Arévik d'Or is an Armenian animator and illustrator who's constantly experimenting with new mediums. One common theme though is that her innately quirky outlook and witty style can bring a touch of levity and humour to even the most weighty of subject matter.
Thanks to the strength of her original yet relatable observations, Arévik's work has appeared in the pages of The New York Times, De Standaard, and even on display in Times Square. It's a multi-faceted lifestyle that suits her perfectly.
"Living an artistic life always seemed the only logical option to me," Arévik tells Creative Boom. "Life is generally based on routine, while art breaks with these patterns, and that is exactly what I need. I’m a very communicative person with a lively spirit, and interaction is essential for my creativity. In my work as an illustrator and animator, I can engage myself in many relationships: with publishers, art directors, sound designers, etc…, but also with the stories, the concepts and the characters we create out of our imagination. All of these exchanges inspire me."
Having honed her self-taught animation skills by completing the Animation Master program at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Gent, Arévik found a new source of fascination in the "impactful and challenging" model drawing classes.
"I discovered how inspiring the human body can be. Even after finishing my studies, I continued delving into anatomic drawing. This resulted in ANNAtomy, a weekly cartoon published in the Belgian newspaper Standaard Magazine. It's a funny, observational reflection on being a woman independent from stereotypes."
In all her drawings, Arévik claims that the idea prevails over the style. If she's drawing a cartoon she keeps things linear and lights, and when working on a children's book she likes to play with form and colour to engage her readers. Meanwhile, animated characters are determined by their movements. "In all cases, I follow my intuition and try to keep it honest and fragile," she explains. "I stay away from perfectionism and an overworked approach."
Crediting her mastery of a good conceptual approach to the influence of artists like Javier Jaen and Christof Nieman, Arévik also draws on the humour of Sempé and Edward Steed, as well as the aesthetic of Matisse or Picasso. "But for my cartoons, there is nothing more inspiring than observing daily life in detail."
And for Arévik, following these creative impulses can become something of a compulsion. "New experiences and discoveries give me this adrenaline. It's like I'm falling in love over and over again. It can be a sculpture, a beautiful textile pattern, a mosaic or a text, whatever. It can bring me to tears. In these moments I can't help myself but try to get closer to what gives me that strong emotion. When I create, I transform this collected emotional energy into a deep satisfaction. I'm addicted to this feeling."
She adds: "Each time I open my website, I see all the small animations I have made in collaboration with illustrator and my studio partner Klaas Verplancke. Every single gif reminds me of a fulfilling experience. This year we have planned to start to work together on our first animated short film. I'm very much looking forward to that."