Plarium develops social and mobile games that have won the hearts of millions of people around the world. Its studios are located in Herzliya, Simferopol, Lviv, Kiev and Kharkiv. Our guest today is Mitya Fenechkin, 2D Designer, artist, musician and a man of many other talents, currently working at Plarium’s Kharkiv development studio.
Mitya told us about his regular day at the office, his inspiration, musical aspirations, and how a piece of chewing gum can change your life.
Like most people, my morning starts with an alarm clock. My favorite track by Purple starts playing. I immediately hit snooze and try to grab the ghostly remnants of dreams guiding me across Iceland.
Nope. I turn to the window and can’t believe it is April; everything’s overcast and dull. It’s not easy to trade a cozy bed for a fifteen-minute walk in the rain.
I console myself with the thought that I just need to get to work and everything will change. When the elevator doors open, I find myself in a place with its own climate and weather conditions. It’s always bright here from all the glowing eyes, and a cup of delicious coffee is waiting for me. There’s not much left to eat but it’s my fault – I traded a complimentary company pancake breakfast for sleep.
It is important to fully immerse in what you do at the moment, to focus on a particular action. Then that moment lives on.
The morning usually brings answers to what couldn’t be done the evening before. Today I’ll finish the castle I’ve been drawing for two weeks. I can’t say that the result is the biggest part for me – it’s more about the process itself. When you come right down to it, the most important thing is to find the right balance between satisfaction with the result and the thrill of the process. I think one should search for balance in everything. This is not the goal itself, of course, but still something really helpful. It is important to fully immerse in what you do at the moment, to focus on a particular action. Then that moment lives on.
I look at my watch and realize I’ve forgotten to order lunch. I guess I’ll just go to some local snack bar. I chose a café across the street with some great home cooking – I prefer simple food.
There’s no shame in not being able to do something; only in being afraid of learning how. Be honest with yourself and it’ll make your life easier.
When you’ve been working on an illustration for a few days, getting an outside perspective is very important. It’s easy to lose the freshness of your original vision and can easily miss something important. So we run to each other from different departments, consult and argue, and learn together. It’s important to always learn, even when you draw something small. Training is important in every aspect of your professional life. You can be a straight “A” student and memorize thousands of books on anatomy and composition, but you won’t do anything well without practice. The important thing is not to convince yourself you know everything. Anyone who fools themselves isn’t going to learn anything. Openly talk about what you cannot do and be open to learning from those around you. There’s no shame in not being able to do something; only in being afraid of learning how. Be honest with yourself and it’ll make your life easier.
At some point, you’ll get the feeling that everything you do is not yours, and you’re just a guide. That realization can be difficult. You draw something, write songs, but it’s all collaborative. You’re just a guide who helped bring it into the world. Eventually it’ll be very strange when you’re praised for some artwork – I don’t even know what to say now when it happens.
Well, it’s the end of the day, but the inspiration makes a sharp comeback – I guess I’ll have to do something with it.
Even a piece of gum stuck on a tram can inspire something that will change someone’s life.
From the windows of our Plarium office we can see some stunning sunsets. The Instagram feed is just perfect at these moments. The sun sets every day, so what’s the big deal? It’s always different; each sunset is more beautiful than the previous one. The same applies to days or years. It would seem that every day you get up at the same time and do the same actions, but everything’s always different. And if it’s not, you need to start with small changes: put your pillow on the other side of the bed, change the alarm sound, get a new hairstyle, fly on an airplane or wake up in Iceland one day and listen to Purple without worrying that it’s a dream.
I look at my watch. Time to go and see a local band, Che Orchestra. The gig starts in about 30 minutes. I turn off the lamp, save the documents and go to the Crossroads Bar. Along the way, I see some familiar faces, and it seems we’re going to the same place.
I love concerts and the live energy that sends goosebumps down my spine. Its great that Kharkiv is a home to lots of great music written by people who live in your neighborhood, walk the same streets and drink coffee in the same cafés. When you come to think of it, to some extent, music determined the fate of our company: that is why we created the Plarium Music Hall at the office. It hosts various concerts by artist both local and international… even Sergei Babkin was a recent guest. This kind of mixing creative work and creative music helps us keep balance.
When it’s too early to sleep, but too late to play guitar, it’s time to draw. I decided to create a book/diary called “Zdesь”. My aim is to draw every day until some cycle or chapter is complete, then I take a break to accumulate information and other creative impulses. In this book, all the illustrations are drawn with a pen, I do not make sketches or use a pencil. It’s a sort of a study of the subconscious – it’s quite interesting to see where the lines lead me.
You need to learn to catch a wave of inspiration and project it on anything. The main thing is to keep it in light colors.
You need to learn to catch a wave of inspiration and project it on anything. The main thing is to keep it in light colors, as the truth is a subjective thing. And if I suddenly start asking myself: “Why am I doing this after all?” I recall someone’s saying: “The real art does not need motivation”. So I sit down at the table, turn on Purple and start drawing.