Only 16 years old and already well known: Maria Zabolotskaya – a young artist with big ideas. Born and raised in the little town Staraya Russa (Russia), Maria inspires people from all over the world with her digital art. Due to a summer school participation in Vienna lasting several weeks, we had the chance to meet the rising star.

Mümsik Art: How new characters are created on an iPad

You specialized in Mümsik Art. Tell us about it – what exactly is Mümsik?

Mümsik is the name for the characters I draw. The style is my creation, which I developed over a couple of years. The idea of the name came originally from my father. Nowadays it means something cool, something special.

Since when are you drawing? And why are you drawing digitally?

I’m drawing since I can remember. In 2018 I started drawing on an iPad (the best birthday present I could imagine). I wanted to try something new.

During the last years, I also attended an Art School, besides my regular school lessons. There I spent three to four hours per day and studied Painting, Drawing, History of Art and Sculpture. The Curriculum there is more conservative – unfortunately, iPads weren’t part of it.

To create digital sketches and drawings isn’t common. However, for me, it’s easier than to draw manually.

Which App(s) do you use for drawing?

My favourite App is ProCreate. As it contains a lot of useful tools, I can use it for the whole drawing process. So instead of different brush and pencil tools, I have access to everything in only one app – just by using my Apple Pencil.

What moved you to draw?

My goal was to create something extraordinary. Something new. As I grew up in an artistic family, it was not much of a surprise, that I’m following my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.

And where do you get your inspiration from?

Mostly people from the street or people I know, animals and nature inspire me.

To draw one Mümsik takes me four to five hours on average. But since I’m a perfectionist, it can also take a few months. For more difficult Mümsiks I usually sketch by hand first and then draw it on my iPad.

Do you think digitalisation matters? If yes, why?

New technologies can make people’s lives more convenient and easy. It can support them in their daily routine as well as in their professional lives. So yes, Digitalisation matters in many ways.

How is the school system in Russia in terms of digital education?

I live in a small town, where everything still runs the old way. In school, we have a subject called Computing. There we work on computers to learn the basics. I think there should be more digital education in Russia to prepare ourselves adequately for the future.

Would you like to take classes at an edu-iPad school?

I think it would be interesting. I’m already using my iPad to prepare my presentations in school. I would love to use it more during the lessons and gain even more skills.

What are your next goals in life and also with your art?

My next big goals are:

  • Creating my website, so that I can reach even more people with my art
  • Integrating an online shop, where people from all over the world can buy Mümsik branded t-shirts, cups, phone cases, etc.

I just finished my Art School in Russia. In two years, after graduating, my goal is to study Digital Art in Vienna. Until then, I want to develop my Mümsik-Art even more.

Why I chose Vienna? Because I already have a lot of friends here and I’m in love with the inspiring atmosphere in Vienna.

If you could give future children in Austria a piece of advice for digital work/digitalisation in life – what would you tell them?

Don’t use your iPad only for games because you can use it for your future in a meaningful way.

Thanks for your time Masha!