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YULIYA DAN

Yuliya Dan is a London-based model, visual artist, painter, jewellery & artware designer. She is known for her artwork involving ink and calligraphy pen, which was influenced by her early years in Japan. 

As a self-taught artist, she grew up with women in the family that always had an artistic side. Her style grew from simple lines to complex paintings that showed the complexity of the female inner-world with all its challenges and beauty. The ideas behind her paintings come from cultural, social, scientific and psychological backgrounds and inspire works that everyone can connect to on a personal level. 

She’s participated in many charity art auctions, one of which took place in the Houses of Parliament. Yuliya also takes part in solo and group shows as well as art & fashion collaborations. 

We met up with Yuliya during her most recent event, held at Alberts in London, where she revealed her latest collections and described to us her artistic process and her advice for other creatives wishing to form their own business. 

MV ASKS: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER AS AN ARTISIT?

YULIYA:

I can’t say that I woke up one morning and decided to become an artist – it just happened. I always loved to create beautiful things, and making things out of nothing. It’s the most magical feeling of all.

MV ASKS: DESCRIBE YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?

YULIYA:

It starts with an idea that translates into a painting. I spend a lot of time researching my subjects, sketching, doodling. In this creative process I find other things I would like to do. That’s how my ARTWARE was born. I wanted to create art that doesn’t just live in the museums, galleries and private homes, but something that could be a part of you and your daily life.

Art is an expression of creative skill and imagination, it shouldn’t just live in a frame.

MV ASKS: HOW HAVE YOU BEEN INSPIRED BY TRAVEL AND CULTURE?

YULIYA:

All I am I owe to all the places I lived or visited though my travels. To Japan for shaping my taste and my love for simplicity, to Ukraine and Orthodox churches for iconic art, London and New York for such a variety of cultures, and so many more.

MV ASKS: TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT EVENT HOSTING WITH LA FEMME NETWORK…

YULIYA:

I love collaborating with La Femme Network. Cathy and Marie are not only amazing designers themselves, but also incredibly inspiring women who empower other women. They work to showcase independent female designers; giving them a platform to present their work and giving you the opportunity to shop and meet with the designers and makers behind independent brands. Their mission is to connect, collaborate and celebrate. You should check their own brands too: Cathy – TRIIA and Marie – MISAN.

MV ASKS: WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ASPIRATION WHEN PEOPLE VIEW YOUR WORK?

YULIYA:

I hope that women would see themselves through my eyes and love who they are. I wish that people would be able to see past gender stereotypes, objectification, sexualization. I talk a lot about it on my social media.

MV ASKS: WHY DO YOU THINK ETHICAL & FAIR-TRADE IN JEWELLERY & FASHION IS IMPORTANT IN TODAYS MODERN WORLD?

YULIYA:

As a society, we’ve been raised on the ideas of consumerism and given the illusion that it’s the only way business is done. This is not true. There are so many ways to make brands more environmentally friendly, more conscious. But it’s more expensive. So many brands take the easy money-making road, and just don’t care what unhealthy impact they leave after their collections are done, thrown away or buried in our landfills. The conscious and ethical way of production is not just my choice, it’s the only choice. I always outsource to small family businesses to help me with my production, I ask all the questions, I know exactly who makes my products and in what conditions. Not only in this way do I support local and small business like my own, but I also create a better product for it. Last but not least, most of what I do is made to order, making sure there is no waste. My collections in general are always limited editions, and I keep them small to make sure you have something unique, so you truly take care of it and love it for life, not just a season.

MV ASKS: HOW HAVE YOU INCORPORATED YOUR MODELLING EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR ART?

YULIYA:

I am very fortunate to have 16 years of experience in the fashion world for so many reasons. I know all the dos, but also all the don’ts. As a model, I saw how brutal fashion production could be, and it changed me for life. I vowed to never compromise. Quality through and through.

MV ASKS: WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME WITH YOUR ART?

YULIYA:

As an entrepreneur, overcoming obstacles is all you do on a daily basis. Whenever a celebrity puts a new product on a market, people buy it. People are happily spending money on Beyonce’s fashion line, or Rihanna’s lipgloss, Jay Z’s or Kanye West’s £250 concert tickets. When a friend or family member launches a new business, people are wary “it’s too expensive”, “it’s not gonna work”. As an artist and a small business owner, this is your daily battle.

MV ASKS: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO OTHER CREATIVES WISHING TO FORM THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

YULIYA:

  1. Learn how to run a business
  2. Take a course
  3. Read a lot of books
  4. Talk to your local businesses
  5. Don’t just assume you will win it
  6. Creativity is intelligence having fun
  7. Be prepared
  8. Get an accountant from day one
  9. But then, don’t overthink it too much, just do it

MV ASKS: ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANY EXCITING UPCOMING PROJECTS WHICH YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?

YULIYA:

My art-to-wear line. It started as an idea a few years ago, and I finally got my first sample of a dress this September. It started with just a limited edition dress, then came scarves and pocket squares. I even make bags and ties. I am planning to create a full capsule collection and launch it after new year online and as a POP UP. Can’t wait. Meanwhile, there is a POP UP at The Goldsmiths Centre in December, where you can buy and view the samples. The address is 42 Britton Street, London, EC1M 5AD.

MV ASKS: AS A LONG-TERM MEMBER OF MODEL VILLAGE, WHY WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHER MODELS TO JOIN OUR COMMUNITY?

YULIYA:

Having a community is the most important thing. To be able to connect with people that are like you, have the same ideas and vision, is great. MV has always been there for me. From my modeling years to my artist transformation, they always came through and lent me a hand whenever they could. It’s a team of the coolest inspiring people, that also grow and advance all the time. I love you guys. Thank you for being there for me.


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