Julia Sotnykova has been practicing art ever since she was a child. At first she was drawn to making broad strokes with Crayons, but soon after that she developed an interest in using pencils for creating rough sketches. Julia would often go outdoors around Vancouver whenever she could to sketch the local scenery and wildlife. This was the root of Julia Sotnykova’s fascination in the natural world–something that would continue to inspire her works for the rest of her life.

Over the years, Julia Sotnykova started to experiment with other media. First there came pastels, which reminded Julia of the old days of drawing with Crayons. It was a natural transition. With pastels, Julia Sotnykova continued her exploration of the Vancouver environs. She would get her parents to take her around Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park, where Julia would spend hours sketching the birds, trees, water, and sunsets. It was a truly magical time.

A painting of sunflowers by Julia Sotnykova

Later on, Julia Sotnykova would take up painting–a big switch. There’s so much technique that comes from layering paints, depending on what types of paints you’re using. For instance, how to manipulate the rich colors of oil paints and properly time out a piece so that one layer of paint will not bleed into another (unless that is the intention). Or how to coat a large surface area with delicately spread out water color strokes. Whereas with sketching, Julia could angle, improvise, and smudge her way to success, painting required a whole other level of knowledge.

Fortunately for Julia, she had an amazing teacher. At the downtown Vancouver arts school that Julia Sotnykova went to during her later teen years, she found an amazing mentor figure who taught her everything Julia wanted to know about painting. Frequently, Julia would stay after school to hone her techniques. It was a life-changing experience. That same teacher recommended that Julia apply to art school.

Julia Sotnykova Charcoal and Sketch

Flash-forward a few years, and that’s exactly where Julia found herself. She had applied to and was accepted to a Vancouver art school. Julia excelled in drawing and sketching and painting. Her instructors and peers pushed her to improve her technique across the board. Though Julia was planning to focus on Fine Arts, one of her peers recommended that Julia sign up for a Digital Media course. Julia was a little reluctant to enter the digital world–she valued the texture and hands-on elements of traditional art–but she agreed. If nothing else, she thought, this help me look good to employers.

Today Julia Sotnykova is a freelance Graphic Designer based out of Vancouver, B.C. Although she makes her money from and finds great joy in the digital world, she still takes the time to enjoy the traditional world of painting, sketching, and photography whenever she can.

Below is some of Julia’s work. You can find more on her Behance profile.