Lana Arkhi is a member of The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers of Great Britain. In September 2017 she was awarded for the best work presented at the RMS exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
“For me, the award was a big surprise. I had been just elected a member of The Royal Society of Miniature and did not expect that I would get the award as well. When I came for the opening I also discovered three red dots on my items, meaning they were sold.”
— Lana Arkhi
Discover what does an artistic outlook on life mean in the interview with Lana Arkhi
Born in Volgograd, Russia, Lana graduated from Vladimir Art College in 1987, where she specialized in painting large murals in various cities across the former USSR. Later she moved to Moscow and worked in the studio of Lyudmila Azarova a renowned Russian ceramic artist and sculptor. Lana opened her own porcelain studio in 2000, where she created her ﬁrst big porcelain collection, called “The City”. In 2012 Lana moved to England and lives in Broadstairs. Many of her works have been sold to private collections across the world, including the UK, Russia, Australia, the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Israel, France, Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
What’s your most vivid memory from your childhood?
LA: I remember myself at the age of 4 painting a horse. It was a cover of some kids book which I was trying to copy. I remember struggling with drawing legs. I saw that something was wrong but couldn’t cope with the difficult task. Now I realize that for four years old girl, it was a very good work.
What is an artistic outlook on life?
LA: Recently I opened my Art school Kent Talents. Almost each of my students says at the beginning that they cannot draw but already at the first lesson they create beautiful paintings and they are so proud of themselves. Art helps build self-esteem which is very important in life. Art helps to express your feelings and share your ideas with the world. I always say to my students that each person is talented, you just need time and right circumstances to discover your talent.
Which artists have inspired you?
LA: The first artist who inspired me was my dad. He did metal embossing and was very good at drawing. My parents divorced when I was six, and my dad’s tools and pictures were the only things left after him which I cherished until I grew up. I still have his watercolor “Leningrad”.
Later on, when I started working with porcelain my teachers were a renowned ceramic artist L.Azarova (Blue and White Gzhel porcelain) and A.Cherkasov (colorful underglaze painting and sculpture)
I love the works of impressionists such as Claude Monet, Konstantin Korovin even though my style of painting is completely different. I admire their accurate depiction of light, unusual visual angles, and exquisite colorful palette. Probably someday I can paint something in this style on porcelain.
What is your creative process? What “steps” or “stages’ would you attribute to it?
LA: If it is not commissioned work the process is very spontaneous. The ideas can appear after visiting a theatre or some art exhibition. I can keep an idea for months and months in my head and throw it out at the most unpredictable moment.
What do you think is the biggest struggle of an artist?
” The lack of time. I have so many ideas but not enough time to realize all of them. Days are very short and life is very short!”
What do you dislike about your work?
LA: The biggest disappointment in my work is nasty surprises when I open my kiln after firing. Believe it or not but I pray each time when I open the kiln. Can you imagine my feelings when I see a plate which I have been painting for three weeks cracked while been fired? Not very often but it happens.
Where do you find inspiration, and what motivates you to keep going?
LA: I take a lot of commissions so my customers never let me be bored. I paint a lot of animals and pets. They are so cute that I am always inspired. Letters from my grateful customers give me energy and desire to work more and more.
In September 2017 I was elected a member of the Royal Miniature Society. It is a great honor for me to be a part of the society and to have the right to exhibit my work every year along with very talented artists such as Rosalind Pierson, Elizabeth Meek, Alison Griffin, Michael Coe.
What’s your favorite artwork or theme you like the most?
LA: I love painting animals and birds. It came to me only four years ago when I decided to paint my first hedgehog. Before I usually painted landscapes, flowers, people, sometimes made dog and cat figurines but now I can call myself an animalist because 90 percent of my work is animals.
My love to hedgehogs started twenty-one years ago. It was a hard time for Russia during Perestroika time. Shops were empty. We had money but couldn’t buy anything. My friend gave me her old fur coat which looked very funny. We called the fur “lis-pis” (what meant a mix of fox and arctic fox) Either the coat was old or fur wasn’t real, the coat looked like a hedgehog. Once one of my friends saw me in that coat and said: “you are like a hedgehog”.
Later on, life in Russia got better. The borders were open and I went to on a trip to Europe. There my collection of hedgehogs started. I bought two toy hedgehogs in Prague and one in Vienna. After that, I started bringing hedgehogs from all my trips, even from Hong Kong. I never knew that hedgehogs are popular in HK too. My collection was growing very quickly and at some point, I realized that I had to stop, otherwise my house would turn into a house of insane hedgehog lover.
And I decided to change my way of collecting hedgehogs. I started painting them on porcelain cups, plates, bowls. My hedgehogs became very popular. It appeared to be that there are a lot of hedgehog lovers around the world. Now I have customers from the UK, Russia, the USA, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany. There are a lot of us, people who love hedgehogs. Look at them! They are so cute, aren’t they!
What would you advice to aspiring artists?
Paint as much as you can. Only experience and hard work can make you a good artist. Never give up! If you like what you do continue doing that even if someone criticizes you.
Where can people find out more about you?
How and where can people make an order or buy your works?
Custom orders are taken by email
Galleries and Shops: