Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Yelena York Tonoyan – Los Angeles, CA-based Illustrator, Painter and Photographer – and also a happy Servicejoy user.
A refined technique mastered over years, Yelena York Tonoyan, 26, is a self-taught artist that has created a very unique style in her application of paint onto canvas. When you see a York it is hard to imagine that these wondrous works of art were mainly created through the use of Copic® Markers.
Today, she creates stunning, even inspiring illustrations, fine art and photographs meant to trigger emotions and memories for each and every viewer, and says that her greatest accomplishment as an artist is her ability to practice her art on a regular basis.
Vahan Avagyan (VA): How did you get into illustration/art?
Yelena York Tonoyan (YYT): It just happened naturally. I left everything I was doing and started making my own art one and a half years ago.
VA: Would you describe your work as more decorative or conceptual?
YYT: My original works were more conceptual. Also on the side I do have digital works that are decorative – besides framed prints, we also make pillows, rugs, wallpaper, etc.
VA: Do you prefer working as a fine artist, an illustrator,
or a photographer?
YYT: Fine Artist. I love the process and that I dedicate myself to something so delicate for 5 months; it puts me in a different state of mind. It’s like being in a new relationship: first you’re happy, then you get mad, then you like it, then you hate what you’ve started, and after the hate you realize you fell in love with what you have created and stick with it.
VA: What’s the biggest challenge you face in your field?
YYT: Personally I don’t think there’s a challenge as long as you’re good at what you do. You can’t learn to be an artist – you’re born with it, so if you keep on working hard and improving yourself, the right people will notice you. I put up my first piece of art at a show and it was sold after a week… I don’t think hard work goes by unnoticed.
VA: What do you want people to feel or think when they see your art?
YYT: I just put on the canvas what comes out naturally – it’s completely their choice to feel or think what they want.
VA: Please describe a typical day for you.
YYT: Fall asleep at 7 am, then wake up at 12pm. I paint for 5 hours, then play piano for 2 hours before going to a nice restaurant to have dinner and relax for another 2 hours. Then I come back to paint for another 8 hours.
VA: What is your working environment like?
YYT: Very bright and sunny… and super clean!
VA: Who are some of your favorite illustrators/artists and why?
YYT: There are so many! I usually like an artist because of who they were as a person or what they represent rather than just their work. The ones that came to my head right now are Aubrey Beardsley, Leon Bakst, Roman Tyrtov – known as Erté, Dali, etc.
VA: What’s your daily motivation?
YYT: My motivation everyday is the idea that if I don’t continue working on what I’m doing, it would be such a waste of talents.
VA: What advice would you give to anyone starting off in your field?
YYT: Use your talents to represent who you are, which is the hard and long way. Don’t take the road that all the others took for 15 minutes of fame.
VA: How did you find Servicejoy and what made you stick around?
YYT: I’m not so much into high-tech yet at some point I thought myself how to create invoices in Microsoft Word. After a while, as you may imagine, I’ve caught myself spending so much time managing invoices that I had to look around for a better solution and discovered about Servicejoy. After the free 45-day trial, I was hooked and now I actually enjoy doing invoices in Servicejoy.
VA: What’s your favorite Servicejoy feature?
YYT: Besides managing tasks, online invoices, and expenses, modifying email templates and late-payment notifications, and running instant reports? I’d say the ease of doing all of the above while being a very non-high-tech person!