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Lenka Filonenko is a freelance illustrator and colouring books artist, living in the Czech republic. Her self published colouring books contain illustrations inspired by eternal femininity, kindness and elegance. Lenka's images are full of positive energy, joy and natural spirituality. She is married, has two kids and one dog, loves nature, dance, meditation, good music and simple living.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
Drawing has been my passion since childhood and I have always wanted to be an artist, but it took me more than 30 years to allow this dream to come true... I started illustrating in 2017 when I discovered the world of adult colouring and realised that people were searching for original and intricate designs to colour. I absolutely fell in love with the fact that colouring could help people to reduce anxiety, stress, depression... and I could participate in that by giving them my original designs to colour.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere. It only depends how you look and if you can see it. I have always been very visual and I especially love watching nature. Nature is a never ending source of wonderful colour palettes, shapes and patterns... Look at trees moving in the wind, shimmering lights on the water, shadows dancing behind the plants in a breeze, clouds swimming in the sky and changing slowly... all those shapes and colours! It’s all about seeing and feeling the beauty in everything. And then you want to express this beauty – a poet would write a poem, a musician would write a song, and an illustrator would draw an image.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
When creating colouring pages or book illustrations, I use my iPad Pro so I can sit and draw literally anywhere. But I prefer to draw in my home office and listen to music or podcasts while working. My dog Alan likes to sleep under my table and keeps my feet warm.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
As I mostly draw digitally, it's mainly my iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. Sometimes I colour my own images and I like to use my Prismacolor Premier pencils or watercolours - digital colouring doesn't feel so rewarding as putting the colours down on a real paper... When painting, I love using the watercolours White Nights. I like to keep things simple so I don't buy a lot of new pencil sets or paints - I rather experiment with what I already have.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
When speaking about my colouring books, I am the most proud of my Art of Tarot book. It was a great challenge for me to create this book - not only to draw the Major Arcana images, but also to write the texts (in English and Czech) and create the cards that can be cut out of the book and used. I am a self publisher and do everything by my own - this way I can be sure about the final quality of my books. Now I enjoy drawing my next colouring book which is going to be all about Fairies and mystical Forest creatures.
1 - No fear. Sometimes I see that some colourists are afraid to start colouring a picture because they don't want to screw it. But colouring should be considered as your private, safe space where you can throw away your fear, just grab some pencils and colour - without judging, without worrying about the result. Just enjoy the colours as a small kid! 2 - Experiment. Once you get comfortable in the colouring technique, try to challenge yourself and experiment - you can join various colouring challenges in the Facebook groups or just do it on your own. Allow yourself a little colouring adventure! 3 - Watch colouring tutorials. If you want, you can elaborate your colouring skills to the next level and dive into learning exciting things: colour wheel and colour combinations, shading, skin colouring, various effects and embellishment techniques. You can end up transforming a simple colouring page into a real piece of art.