Kseniya Simonova…

Summer is coming…and summer makes me think of the beach and sand…I remember building sand castles was one of the most exciting activities on hot summer day=) Some artists take this childhood fun into much higher level and I was so fascinated by the beautiful things created out of natures pieces=)

The first artist which I want to introduce is Kseniya Simonova=)

Kseniya is aperformance artist in sand animation and a philanthropist. She was born on April 22, 1985 in Yevpatoria, a town on the Crimean peninsula, in Ukraine, which was then a part of the Soviet Union. Her mother, Irina Simonova, is an artist, a theatrical designer and teacher of fine arts. Her father, Alexander Simonov, is a former military officer who runs a business in furniture design. Since she was a child, Kseniya painted, drew and designed with her mother.

Kseniya’s parents discouraged her from a career as an artist. Kseniya explained, “It is a constant struggle. I knew that, and was ready for it. If you chose this profession, you’re struggling all your life. You do not enjoy everyday life – like comfort, and buying furniture… You’re always looking for something more, and actually, I was never interested in a life of comfort and buying furniture.”

The idea to do a sand performance was her husband’s idea, who wanted to do a new theater project. At first Kseniya refused, “I immediately realized that this is very difficult to perform. It was sand – not pencils or paints. How can this be used as a drawing material?” At the same time, their financial situation was strained, with the magazine out of business and a baby to support. Simonova remembers, “I was terribly depressed. I had problems with lactation and somehow had to calm myself. Igor said, ‘Either we will go crazy or let’s do something! What about the sand?’ I said, ‘Why not?'”

Kseniya Simonova started practicing drawing with sand in a small dark room in a house they rented. She said it was so difficult that she wanted to give it up in three days. It was physically hard because she had to stand for long hours. Ksenyia trained at nights for three months. In the day she was a mother, doing what all mothers do – cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, playing with her son. From 10 pm to 4 am she was a sand artist. To realize the essence of sand animation, with its constant transformations of images, she had to retrain her vision and start seeing objects as they would appear in sand.

Her husband, Igor, suggested that she should enter the competition Ukraine’s Got Talent, where the prize was one million hryvna, the equivalent of $110,000. Kseniya decided to enter. She became a winner of the TV contest in 2009.

She was named an online sensation, when in one day her video from the show was viewed more than a million times. In one year, it was viewed over 25 million times. Kseniya understood what happened only after she returned to her native town Yevpatoria and could no longer walk freely in the streets. She was surrounded by people asking for autographa. With the money they won, Igor and Kseniya bought a house in Yevpatoria.

Her work is truly fascinating and the fact that it didn’t came easy but was a result of hard work and dedication makes it even more amazing. This is inspiring in my opinion, because it shows how things can turn around over night and that hard work always pays off=)

Find out more about this amazing artist and read more of her story on her website, see her on Facebook and more of her videos on youtube channel.

And now here are few videos of her beautiful and creative work=) Enjoy!