We had the good fortune of connecting with Alina Bobyr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alina, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Ukraine in 1995, when I was 19 I moved to United States, running away from terrifying political situation, hoping to find a better life, discover and realize my potential, finally get off my parents shoulders. Big move, I was excited. But even though I didn’t expect my path to be easy I wasn’t prepared to face all the difficulties that were about to happen to me. During the hardest, most depressing times, when I struggled with finding a job and adapting to US culture – I remembered something my parents used to tell me. When tough situations appears – zoom out, look at the bigger picture, keep doing what seems right and find something that comforts you. For them it was art – my both parents are architects and I remember how peaceful they were, drawing whatever was outside the window. I never got into professional drawing, but I used to spend hours messing with some sort of play-doug. So I bought some clay, and started sculpting. Browsing Instagram was inspiring – the amount of artists doing cool stuff with it was unbelievable. I sculpted when i was upset, stressed, nervous or anxious, therefore I was sculpting a lot! Eventually I got better at what I was doing. Every good and bad thing that happened during my life found reflection in my art – it`s important to embrace who you are and channel your feeling in right direction. I wish every person could find their true passion and be able to focus on it, at least sometimes. I truly believe world would be a happier place then…
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Here at Wicked Monster Workshop I create sculptures, toys, accessories and home decor pieces with polymer clay, faux fur, resin, glass, silicone and a bunch of other material. I have fun with every project, dedicating a lot of time and thought to it. The process is long and involves a lot of steps – sketching, sculpting, painting, baking and varnishing. Some of my creations can take a few weeks to be finished, I love every single one of them as a child. When it comes to sculptures majority is weird alien monsters that you`ve never seen before, some are cute, some are creepy, some are both! I love creating things that you never see in real world , it’s pure product of my dark twisted mind. Introducing them to the world was hard – I started at local art shows, fairs and different art events, later I tried selling on Etsy. I was hoping someone could see those little monsters the way I do , with my eyes, with my love, but that was too naive of me as a creator. What actually happened is people started to resonate with certain creatures in their on way, on their own terms and for their own reasons, which made me even happier ! I couldn’t expect that. It can be hard for some artist to find someone who`d appreciate their creativity to the fullest, but I believe there are people in this world who are on the same wave with you, with similar views and tastes and it`s just a matter of time when they find you..or, maybe, you find them! I`ve learned that, no matter what, you have to stay genuine, stay true to yourself and your art!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is a beautiful city! I personally enjoy lively places where all kind of things can happen – new connections and unexpected discoveries! Roads with beautiful scenery and little local places with extraordinary food. Definitely check out Sycamore Den for mind blowing cocktails (famous “Ticket” is a must) in a cozy atmosphere, great conversations and free popcorn guaranteed ! Great coffee places – Lestat`s, Dark horse and Twiggs. Blacks market has mouth melting pastries that I have dreams of till this day. Food options – Chris` Ono Grinds for Island cuisine, find delicious burgers at The Friendly and flavorful pizza at Zia! Also discovering new places and staying adventurous is the best thing you can do! Follow the fun..There`s always something happening here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this shout out to my friend – crazy talented artist and illustrator Eli Makani. He was there at the beginning of my journey to the art world, supporting and encouraging me to make further steps towards my dreams, even when it seemed like the whole world was against me. I have always appreciated how uniquely strange his art is – weird shapes, unbelievable creatures, mesmerizing colors and textures… Every drawing was so special and gave me so much to think about. I want the whole world to know about him! Great friend, generous person and hardworking artist..Such a rare find these days.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.