Lomography Chats with Illustrator-Lomographer Irina Shepel

1

Shortly after we shared the beautiful lomography-themed book (and posters) of Irina Shepel, we got in touch with her to tell us more about her work, and how our community and analogue love became her inspiration. Check out the insightful interview after the jump!

The works of Belarusian illustrator Irina Shepel — or ishepel, as we in the community know her — first made rounds in the Magazine two years ago when she shared a set of lomographic posters she made for a school project. Hand-drawn and later rendered in eye-catching colors, the poster set featuring various film and lomographic cameras and the 10 Golden Rules were an instant hit. She probably wasn’t expecting to receive so much positive feedback — just to hear from fellow lomographers who would be interested to participate in her project. But of course, as lovers of analogue processes like traditional sketching, we all loved and appreciated her beautiful drawings!

Fast-forward to last week, we spotted phase two of her lomography-themed project — a beautiful illustration book — over at Behance, and thought that it simply was too nice not to share. As we expected, everyone loved it! So, we decided to have a chat with Irina and asked her to tell us more about the inspiration, creative process, and motivations behind her project, and also some insights about its future and reception outside the lomography world.

Credits: ishepel

1. Since when have you been a lomographer/film photographer?

My first practice with film photography started in 2010 with Zenit-E. Back then I didn’t have a clue about lomography movement.

2. How has lomography/film photography influenced you as an illustrator/graphic designer?

I always been interested in film photography. As a graphic designer, I see a lot of similarity in style of my design and analogue photography. I wouldn’t call myself a digital designer; however, I do work with digital tools, of course. In my creative process, it always starts with sketching and integrating analogue design like lettering and hand-drawing which is common with lomography. I experiment a lot before get to final design.

3. What made you decide to use lomography and film cameras as inspiration for your projects?

It’s quite a long story. To make it short, I was visiting Berlin in autumn 2011. I think at that time I’ve heard about lomography from a friend of mine. There was Lomography Store on the street and I couldn’t pass it up. I came in and seen a lot of colors in there, these wonderful cameras and photos on the wall. So I decided that it would be my topic for my pre-diploma project.

4. First, there were the posters; then, you made a gorgeous book! Can you tell us about what went into planning, designing, and making finishing touches to both parts of your project?

When I started to make posters I wasn’t skilled in hand-drawing at all. So it was a big challenge! I planned to draw a camera a day and it worked. Bit by bit I had a collection of hand-drawn cameras which where colored and compiled into a series of posters afterwards.

The book is a second part of the project. I worked on it since 2012 since and planned to make it as my BA diploma project. However, it was a big struggle, as I didn’t get approval of my working process in school and the project was paused for while. Once there was some free time I came back to working on the book.

5. What do you consider to be the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of working on this project?

Both of projects are my personal graphic interpretation of lomography movement. It was a challenge to find right ways to express my vision. It started with drawn cameras, as I really love the idea how lomography get started. This first camera Lomo LC-A was originally invented in USSR where I was born. So I noticed some connection here. It’s incredible how an idea of something can spread all over the world. So of course, I tried to show this international aspect of lomography in the book.

For this project, I asked lomographers from different geographical points to share their lomo-portraits. It was amazing to find people who wish be a part of the book. I’d like to thank every single person who contributed to the project. After all, this is a book for people about people.

6. Which part of the project did you enjoy making the most?

In general, it was a lot of fun to work on both projects. Being a graphic designer, I think it is very important to find time for personal projects, work on something that is interesting for you. I found lomography and explored it. It wasn’t that easy to make everything from first try. So, it took loads of sketches and wasted paper. The ideas of showing something transformed in my head and I had to re-do the sketches over and over again!

The same as with posters, the process of creating a book was full of challenge, too. I decided to maximize the analogue style in the book using hand-drawing again, lettering, and film photography, of course. Being a newbie in lomography and lettering, and having basic skills in drawing – the process of creating the book started! So both projects could be described as “learning by doing.” Of course, despite countless hours of re-doing I enjoyed it a lot.

7. We’re curious: what did your school think about the posters and the book?

That’s a bit weird but in school the project wasn’t well-accepted. I mean, in my university, the idea was on the 2nd place, while execution was on the 1st. But that’s not a big deal when you see that the idea is so well-accepted amongst lomographers.

8. Are you already thinking about something to follow your posters and book?

Yep! There is one more project in the process right now.

9. Lastly, how can we get a copy of your beautiful work?

For now the book is only available online. You can download the full version on Issuu.

As it was a personal project, the main thing was to spread it and make it available for people, at least in digital format. I still need to check the possibilities of publishing. Of course, it would be great to make it happen and publish it as a real book!

Thank you so much, Irina, for taking the time to do this interview with us! Do update us once you’re done with the new project you’re currently brewing!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-25 in #lifestyle #irina-shepel #ira-shepel #interview #ishepel #lomography #illustrator

One Comment

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Remind me of Christine Berrie's

More Interesting Articles

  • Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    written by chooolss on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    Her choice of soak for her photographic series "Float On" may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it can't be denied that something so unique deserves a spot in the limelight. During a recent chat with Brigette Bloom, the outlandishly experimental film photographer eagerly shared her inspiration for the series, process (a tipster!), and what she thought of people's reactions over her work, among other things. Check out the exclusive interview after the cut!

    6
  • Crafty Creativity: LomoAmigo Felt Mistress

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-03 in #people #lomoamigos
    Crafty Creativity: LomoAmigo Felt Mistress

    Louise Evans AKA Felt Mistress designs and makes cute, colorful monsters and characters out of felt. She has worked with the likes of artist Pete Fowler and musician Gruff Rhys, and even made a special felt character for a Lomography Exhibition back in 2012. She shot with the LC-A+ and Fisheye Baby recently, and shared personal insight regarding her work.

  • Art Hunter Sardinas x STEEN

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-09-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Art Hunter Sardinas x STEEN

    We asked some of New York’s hottest designers to lend their talent in designing some of our La Sardina DIY cameras, and we are very excited to share with you Steen of Steen Drawings. Steen is a New York based illustrator who likes to create her own fantasy world and creates stories from her wild imagination. Take a look at Steen's wonderful work and get inspired to do your own DIY project.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    Daniela Majic is a Canada-based portrait photographer who tells unique, dreamy, and fairy tale-like stories with her camera. She blends her love for fashion and craft-making in creating a theme that seems magical. Here's an interview with Majic along with a series of photographs from her latest work shot with the Petzval Art Lens, "Secret Garden," which wraps around a very intriguing concept.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    written by borisb on 2015-01-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    Naomi Frost is a photographer based in Australia who specializes in alternative portraiture. She took photos with the new Petzval lens recently, and shares her photos and insight in this exclusive interview.

    1
  • An Interview With Malin Fabbri About Alternative Photography

    written by jacobs on 2014-11-14 in #lifestyle
    An Interview With Malin Fabbri About Alternative Photography

    We recently had the opportunity to chat with founder and editor of AlternativePhotography.com, Malin Fabbri, and we are pleased to now share it with you! Our goal was to better understand the inner workings of the Alternative Photography community and its formation, as well as get a sneak peek into the life of its founder. Malin was generous in sharing her knowledge, wisdom and history and we are grateful for it, as we're certain you will be also!

  • Shop News

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #gear #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

    8
  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots by Dom and JB of Lomography France

    written by shibuya on 2014-11-08 in #news
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots by Dom and JB of Lomography France

    JB and Dom are both members of the French Lomography team. They were eager to discover the Lomo'Instant, and were not disappointed! Dom answered our questions and shared with us her best Lomo'Instant tips. Catch a glimpse oftheir creative light painting series after the jump!

  • Art Hunter Sardinas x Verena

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-09-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    Art Hunter Sardinas x Verena

    We asked some of New York’s hottest designers to lend their talent in designing some of our La Sardina DIY cameras, and we are very excited to share with you Verena's work. Verena is an illustrator and graphic designer who has contributed to the site for '40 Days of Dating' and so much more.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Fashion Photographer Joe Prileszky

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-03 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Fashion Photographer Joe Prileszky

    Joe Prileszky is a 21-year-old fashion and portrait photographer based in London. He jumped at the opportunity to shoot with the New Petzval Lens and absolutely went to town with it! Check out our exclusive interview with Joe and his Petzval shots after the jump.

  • French Lomographer Jules Tests the New Petzval Lens

    written by lomographyfrance on 2014-10-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    French Lomographer Jules Tests the New Petzval Lens

    As we were admiring our community Petzval photographs, we came across the amazing pictures of jules78. This very young but already promising photographer was delighted to share his experience and give advice to future owners of the brass lens. Read his interview after the jump!

  • Lomography x The Victoria and Albert Museum Presents a HORST Rumble

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-03 in #competitions
    Lomography x The Victoria and Albert Museum Presents a HORST Rumble

    Horst P. Horst was a fashion photographer who became famous for his striking use of composition and lighting. His photographs depict sheer and timeless beauty. The Victoria and Albert Museum is celebrating Horst's work with a retrospective exhibition of photographs from his prolific career. Lomography has teamed up with the V&A to give YOU the chance to win amazing prizes including tickets to see the exhibition, a book of his photographs and a Diana F+ Colette. Read on to find out more.