illustration course in florence

amazing collaboration with controforma school and my first big course as a teacher

Controforma is an independent school from St. Petersburg, offering courses around the world. The creators of the school believe that it is necessary to study and work with shining eyes and that it is possible to teach so that the sparks of interest will turn into a flame of dedication. They are fighting for a practical approach, the courses have a lot of homework and its analysis. It is important that the school has no student-teacher hierarchy, people learn from each other and are open to new experiences. They invited me to design and teach my own course in Florence in March 2019.


My illustration course took place in a stunning Florence house,

which was previously owned by the sculptor Libero Andreotti.

(this is my small sketch) 


We had a great group of people with completely different backgrounds from stock illustrator to a doctor who worked with cancer patients, and then dropped everything and became an illustrator. All together: 13 amazing Russian-speaking girls from absolutely different parts of the world.


Every day included my lectures, practical assignments and big discussion at the end.

day 01:

introduction,meeting each other

and intense sketching

First day was very eventful, after my lecture about my practice and inspirational tips for beginners, the students posed for each other, made sketches of things and drew their associations with different words. Everybody was a bit exhausted at the end, but results worth it. It was a fast diving in the main mode of the course. And in the end of the day I also showed girls the easy way of making sketchbook.

day 02: on site sketching / city

The second day was devoted to drawing in the city, I showed different references (that's me on the first photo with very serious face) and let everyone go for a walk. Part of the group, including me, went to the Uffizi, draw in the museum. At the end of the day, we met to show each other sketches and share our impressions. For many of students, this on site drawing was new and wasn’t very easy, but this is a small step forward to big achievements.

day 03: on site sketching/ museum and patterns

Day three of my course in Florence began at the Museum of Modern Art. We were sketching everywhere, occupying the entire territory of the museum from benches to various parts. I was so glad to see, that girls were experimenting , using collage, drawing random people in the museum, and each other, and works of art. After lunch, we moved to our home for classes and I told them about the patterns and how to make them.

day 04: comics

I devoted the fourth day of my course in Florence to comics. It‘s very important for me to tell everyone what a cool phenomenon it is and convert people who can draw into comic-faith. I showed a lot of interesting things about panels, page layout, text, and then we went through the whole process of creating a comics from inventing stories to final rendering.

day 05: illustrator - reporter / interview

The fifth day of my course: I told a bit about journalistic illustration and sent everyone to the city to interview random people from Florence. The girls did an excellent job, one group met the gardener, who now works as a caretaker in the museum, another talked to a street artist who said that every child is already the default artist, they also talked to a cheese maker, a wine shop owner and a girl with from hard rock cafe. Day of stories and cool results!

day 06:

last day, presenting portfolios of the course

I gave the last lecture about time management and client work , then girls collected all the work done during the course, and I held small consultations for each of them. They presented portfolios at the end, gave me feedback and I shed a little tear a couple of times, cause many of them said that because of my course they got rid of disturbing frames, found something new for themselves, got inspired. Some of their works can be seen below as well as links to some of portfolios.Someone realized that these frames exist for the first time and will strive to destroy them, someone promised to draw regularly and this just makes my heart sing.

 link to the student portfolio: Tanya Losik  
 link to the student portfolio: Natalie Loseva  

I’m looking forward for more courses and have a strong calling for being a teacher.


If you want to hire me as a teacher, please contact me: