Friday, October 17, 2014

mercedes benz fashion week russia

mercedes benz fashion week russia
craig arend of models off duty and alexander shumsky, founder and president of MBFWRussia (formerly "russian fashion week"), have kindly invited me to come to moscow next week and draw the shows at the event's 29th season. the turnaround will be the quickest i've ever experienced, since my interpretation of the runways will be used by the russian and international press and social media. am i nervous and a little terrified? yes. is it an opportunity i can refuse? definitely not. see you in moscow!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the little book of jewish celebrations

the little book of jewish celebrations
it feels like just yesterday that i was submitting sketches for this project, and now it's a finished, beautiful object that i can hold in my hands. ronald tauber's the little book of jewish celebrations - with thirteen full-page color illustrations, a gold foil motif and hand lettering on the cover, and illustrated endpapers - will be available from chronicle books on september 2nd. hooray for designer allison weiner and chronicle for preserving the art of exquisite book publishing.
the little book of jewish celebrations the little book of jewish celebrations
the little book of jewish celebrations

Friday, August 22, 2014

northern territories

 photo russia_zps406f9993.jpg
i've been away for the last few weeks, paying a visit to my hometown and taking a few excursions on the way, to the island monastery of valaam on lake ladoga, to finland (lappeenranta and helsinki) and the most pleasant surprise of all: the town of vyborg, located about 85 miles northwest of saint petersburg. i loved it immediately. much of the city appears to be in ruins or near-ruins which gives it a strange, lonely feeling, but despite some soviet bleakness - including a large statue of lenin - a certain scandinavian spirit and charm permeate the city streets (the originally swedish town changed hands twice during its 800-year existence).
 photo vyborg_zpse92cb3ad.jpg "love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element." although i love to travel alone, every new experience is an exercise in overcoming fear and inhibition, and these words from audrey niffenegger's the time traveler's wife became a kind of personal mantra that helped me along in small moments of shyness and doubt.

enormous tiny art show no. 16

enormous tiny art show no. 16
the next enormous tiny art show opens on september 5th at nahcotta gallery (110 congress st, portsmouth, NH 03801) and will continue through the 28th. my new series of paintings entitled "la boum," featuring scenes from an imaginary party, will be on display and available for sale at the gallery as well as online for those that can't make it to portsmouth (five paintings from the previous show are still available as well!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

nicolas ghesquière for louis vuitton

nicolas ghesquièrethese illustrations also appear in the current issue of l'officiel italia, framing an article about nicolas ghesquière, who recently replaced marc jacobs as the new creative director at louis vuitton. his first LV collection premiered in paris on march 5th, beginning a new chapter for the 160-year-old fashion house.

drawing these looks, i came to appreciate why ghesquière is so well loved (this vanity fair article nicely sums up the appeal of his designs): the proportions of the clothes, the simplicity of the styling and the use of high quality textiles is so easy on the eyes; it just looks so right, so well made, so chic and cozy all at once.
nicolas ghesquière

l'officiel italia

"panama and i"

"panama and i" for ivan olita's article about the american trade hotel in panama, in the current issue of l'officiel italia, out now!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

ik mis je

ik mis je two of my older illustrations appear in the current issue of dutch magazine flow, alongside an article by mariska jansen about loss and longing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

etsy feature

yelena bryksenkova

at work
my shop is featured on etsy today! click here for a ramble about how i got started and a few more photos of my workspace and process. so many thanks for your support and positive feedback; it means everything!

Monday, June 9, 2014

la boum IV: slow dance

 photo boum4_zps233a75d6.gif

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

la boum III: the breakdown

"la boum III: the breakdown" by yelena bryksenkova
it's my party, and i'll cry if i want to: the third painting in my "la boum" series for the next enormous tiny art show. 5x5 inches; pen, watercolor and acryla gouache on paper. since i was burning the midnight oil anyway, i decided to scan it every few steps. here's how it all went down:
 photo la-boum4_zps4e9d4788.gif

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

celestial friendship

"celestial friendship"
as witnessed from greenwich village in new york city on saturday, may 3rd, 2014 in the company of two old friends whom i hadn't seen in years, and in an otherwise empty night sky.

Monday, June 2, 2014

red cap cards holiday 2014

"somnambula" detail
for those that like to prepare for the colder months well ahead of time, i added two new holiday cards to my red cap collection: memories of winters long ago, in places far away.
two new holiday cards 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

la boum II: the arrival

"welcome!" by yelena bryksenkova i've made up my mind that "la boum" is definitely going to be a series for the next enormous tiny art show (and tiny it certainly is - this one is 5x5 inches - and i have a headache now from working so small). i'm gearing up for a large professional project and i'm trying to push myself to be braver with color and light in preparation for it.

i also added frequently asked questions to my website; i get a lot of them this time of year and i hope that my answers will be helpful to somebody who is starting out in the biz or just curious about what kind of pens i use (spoiler alert: .005 microns!)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

blooms of nigeria

"helen" by yelena bryksenkova
my contribution to blooms of nigeria, a collaborative art project organized and curated by rebecca bradley and janna morton. it is an illustrative tribute to each of the kidnapped nigerian schoolgirls. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

la boum

"la boum" by yelena bryksenkova
personal work to get back into the swing of things; it may become a series for the next enormous tiny art show.

Friday, May 16, 2014

london sketchbook: pitchouguina

anna pitchouguina's studio
i visited the studio of anna pitchouguina and saw her beautiful AW 14/15 collection, printed with some of my drawings (click on the image to view it larger).

a london adventure

 photo london_zpse6af65c8.jpg
"a perplexing consequence of fixing our eyes on an ideal is that it may make us sad. the more beautiful something is, the sadder we risk feeling...our sadness won't be of the searing kind but more like a blend of joy and melancholy: joy at the perfection we see before us, melancholy at an awareness of how seldom we are sufficiently blessed to encounter anything of its kind." (alain de botton, the architecture of happiness)

once again alain is right on the money about my feelings from the moment i stepped out of king's cross station and saw a red double decker bus to the final ride on the piccadilly line back to heathrow airport. what an utterly perfect and magical week! and already a glittering memory, which i will share here through drawings from my sketchbook.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


mrs. dalloway's party by yelena bryksenkova
an interior spread from la fiesta de la señora dalloway. there were only so many hours i could spend researching and drawing london scenes before i, too, felt the need to go to bond street and buy the gloves myself. so i'll be in london next week, may 7-15th, hoping (perhaps a little over-ambitiously) to find the time for all of the things i want to do and all of the people i want to see!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


 photo ouroboros2_zps3ef30c87.jpg
this is something that's been on my mind all day; the ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. although snakes generally give me the creeps, i think this image is such a compelling and beautiful representation of the cyclical nature of creation and destruction. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

around the world

 photo wholesale3_zps621a484c.jpg some of my prints are now available in limited quantities at these shops around the world, so save on shipping costs, take a weekend walk through town and support a local business if you live in any of these cities!

Friday, April 11, 2014

until now

until now by yelena bryksenkova
last fall i contributed these illustrations to accompany daniel kraines' essay "le canard" in the inaugural issue of until now, a magazine about coming of age created by alex citrin, who is working on an MFA in illustration practice at my alma mater, the maryland institute college of art in baltimore. i'm so impressed with the way this beautiful issue came together, and am happy to see quite a few familiar names among the 42 contributing writers and artists. you can now find copies at mcnally jackson in SoHo and atomic books in baltimore, but the list of stockists is sure to expand in the coming weeks as the magazine is officially released.
 photo untilnow4_blog_zpsee67964f.jpg

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a summing up

a summing up by yelena bryksenkova
this is "a summing up" - the final story in mrs. dalloway's party - which is actually about two guests in the garden, but having adapted some of the scenery from the text ("...since the chinese lanterns seemed hung red and green fruit in the depths of an enchanted forest..."), it made more sense to illustrate mr. and mrs. d. bidding goodbye to their departing guests instead.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

flow magazine

 photo flow_blog1_zps24508205.jpg
a small feature in the really interesting dutch magazine flow, including a brief description of my love for "door de schoon-heid van het alledaagse" (the beauty of the everyday) and a tiny vellum envelope filled with cards printed with my illustrations on the front and various inspirational quotes on the back:

 photo flow_blog2_zps2a3d866a.jpg

Sunday, April 6, 2014

summertime sadness

 photo bryksenkova-tender-night3_zps50a3963a.jpg “there was a hint in the air that the earth was hurrying on toward other weather; the lush midsummer moment outside of time was already over.” (f. scott fitzgerald, tender is the night)

even though i know i'm going to be the first to complain of the heat when it comes, i still find myself longing for warm summer evenings of eating and drinking alfresco and delving back into fitzgerald's sad and shimmering summer on the french riviera. for now i just keep listening to lana del rey for some semblance of that mood while i wait patiently until i can shed my winter layers.

Monday, March 31, 2014

la fiesta de la señora dalloway

mrs. dalloway in bond street by yelena bryksenkova i'm so excited to share this project because it's the most creatively fulfilling thing i've ever done: a special edition of mrs. dalloway's party (a collection of short stories that virginia woolf wrote in the early 1920s, and which became the groundwork for her 1925 novel mrs. dalloway) for random house mondadori. the book, which comes out in spain this thursday, has a fully illustrated dust jacket and seven interior illustrations, one for each story (such as "mrs. dalloway in bond street," above).

i enjoyed every aspect of illustrating this book, especially the research. it also holds special meaning for me because it's a companion piece to the mondadori edition of a room of one's own (seen here), illustrated by my best friend becca stadtlander. more details to follow as soon as i get my hands on a copy!

Friday, March 28, 2014

pitchouguina AW 14/15

 photo pitchou4_zps785cd5d5.jpg  photo pitchou6_zps3c9228a9.jpg
i contributed some prints to the beautiful new AW 14/15 collection by pitchouguina, a london-based fashion label with russian and polish roots. the new collection premiered at london fashion week in february and will make an appearance at aurora fashion week in my hometown of st. petersburg, russia (april 9-11th).

fashion: PITCHOUGUINA ( / photo: simone lezzi & antonio putini @ cameraworks london / hair: michal bielecki @ warsaw creatives / make up: aneta kostrzewa @ I-like photo / model: daria @ wondermodels / assisting: emanuele copioli


Monday, March 24, 2014

under the egg

 photo underegg_blog1_zpse9676162.jpg also out this week is under the egg by laura marx fitzgerald, published by dial books for young readers (penguin group). on saturday i went to a middle grade authors panel at books of wonder, a beautiful children's bookstore in new york city, to meet laura and hear her speak about her debut novel. aaron starmer was also on the panel; it's pure coincidence that i illustrated the covers of two of the three featured books, and it was pretty cool to see this as soon as i entered the store:
 photo underegg_blog5jpg_effected_zps74d504fa.png
special thanks to executive editor nancy conescu and art director greg stadnyk for this opportunity!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

the riverman

 photo riverman_blog4_zpsd664e842.jpg
i illustrated the covers of two new middle grade novels, both of which came out on march 18th. the first is the riverman, the first book in a trilogy by aaron starmer, published by FSG books for young readers:
 photo riverman_blog1_zps9a953858.jpg
i was lucky enough to attend the launch party - which took place on a hudson river cruise! - where i met the author and the friendly people at macmillan publishing group. designer beth clark and i are already starting work on the cover for the second book in the trilogy, which will be published next spring. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

paperless post: drawing room confessions

my hand drawn interview with paperless post is on the company's blog today, as part of the newly launched collection of e-cards in collaboration with red cap cards. you can now send a card by any of the red cap artists digitally (with a matching virtual envelope). drawing room confessions

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

enormous tiny art show no. 15

 photo portsmouth2014_zps0c14195d.jpg
my third time in portsmouth was the best yet. as my bus left snowy new hampshire behind, i recalled the previous twenty-four hours in one happy blur: people pouring in and out of the gallery, a sparkling evening with new friends, the clear night sky, a good night's sleep, the best breakfast on earth, conversations with friendly strangers and just the hearty, fresh-aired new england-ness of it all. i left feeling happy and inspired, my spring wound enough to get me through the remainder of winter with courage and good cheer. so many warm thanks to deb, allie and michael! five tiny paintings are available for sale in person at nahcotta gallery as well as online

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ready for portsmouth

 photo eta15_6_zpse1c1408a.jpg

the final painting for the enormous tiny art show. and here they all are, with frames in the vintage sable finish from the always reliable, salt lake city-based signed & numbered:

 photo eta15_framed_zpsc62450d6.jpg

 photo eta15_framed2_zps727e5c2f.jpg
the mats, which have circular windows, overlap the edge of the paintings and fit into the frame with such satisfying perfection that i can barely stand it. like a puzzle seamlessly coming together - amazing, amazing!

Monday, January 20, 2014

house of pomegranates

 photo bryksenkova_etas15_2_zps83ceaeef.jpg another couple of simple still lifes for the enormous tiny art show. between paintings i've been reading haruki murakami's what i talk about when i talk about running, and you know, as simple as it is, and even though i'm not a runner, i can relate: "all i do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. and this is a pretty wonderful thing. no matter what anybody else says.” nice, huh? and with that, back into my little void i go, to finish up the last painting in this series (again, closer views are available here).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

recent acquisitions

 photo childrens-books2_zps6545ad09.jpg
my souvenir of choice when i travel abroad is children's books by authors and illustrators native to that country; in addition to the beautiful illustration, typography and design of the books, i just enjoy the look of other languages, especially if the type is hand drawn. here are some of the latest additions to my collection, clockwise from top:

jon klassen's i want my hat back (not foreign, but a prized possession); grautardalls saga, a collection of icelandic tales illustrated by sigurborg stefánsdóttir, which i picked up in reykjavík a couple of years ago; from montréal: french canadian papa, maman, nos livres et moi by danielle marcotte, illustrated by josée bisaillon; aino pervik's paula aabits, illustrated by piret raud (found in tallinn); jukka itkonen's krokotiili hikoaa, illustrated by matti pikkujämsä (from helsinki); and the only book on this list which i purchased online (after much coveting) is the exquisite à quoi penses-tu? written and illustrated by laurent moreau.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

still life

 photo bryksenkova_etas15_zpsad414fc3.jpg
two more round painted still lifes for the enormous tiny art show (you can find a closer view on my website). there is also a new interview with me on amelia's magazine, which is getting ready for an exciting website relaunch featuring contributing illustrator portfolios and a shop!