illustrations and design



At the very end of July 2020, a wonderful Russian civilian and LGBT activist Gulnara Sultanova contacted me and offered to make visual identity for the Side by Side festival, which was to be held in St. Petersburg from November 12 to 19, 2020 . Each year the festival has a new style, based on the main poster and created by different people. For me, participation in this project was a bold, but important decision, since now in Russia, unfortunately, it is not so easy to talk about and support many unconventional things, which makes it even more necessary to do so. So I said 'yes' and we worked on this project for couple of months in a row. All the stages and products I made you can find on this page.

We started with a poster. The overall theme for this year was queer space. I was told that the poster could have a piece of the city, people, a cinema with the inscription LGBT or Queer Film Festival, a single picket against transphobic law, and also that it would be great to add a dachshund (a symbol of the festival) and think about inclusiveness for people with different health possibilities - draw at least one person in a wheelchair. The sketch went through several stages of editing. You can use the very first sketch on the left, and on the right, the last sketch, from which I made the final version of the poster.

As always, I made several color palettes to choose from, in the end, the organizers chose this one, bright but pleasant.

I drew all the elements of the poster and the map so that they could later be used separately from each other and I could combine other parts of visual identity from them.

And then I put it all into a poster and made versions with different fonts, this is how the final version looks like.

And the drawings I made separately were also used to create the trailer for the festival, which was made by the wonderful Nick (unfortunately, he doesn't use social networks, so I can't tag him),

I was so happy to see how my illustrations came to life!

After the most important, fundamental element, the poster, was made, it was possible to continue with smaller pieces. For example, I made templates for social media. different networks, PR-materials, etc.

The funniest piece of work was the stickers, we made two print sets and 3 separate circular stickers. For the sets, I drew a couple more illustrations, for example, bearded men holding hands and the “love wins” monument, as well as stickers that can be used to mark queer spaces.

I also made stickers for telegram, which you can download here.

One of the final, but big stages of work was a brochure about queer spaces. It's practically a mini-book, 62 pages. I made a layout it and illustrated it. This is what several spreads look like during the layout process.

And this is a ready, printed brochure. There are articles about cruising places in the USSR, pre-revolutionary gay Petersburg, queer places in Moscow and Petersburg, and a lot of other interesting information.

It was a very interesting, large and important project. You can see more projects and illustrations on my instagram, and if you want to know more about the festival, here is a website in English.