A MOSCOW PHOTOGRAPHY ICON WITH A GLOBAL FOLLOWING

Kristina-Makeeva-russian-american-media

She has a million followers on Instagram. Her works are an incredible combination of colors, styles, images, and details. Her artistic endeavor is always on the verge of reality and fiction. Her Instagram @hobopeeba talks about how Kristina Makeeva sees this world. But this interview shows what we can see and find in the soul of this talented person.

1. You got into photography quite early. Who or what has influenced you and made you fall in love with the world of photography?

I have been taking photos since I was 16, and I have been working with Photoshop since 14. Recently, which was very much to the point, I remembered what made me discover this software. I remembered that it was because of skipping Physics. I volunteered to make presentations and had to dabble in Photoshop with photos to make them beautiful. And at 16, I began taking photos. The fact that I initially started working with Photoshop and later also worked as a designer predetermined, to an extent, the fate of my art and resulted in the creation of my Universes. Beautiful and as believable as possible.

2. The world of art, paintings by great artists, books, and films. What influences your taste as a photographer and creator the most?

For a photographer (as well as for anyone involved in visual art), visual experience is very important. It’s like erudition, except you only need to look at works of art, good photos, paintings, and architecture. All this forms aesthetic baggage, which, in the right situation, helps to see ordinary things beautifully.

Inspiration is important for any creative person. This is the state that appears suddenly, at the most inopportune moment, but makes a person feel emotionally uplifted and ready to create. And sometimes the tenth Muse takes her time, and you have to wait for it. Until now, the biggest problem for me has been that time in heaven and time on earth flow differently. Inspiration comes from life itself. I try to surround myself with things that make me happy. The place I live at is full of all sorts of colorful and sparkly things; there’s also my cat, a red-haired regal feline who wins the hearts of the most avid dog lovers. His rug consists of scattered M&Ms. I surround myself with beauty, and I paint whatever I think isn’t bright enough.

For example, my car, my apartment, my furniture. It is not just pictures that me. There are also songs, poems, music, theater and, of course, people. People are the main source of positive energy, which I sublimate into creative energy. Our team of Seekers of Simple Magical Things (this is not only me but also my assistants) determined to find inspiration is involved in organizing various events where we communicate with people and give them joy, and they share their energy with us. It is a rooftop cinema in the summer, exhibitions in the winter, trips to interesting places, meetings, and filming. As a descendant of nomadic peoples (like many, I think), I really love to travel. A change of scenery is what most strongly affects both the worldview and the perception of the beauty and treasures this world possesses. The amount of inspiration from traveling can last a very long time. After all, it is an adventure! Moreover, there is no need to go far away. It’s enough to simply get out of the city.

There are so many interesting things in the Moscow region: fields, farms, abandoned and not-so-much abandoned farmsteads, and flowers. Instagram, this well-known social network, has had a great influence on my life for the past four years. It is a great tool to develop imagination, ingenuity, photographic and stylistic skills. I remember how, about four years ago, I finally gave up and signed up. And on that same day, I was lost in it, like, forever. Really, at first, I thought that it would be like with all the other toys – I’ll “play” with it for a couple of days and give it up. But no-o-o! As for now, more than two years have passed, and it still continues to pull me in. Deeper and deeper. In fact, striving to get feedback is not just about satisfying my ego but also a great daily workout. It’s like with watercolors and other paintings.

The main thing is to get your hand at it, i.e. draw around 10 sketches every day. And here, on Instagram, you have to post 10 things every day so that they could be of interest to a greater audience. As simple as that. And yes, it is Instagram that makes people who have long been familiar with each other online finally meet offline. Many of those wonderful people whom I saw offline thanks to this social medium have known me for a long time.

3. What do you wish you had known before you got into photography?

I would probably have liked to know that there are no rules either in life, or art, or photography. Just as there are no methods or particular techniques. You’ll succeed only when you don’t follow them. Masterclasses, courses, and any kinds of training. They just tell you how to be like others. But you have to be unique. Often, people who have completed some courses take photos the way they were taught. And sometimes they do this all their lives. When you look from another perspective, from the perspective of art, this is a total failure. You have to experiment. You always have to try and do something new. Or, at least, something old and forgotten. But not the same. The world doesn’t need hundreds of identical photographers.

4. How do you choose what to photograph? How do you come up with images and outfits? Is there a final picture in your head or is it always an improvisation?

In fact, an idea can come up unexpectedly. Most often, this is the baggage of experience, books I’ve read, films I’ve watched, paintings, music, conversations, often other creative people – ballerinas, artists, actors, even brooch makers… Inspiration is literally everywhere. Sometimes nature provides you with such a picture you can’t imagine on purpose.

I often make up the composition after I photograph the maximum number of backgrounds on the site. But there are exceptions when the place is amazing and there are few people. For example, lavender fields, or a railway rolling in Sakura, or poppies, or Baikal. Everything is different here. Sometimes I take one photo and don’t photoshop it. Sometimes I piece together the universe on the photo. But I always have a backup with backgrounds. And this is another secret: something that doesn’t fit into a regular lens will fit there with the help of Photoshop. But in any case, initially, photography is a hoax. When we take pictures of a beautiful temple, we frame it, and behind us, there is some trash or a road with dusty mopeds. There was even some kind of photo project where the photographer took pictures with his back to the world’s sights. This is certainly interesting, especially when you do not leave your home, but we often already know what’s behind us. By the way, it is very beautiful when you stand with your back to Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Again, there are no rules. Sometimes we just go somewhere by ourselves (?). Sometimes it takes us 75 days to get ready for the trip, create costumes, and perform auditions. It depends on the inspiration.

5. Which of your works (or series of works) is your favorite? Why?

I can’t say I have any favorite ones. I love every one of them since I put a part of my soul in each work, so they all are valuable to me.

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6. Sites and weather conditions are definitely a decisive aspect of a good final picture. How do you deal with these unpredictable factors?

There is no bad weather for me.

7. You have very bright and incredibly colorful photos. Would you like to try a Black&White project?

Oh, no. I hate Black&White.

8. What are the three countries or places that you would immediately fly to if the quarantine and lockdowns ended?

They are England, Hawaii, and Japan.

9. What places in Russia would you recommend visiting to those people who have never been to this country?

Baikal in the winter, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. Trite but true.

10. Was there any situation when some incident made you very upset but you’re grateful for it now?

When I was a teenager – around 16 years old – I started uploading my “masterpieces” to one website with photos. My work was left in tatters. That’s where I thought I’d use some filter and create something brilliant. Then I got really angry at everyone. But afterwards I understood what they meant. I am always like this: first, I get angry, then I learn.

11. What can easily make you lose your temper?

Lies and greed.

12. In one of your interviews you said that it is not worth going into photography for the sake of making a profit. Why are you doing what you’re doing?

For the sake of interest. For the sake of those who tell me that I made their day a bit brighter and it wasn’t lived in vain.

13. What does the name of your Instagram mean – @Hobopeeba?

This is the name of the district NOVOGIREEVO, only read in letters of the Latin alphabet and with a feminine gender ending.

14. What does happiness mean for you?

Happiness is when you have no time to think about any kind of crap.

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Olga Garicichina

Russian Time Magazine Assistant Editor Editor@RussianAmericanMedia.com

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