Vasili Zorin: Born With It

ADC’s Illustration Month — along with the month itself — is drawing to a close, but not without us showcasing a few more ADC Members who happen to make a living from their drawing talents! This has been a fabulous theme, and we hope you have been as wowed by work (and the people behind the work) as we have been.Vasili Zorin has a cryptic sensibility as does his illustration work. Known as ‘Z’ on his Tumblr page, which functions like his portfolio and website, Vasili’s art is dirty – in the kind of way that you would imagine a robot being built out of trashed auto parts and whatever else was lying around. There’s also a mysterious journey quality to it, like if you stepped onto the street in one of his drawn-up, made-up towns, you’d definitely smell wet cement and there might be acid rain falling. Based in Moscow, Russia, the recently minted ADC Member gives us something wonderfully eerie to look at. Ever-modest, he says he’s just doing it they way he can.


Moscow, Russia


When did you discover your own talent and then later turn it into a viable working gig?

Not sure if I made this discovery yet, but I started to work quite early, when I was a second year student.

How long have you been an illustrator?

I guess my entire life.

Self taught? school?

I think it`s both, without school I wouldn’t meet people who inspired me to do what I do.

Was a career in the arts encouraged from a young age?

My parents are both artists, so I grew up in such atmosphere, and was always encouraged to draw. Even though I resisted it all possible ways, I wanted to be everything but an artist. I wanted to be a paleontologist and drew dinosaurs all the time, then I wanted to be a pilot and drew planes all the time and so on, but then I realized “who am I fooling, I drawing all the time and accepted my faith.”

Take us through your creative process?

Talking about making an illustration, I am quite slow. Until quite recently I used a pencil to make a very detailed sketch, which I then would scan and after color in photoshop. Now I use photoshop straight. Still, it can take hours – to work all the details, to match colors so they would look appropriate and vivid.

In illustrating, what are the tools you can’t live without?

If to talk in general, I would say – a pencil and a rubber.

What is one of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on?

For the moment I guess it is Sunset Overdrive work for Insomniac. Besides that the project itself was fun, it gave me much imaginative freedom, and I love it – when you are welcome to create.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Hard to say, I just do it the way I can.

What is the biggest challenge about being an illustrator?

May be that no matter how hard you work perfection is still somewhere far. And there are always some new or old illustrators with such great works, that you just cannot but keep drawing.

What do you love most about it?

Two seconds after you’ve done a new image and before you realize that it’s still far from the quality I want.

Any dream collaborations or brands you would like to work with?

Lots of! First of all, I have always dreamt to work with Ashley Wood on his toys. Basically, if any of my favorite artists would ask me to do some work together, I would agree.

What is your favorite thing to do or place to go for inspiration?

My source of inspiration is whole surrounding world, my family, the people I meet, places I visit, video games, movies and art of course.

Any contemporary artists on your radar?

Of course there are many gifted artists, but I`m afraid it will take too long to list all the artists I appreciate.

For anyone considering illustration as a career or just something to try out of curiosity, do you have any advice?

My usual advice is to work and love what you do.