The global nature of Maxim’s client base suits him just fine. Born in Russia, Maxim moved to Finland to complete his studies. After working in various design studios in Helsinki he became a freelance illustrator and took off on a world tour, working remotely for clients while exploring South America, India, Spain, Asia and several European countries.
Maxim studied at the West-Lapland College of Visual Communications and then the Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Science where he received a degree in Visual Art. He’s inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, Steve Jobs, Henry Miller and yoga.
Beginning with pencil sketches, Maxim draws and inks his images the traditional way before scanning them in and carrying out the colouring process on his laptop.
Maxim’s clear, slightly whimsical line drawings come to life with colour palettes that juxtapose cool and warm tones, while the work itself is marked out by its humour, detail and wit.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Maxim: A desire to express myself and to create.Question: Did you study illustration in college? Maxim: I didn’t study specifically illustration but I did Visual Art at Kemi-Tornion University of Applied Studies, Finland. Question: Where did you grow up? Maxim: Saint-Petersburg, Russia.Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? Maxim: I live on Bali island, which is a paradise place for me. It has very beautiful nature and culture and open hearted people. What else do you need? Question: Describe your studio for us Maxim: I have always worked from my Home. When we lived in Helsinki I also worked from home, after moving to Bali I still continue to work from Home. It’s not really a studio. It's just a working desk with laptop, scanner, light table and drawing pad.Question: Do you have any studio pets? Maxim: We have a dog. But she lives outside at the garden territory, she is not allowed to step inside the house area. We are very strict owners!Question: Describe the view from your window Maxim: Jungles and garden flowers.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Maxim: Nature and art books.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Maxim: Yoga and True knowledge of Self. I want to understand how am I truly.Question: What is the first record you bought? Maxim: Nautilus-Pompilius. Its a Russian rock band.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed Maxim: The last interesting project was for a Health Museum in Russia. I did some posters and educational illustrations for them.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Maxim: I'd like to illustrate a historical book or a historic educational project for a museum or publishing.Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Maxim: Illustration can have many layers of understanding and messages. And even small kids can 'read' the picture, you don’t need to 'know' the medium.Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Maxim: Illustrations at the temple walls telling some stories from scriptures.Question: Who is your musical hero? Maxim: Bhakti Marga Band.Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Maxim: Graphic designer or visual artist.Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Maxim: Don’t get attached.Question: Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Maxim: Yes I do. Grab a pencil and a paper and start to move the first one over the second. But also references can help a lot. Even just movies or photos from the subject. Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Maxim: Srirangam in India and Mexico.Question: Have you any hidden talents? Maxim: I also play drums.Question: How would someone who knows you well describe you? Maxim: Funny.Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why? Maxim: I would like to meet Leo Tolstoy at his old age. I believe he would have an interesting life experience to share as he really had it all: glory, money, women, fame and still he chose to move out to the countryside and charity his fortune.