Jasmin Anoschkin is a Finnish artist working with ceramics, wooden sculptures, drawings and painting. She is a member of the Arabia Art Department Society and has exhibited widely for the past ten years. The unique world of sculptures crafted by the artist includes expressive statement pieces. These works feature something of the magical world of animals that have spirits. As if animated, they are calling you to bond with them and follow them into the world of stories. Some of the sculptures also speak slightly of the aesthetic language borrowed from contemporary folk art.
Firstindigo&Lifestyle: Could you tell your story of becoming an artist?
Jasmin Anoschkin: When I was five years old, I figured out how to draw from a visual image. I was able to copy an image to another page, which made me feel pure amazing. At that time, I also started to sew and crochet small sculptural objects and flowy skirts. I guess I had a chance to do this since my mother was staying at home with me, and my siblings were all in school. Then, while I was at the junior high school, being an eight-grader, I was convinced that I would become a painter. During my studies at the Art High School, I got inspired to work on sculpture. When I later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, I took sculpture as my major.
You have a very impressive career with exhibitions, how did it progress?
JA: I graduated from the Academy in 2004, after which I have been continuously exhibiting. Often a current exhibition has birthed a new one, and so forth. I would say that my breakthrough exhibition and artwork was Bambi that was shown at the Mänttä Art Festival in 2009. The same sculpture was also in 2010 at the 100th Anniversary of the Association of Finnish Sculptors in Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. Today it belongs to the Finnish State Art Collection.
In 2012, I was chosen to be the year’s young artist in the Satakunta region of Finland. During the years of 2009-2010, I was a visiting artist at the Arabia Art Department Society (it was established in 1922). And in 2014, I became a member of the society.
Are there any other artists in your family?
JA: My mother studied painting, but has not worked as a painter professionally, except having it as her hobby.
Your sense of color is very strong and expressive. I would say that this is the case in both of the paintings and sculptures. Do you attach to a particular philosophy of color?
JA: I like many colors, especially the neon-colors, but white is my absolute favorite. In my paintings (I have painted life models always), the colors create the atmosphere of the room and the mood around the model. As it comes to my wooden sculptures, I pick the colors on the go, or they appear as coincidentally according to what jars or pigments I have available. When working with the wood sculptures, I start marking the wood with colors seeing which parts to leave and what to carve out. If the initial colors fit to the work they can stay.
In my ceramic works I use glazing that is actual leftovers from other artists, or opt for the colors that Arabia factory has used in its history of making utensils and everyday objects. I don’t really make samples, and sometimes you have to be firing the clay several times before the end result is perfect.
You seem to have two mediums in your art making, do you intentionally make paintings around humans, and then create the sculptures about animals?
JA: I would like to have animals as pets, but I cannot take care of them. It is easier to take care of the sculptures than real living animals. I don’t have to feed them, just dust them occasionally, nor do I have to take them out, except to museums. Painting is fast for me, and sculpting is very slow.
How about the paintings, which are portraits, how did you choose your models?
JA: I like to work with life models, and almost all of them are artists or other friends.
Do you start with emotional or affective state of a person?
JA: The painting sessions I plan always three weeks in advance, so I can prepare myself to the work itself. I do not sketch or do other kid of preparations, but what I do is to more intuitively process the work out. I’m always nervous to meet my models so it’s really hard to get any sleep the night before.
Your paintings also bring to mind expressive fluidity and specificity of the line, which is almost drawing-like.
JA: I draw and paint a life model, and its pretty fast-paced taking only 3-5 minutes, so perhaps this methodology has left some marks on my works.
Could you explain where the themes to your sculptures come from?
JA: Many of my sculptures have a story implied in them, either I heard them from others, or they are based on my own experiences. A friend of mine lived three year in China, and they had two servants. The other friend of mine went to India and brought back a sari. Third bought a dog from a faraway place. So I have this blue servant dog –sculpture who wears a sari as a hat. It is serving coffee from an earring, and the soap is like a pastry. The sculpture is called: Would You like to have some breakfast, Sir? Eventually, as you can hear, the artwork includes all three stories told by three different people.
My other sculpture, which is called Huulipunankoemaistaja, Lipstick taster, is an animal. A friend of mine worked at the Lumene cosmetic company in a laboratory. I imagined that the person was inventing and creating new shades for lipsticks while at work.
Do these fascinating animal figurines represent any specific animals?
JA: I cannot say it myself. Many customers tell me that this particular work is my personal power animal, and then they want to acquire it. And, I often call my sculptures as ‘random varieties’.
One more thing about the sculptures, how do you construct them, what is your technique?
JA: The clay sculptures I build by hand starting from the bottom and moving towards the top. With the wood, I start with cutting off the extra material, and adding pieces. The process goes basically cutting off from the material, and adding repetitively, and incorporating the colors from the start.