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Our third 5 Piece Paper collaborator is Viktoria Ikonen! Russian State Academy of Art and Design graduate who just got back home from spending two months in an art residency in Berlin. We spoke to Viktoria about her creative process behind her paintings and shop her selection here.

Hi Viktoria! How are you feeling today?
I've just returned to home after two months art residency in Berlin and feel inspired and a bit sad at the same time, it always happens with me after you got used to new place and new friends, parting is complicated for me. However I glad return to my family and home studio.

How does painting making you feel? What else do you like to do alongside painting?
I'm very passionate person, so it depends from painting. In general I enjoy by the working progress but while I have to finish (or I feel that finish is close) it becomes more difficult staying calm, in some way to complete the work you have to take some responsibility for all time you spent and for result of course, sometimes it isn't so easy. During the work I always listen my favorite indie radio with all these melancholic electronic music, it sets me on the right way.

How big are the original canvases that you painted Dark Alleys on?
They aren't so big – some pieces are 40x50 cm and some like portraits are 50x60 cm, the biggest one, the diagonal, is 50x80 cm.

How's the creative process behind your piece, how do you combine all the different elements such as oil, acrylic and charcoal?
I always start to work on a new project or painting from collecting some visual inspiration for my mood board – it might be everything, even just color combination or some words, and this visual guideline is very important for me. Then I take photos for composition and subjects because image resources are very important part of my creative process. After all these preparations I can start to paint. The way why I mix different techniques is about my own artistic research and also it depends from the specific goals. Often I just feel that using only one not enough to reach the effect or expression what I'd like to show to spectators also different mediums make the surface of painting more enriched and profound.

What would be your dream thing to do with your paintings?
I'm always interested in new exhibition, but at the same it's very exciting to try something new – for example clothes, I haven't any experience in this area but I think it's good opportunity to find new interpretation for them.

Which piece from the collection is your personal favourite?
I like the whole collection but according to my preferences it is the Alabama dress, I wore it for my last opening in Berlin and felt like a princess.

Follow Viktoria on Instagram here.