Interview with Fashion Illustrator Lera Kopeleva

Lera Kopeleva (@lerakopeleva) is a fashion illustrator who we've teamed up with for our art project #OzeroArt, in which artists from around the world express their vision of Ozero Swimwear through art.

Lera Kopeleva, fashion illustrator

Lera was born in Belarus but is based now in Cape Town, South Africa. She studied at the Linguistic University in Minsk and completed a Bachelor's degree in Spanish language and culture. However, two years ago, when she was still working as a hostel manager in Dubai, she realized that this is not where she sees herself in the future. And a few months later she quit the job and decided to start pursuing the career of her dreams. 

Here is our interview with Lera.

  • How did you learn to be a fashion illustrator? I don’t have any art-related education except 6 years of art school when I was a teenager, so I’m almost a self-taught illustrator. It’s all about practice, searching for the style elements you like, and mainly your conscious decision to be one.
  • Is it your full-time job? I’m very happy to say that yes, it’s my full-time job! I don’t see myself doing anything else, I’ve been into drawing and fashion since I remember myself. Fashion illustration is a perfect combination of my interests. 
  • How would you describe yourself in three words to people who don’t know you? Shy, quiet but chatterbox :)
  • What do you love most about living in South Africa? I love everything about it :) Climate, food, ocean, mountains. I mean IT’S AFRICA! 
  • Your most favorite places in Cape Town? They are all related to nature: scenic beaches, Kirstenbosch Gardens, and Camps Bay. 
  • What are the top three things to do when in South Africa? Safari, visit Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach (where penguin colony lives)
  • Where do you find your inspiration? In fashion, interior design, and other artists’ work.
  • How would you describe your style of work in 2-3 words? Minimal, artsy.
  • What do you love about your job? My favorite part about my job is drawing of course :) If you don’t break deadlines, you have every opportunity to live your dream life. I like all aspects of my job: discussing projects with my clients, looking for references or inspiration, brainstorming product ideas. And it’s very exciting to see how different people use my illustrations: from printing price tags to laser cut displays.
  • And how do you react to criticism? I don’t really get criticism. I guess it’s because people who want to work with me already like what I do, otherwise they would find someone else. I guess the only form of criticism I get is changes clients sometimes want to make. You learn very quickly that it’s not about you or your art, it’s about different needs and tastes.
  • Which fashion illustrator you are currently obsessed with? Rosie McGuinness (@rosiemcguinness), her style is very unique! 
  • Who is your most favorite artist of all time? All Mexican artists, both classic and modern.
  • What’s the question you hate to be asked? Where is Belarus? Is it a part of Russia? Nobody knows my country :)
  • What do you miss most of all about Belarus? My family and Belarusian food.  
  • Your dream place to visit? I dream about a trip to Latin America!
  • Book you are reading right now? Yuval Noah Harari “Homo Deus: a brief history of tomorrow” and Leo Tolstoy “Childhood” (the latter in Russian, of course).
  • Favorite accounts to follow? @jeanettegetrost, @kristengiorgi.studio, @fredericforest.
  • What are you currently dreaming about? Except for the world and our lives be back to normal, to visit my family and friends who live all around the world.

Illustrations by Lera Kopeleva for Ozero Swimwear

Fashion illustration by Lera Kopeleva for Ozero Swimwear

Fashion illustration by Lera Kopeleva for Ozero Swimwear

Lera Kopeleva's fashion illustration for Ozero Swimwear