A Dance Of Flowers
I’ve always had a creative flair but it wasn’t until I discovered the world of film and animation that I felt like I had found my passion. Social media gave way to short-format video and I just started experimenting and sharing my work. Playing in my studio turned out to be a kind of therapy for me. Once I achieved one thing, I added a new aspiration to my list, always seeking to expand and grow. The solution is to enjoy the process of building, of becoming, of being, of struggling, of fighting, of winning, of losing, all of it! Because all of it is a part of the journey.
I love choreography because it’s expression through movement and Pina Bausch has been a great influence. I also always loved animation as a medium, within that realm anything is possible – a flamingo can become a flower that becomes a speeding car! I try to keep this openness to possibilities within my work. You can think of it as ‘video collage’.
“Approaching a new project is always a very playful and experimental process. I know that if it’s not going to be fun it’s not worth the effort.”
Approaching a new project is always a very playful and experimental process. I know that if it’s not going to be fun it’s not worth the effort, but that’s not to say that it’s not also hard work. Finding solutions to problems can be quite infuriating and intense, but it’s always fulfilling in the end.
My style is quite minimal and stripped back, I always want to subtract rather than add, but colour plays a crucial role because often it becomes the centrepiece or a glueing part of a composition.
When I immerse myself in nature, I feel a sense of peace, and groundedness. Decorating my space with natural elements helps me stay connected to that earthy energy. It’s a cliché but nature is what I always go back to when I’m stuck.
When creating the animation for The Floristry (below), I wanted to create a sort of abstract living sculpture. What excites me is to always challenge myself to try new things, I’m not a set designer or a florist, but for this project it’s what I challenged myself to be. My creative process always starts with pencil on paper. My work might look random and accidental but I actually always have a plan before I film anything, and this one was no different. Once I had a rough sketch of what I envisioned then it was time to start being hands-on – I mixed watercolours on paper and cut it or ripped it into shapes. Then it was a lot of trial and error in positioning of flowers and light.
There isn’t one place I call home. I was born in Ukraine, grew up in the UK and now I’m based in France, in the beautiful city of Bordeaux. I’m grateful to be living here but it also pains me immensely to see the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. I was happy to feature a sunflower in my work as it’s become a symbol of liberty and peace.
I love everything about Bordeaux, but especially its proximity to nature, ocean, forests and lakes. Surfing the Atlantic can make you feel both a speck of dust floating in the universe and being incredibly present in the moment.
"When I immerse myself in nature, I feel a sense of peace, and groundedness. Decorating my space with natural elements helps me stay connected to that earthy energy"
I have two young children so my time for creativity is not available on tap, it’s more of a luxury. Having a cup of tea always puts me in the right state of mind, daydreaming is when I get all my best ideas. My studio is tiny which means it gets messy quickly. I like to have a good tidy-up before starting a new project, clearing the space also clears my head. Some fresh flowers and music is what sets the scene. I’m always listening to Alex Cameron, Lykke Li and Róisín Murphy.
Bordeaux gets extremely hot in the summer but I love it. The stone houses that keep cool even in the hottest months mean that you always have a hideaway from the burning sun and evenings are comfortably warm. The fact it’s so close to the ocean also means there’s often a breeze. We keep the window shutters closed during the day to avoid the house overheating so there’s this great contrast between it being cool and dim inside and scorching hot and blindingly sunny outside.
My absolute favourite flowers are Iceland poppies. In France they’re almost considered a bad herb and they often grow on the roadside and in wild fields. I also love the scent of climbing jasmine and there’s plenty of it around Bordeaux.
When the ocean conditions are perfect we take the children out to the line up, a place where the waves break and then do ‘party wave’ surfing as a family. It is a wonderfully bonding experience. I don’t know if this is a yearly occurrence, but this time last year we did a lot of stargazing and saw plenty of shooting stars around the summer solstice – it is magical. This summer I will be going to Rome for some history and gelato and then California later in the summer for hiking and more surfing!
Receive a complimentary illustrated message card by Veronika with any order with The Floristry over the summer.
Join in the dance that is Veronika’s work at @veronika_raoul