silent conversation with them and know exactly what they wish to say. I am humbled by his work. I only hope that I can some day come close to his skill. Please follow him on Instagram @johnfnart and send him a message to purchase his incredible artwork.
Q: What inspires you? A: My inspiration comes from Russian literature, and the book community. I love to read. Sometimes I explore nude art, original characters, music in my own vision and frustration. I listen to classical, blues and heavy metal. If I were drawing something from say the 18th or 19th century for example, classical is preferable because it keeps me focused. Most of the times I'm inspired by the Victorian and Edwardian era and their art, music, style, romance, lust...and literature or poetry. All of this just fuels my work and developing a style I'm familiar with.
Q: How does art influence your life? A: I would say it's visual literacy that influences an artist's life, not just art itself. What's most important is what's going on in the mind, how people see, the ability to read and write, respond to and interpret the visual language of an image. Everything is an image.
Q: How has your style changed over the years? A: My style changes and it's fun to see how I used to draw before. My mediums and materials are not changing. I have experience with other mediums, I just find mediums that touch the paper more...addictive? I experiment a lot doing various studies.
Q: What does your art say about you? A: My art continues to develop in a subconscious way. I'm very selective about my subject, very selective when it comes to drawing men or women, expressions e.g. smiling or not. As a person who had a tough past, I was also inspired by the old vintage photographs - where most people weren't smiling at all and had a strong expression of nostalgia or just mysterious like an unsolved case.
Q: What's the most important trait a person needs to have in order to make it as a successful artist?
A: Patience and commitment to work. read more... practice is useless without patience.