I was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, lived in the suburbs of Chicago after the age of five, and attended the Rhode Island School of design, where I majored in Illustration with a minor in English. Children’s book illustration is a very unique art form because the value of a book always grows. There is so much vibrancy between the illustrations and the words that both children and adults can keep finding more meaning every time they reread the book. Soon, the book is about the reader’s own creativity, stories, and secrets. When I was about four, I hurried to flip through a book of fairy tales after eating a chocolate (for some reason, I wanted to join those two pleasures), and I still have the book, with my chocolate fingerprints in the corners. I feel that drawing is healthy for every person, so I really value art that makes people eager to start creating art or gives people the chance to start creating in a forgiving way. I am often inspired to draw by little phrases in books I read or by memories. My style of illustration tends to be quiet, mysterious, calm, and textural. I enjoy drawing with a printmaking way of thinking – repeating imagery with different materials, different sizes, upside-down and backwards, as a way of thinking through the initial idea. I often use simple, clear lines, so the art is quite open – people can imagine making the lines themselves. I love art that shows an artist’s actions – happy actions like spreading expanses of vibrant colors, inquisitive actions like wondering and tracing over the details of a scene, or playful actions like rearranging sketches and pieces of imagery. Today, my favorite children’s books are curious and strange, and they give the impression of layers of meaning. These include The Wolves in the Walls, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and It’s a Secret! by John Burningham. The illustrations in these books give a sense of casual, sometimes clumsy style with all kinds of rich and subtle nuances inside the imagery. My illustrations have appeared in Rafael Attias’s Comic Anthology, for which I created wordless sequential art about (and using) porridge, the All-Nighter student newspaper, and the nutrition blog for “The Most Informal Running Club Ever” at tmirceeats.blogspot.com. My website at innakomarovsky.com displays my work in illustration, design, and animation.
Inna’s work is varied across media and genres. But there is a gentleness to her work that underlies everything. She has an amazing sense of texture and shape, and her mixed media work is quite attentive to this. This is one of my favorite storytelling images, which Inna describes as:
This image is part of a sequential art piece on how Inna felt about porridge as she was growing up
When artists tell personal stories in their work, it always makes the results more powerful and interesting. Her artist books attest to her sense of storytelling and design, as do her story books. Here’s a picture book she put together for the Picture and Word final project:
Side: A Picture book dummy for a story I wrote about getting up on different sides of the bed. Click here for more images.
I’m always amazed at how illustrators can create animations of their work, and Inna does a great job of marrying her drawing style in her animations. The subjects are thoughtful and eclectic, as they are little gems of humor and story. Here are a few of our favorites over at Pinwheel:
Check out much more of Inna’s work on her website. And Welcome to the Pinwheel Team Inna!