You already know Sheidlina, or at least you ought to. Ellen Sheidlin is a Russian instagramer and visual artist, and the definition of instagram sensation. What does Sheidlina do besides being super cute? Actually, a lot. Through her crazy colorful instagram art, she inspires over millions of people, challenges social norms and takes a stand for what she believes in.
KB: How did you discover the internet and how has it changed your life?
Sheidlina: I discovered the internet when I was only thirteen, while was in my friend’s house. Back then, I didn’t even think it would change my life so much. So when I was a lonely teenager with a lot of insecurities, I created and account on a Russian social network Vkontakte, where I could fulfill my potential in drawing and photography. So my insecurities disappeared and I found more than a million friends! I’m thankful to my life, that I was born in this age of the internet – it’s the best invention of mankind.
KB: Much of your work features yourself. How did you start experimenting with using your own image to express different things?
Sheidlina: Not entirely, but absolutely, most of the pictures depict me or a part of my body. And I realized that the main interest for my fans to follow me was my face, my selfies collected the greatest number of likes and comments and then I decided that the best way to preserve and multiply interest in me is to add myself to my idea. Today, normal selfies are the most unvalued photos, the public always waits for something unusual, they are absolutely not satisfied with just a photo. Everything sooner or later goes out of fashion: style, colors, even memes, but an idea will never become mainstream, it is eternal.
KB: How easy is it to keep your internet persona and your real life apart?
Sheidlina: For me it was never a problem, in general I’m very similar to the character that I created. Internet is a part of my life, especially now, when I’ve created my own exhibition, where everyone can take pictures in the style of my instagram with interactive exhibits that repeat my photos.
KB: Where do you get ideas from? What inspires you as an artist?
Sheidlina: I am inspired by ideas, pure ideas or metaphors, when I hear or read an interesting thing I always try to visualise it. Well, of course sometimes something can be inspired from movies, music, clips, photos or pictures.
KB: Is there a dead artist you would love to work with and mix with your own aesthetics?
Sheidlina: Andy Warhol, this icon, who was a simple man, and at the same time absolutely unearthly. It is a sin to desire anything more than to do something together with this great man.
KB: What pizza would you be if you were a pizza?
Sheidlna: Hawaiian! With chicken and pineapple.
KB: Which song do you love to hate and sing aloud and why?
Sheidlina: Englishman in New York by Sting, the most «viral» song in my head from an early age, it always turns on at the most unsuitable moment.