Tuesday, December 16, 2014

the russian landscape

 photo ruslandscape1_zps22f21e15.jpg  photo ruslandscape2_zps08e4fbf8.jpg
 photo ruslandscape3_zps2623a0c3.jpg  photo ruslandscape8_zpsb41b0f1a.jpg  photo ruslandscape4_zps1ba08231.jpg  photo ruslandscape6_zpsb466247b.jpg  photo ruslandscape10_zpsc2b04a12.jpg pskov
“--while the sun and wind played gently in its spreading branches; the bells of the donskoy monastery would sometimes float across--tranquil and sad--and i would sit and gaze and listen, and would be filled with a nameless sensation which had everything in it; sorrow and joy, a premonition of the future, and desire, and fear of life.” (ivan turgenev, first love)

images 1-7: mikhailovskoye; final image: pskov (2012)

making of: the little book of jewish celebrations

LBJC_sketches1 LBJC_sketches2
LBJC_final happy chanukah! in honor of the holiday, designer alison weiner and i take you through how we arrived at the final cover motif for the little book of jewish celebrations - check it out on the chronicle books blog!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

frankie 2015 calendar

frankie 2015 calendar my illustration "solitaire" is proudly alongside eleven others by a group of amazing illustrators like rachel levit, monika forsberg, and (of course!) becca stadtlander in the new 2015 wall calendar from frankie magazine.

Friday, November 21, 2014

TASCHEN illustration now! 5

TASCHEN's ILLUSTRATION NOW! 5i'm in TASCHEN's new illustration now! book, two whole pages! i know i'm a working illustrator and all that jazz, but i'm still only four years out of school and two years a full time freelancer - so, this is a very great honor.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

la fiesta de la señora dalloway

mrs. dalloway by yelena bryksenkova
mrs. dalloway by yelena bryksenkova i finally have a copy of mrs. dalloway's party! it's a beautifully designed edition, although rather difficult to come by if you don't live in a spanish-speaking country. the best part about it is that it's a companion piece to un cuarto propio (a room of one's own), illustrated by my best friend becca stadtlander.

that which we do not understand

danse macabre by yelena bryksenkova
amelia's magazine turns 10 years old this year; to celebrate, amelia is working on a special edition, collectible artists' book (with a gold leaf cover!) themed "that which we do not understand," an exploration of all things to do with mysticism, spirituality, alchemy, paganism, witchcraft, magic, folklore, occult, esotericism, astrology and more. the campaign to fund the project is well underway and needs just a little more help to see the light of day!

my submission for the book was inspired by camille saint-saëns' 1874 composition "danse macabre," a spooky but cheerful tune which describes skeletons dancing to the sound of death's fiddle each halloween night before returning to their graves at dawn for another year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

goga nikabadze S/S15

goga nikabadze S/S15 by yelena bryksenkova
another show i loved at mercedes benz fashion week russia, the S/S15 collection of georgian designer goga nikabadze. its tasteful comfort and simplicity paired with exquisite, mostly solid colors instantly brightened my mood, and the drum music on the runway made me want to go to tbilisi. 

tiny showcase

 photo tinyshowcase_zps23c41c06.jpg an archival print of my painting "la boum" is available in a limited edition of 100 from tiny showcase. $250 from sales of the artwork go to a charity of the artist's choice - i've chosen room to read, an organization which works in collaboration with communities and local governments across asia and africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and supports girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they'll need to succeed in school and beyond.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

alena akhmadullina S/S15

alena akhmadullina S/S15 by yelena bryksenkova
one of my favorite shows from mercedes benz fashion week russia, alena akhmadullina's beautiful and highly wearable spring/summer 2015 collection. i would wear every single piece i saw on the catwalk!

mercedes benz fashion week russia

mercedes benz fashion week russia
a round-up of some of my drawings of interesting guests attending MBFWRussia (including one of my personal heroes, the inimitable evelina khromchenko). my favorite elements of personal style that i spotted among the crowd were accessories à la russe, including czarina-style headdresses and floral pavlovo posad shawls.


what an adventure! i spent the last week in moscow as a guest of mercedes benz fashion week russia, sitting in the front row at shows, watching preparations backstage and scouting for interesting guests in the crowd, drawing whatever i saw and liked alongside two fashion illustrators, meagan morrison and jaesuk kim.  this innovative way of looking at fashion week got such a positive response from attending guests and notable press like russian VOGUE and marie claire, that i think we can confidently consider it a success! 

scholastic parent & child magazine

glitter and glue by yelena bryksenkova new work in scholastic parent & child magazine. the article is an excerpt from kelly corrigan's new book glitter and glue: a memoir.

Friday, October 17, 2014

mercedes benz fashion week russia

mercedes benz fashion week russia
craig arend of models off duty and alexander shumsky, founder and president of MBFWRussia (formerly "russian fashion week"), have kindly invited me to come to moscow next week and draw the shows at the event's 29th season. the turnaround will be the quickest i've ever experienced, since my interpretation of the runways will be used by the russian and international press and social media. am i nervous and a little terrified? yes. is it an opportunity i can refuse? definitely not. see you in moscow!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the little book of jewish celebrations

the little book of jewish celebrations
it feels like just yesterday that i was submitting sketches for this project, and now it's a finished, beautiful object that i can hold in my hands. ronald tauber's the little book of jewish celebrations - with thirteen full-page color illustrations, a gold foil motif and hand lettering on the cover, and illustrated endpapers - will be available from chronicle books on september 2nd. hooray for designer allison weiner and chronicle for preserving the art of exquisite book publishing.
the little book of jewish celebrations the little book of jewish celebrations
the little book of jewish celebrations

Friday, August 22, 2014

northern territories

 photo russia_zps406f9993.jpg
i've been away for the last few weeks, paying a visit to my hometown and taking a few excursions on the way, to the island monastery of valaam on lake ladoga, to finland (lappeenranta and helsinki) and the most pleasant surprise of all: the town of vyborg, located about 85 miles northwest of saint petersburg. i loved it immediately. much of the city appears to be in ruins or near-ruins which gives it a strange, lonely feeling, but despite some soviet bleakness - including a large statue of lenin - a certain scandinavian spirit and charm permeate the city streets (the originally swedish town changed hands twice during its 800-year existence).
 photo vyborg_zpse92cb3ad.jpg "love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element." although i love to travel alone, every new experience is an exercise in overcoming fear and inhibition, and these words from audrey niffenegger's the time traveler's wife became a kind of personal mantra that helped me along in small moments of shyness and doubt.

enormous tiny art show no. 16

enormous tiny art show no. 16
the next enormous tiny art show opens on september 5th at nahcotta gallery (110 congress st, portsmouth, NH 03801) and will continue through the 28th. my new series of paintings entitled "la boum," featuring scenes from an imaginary party, will be on display and available for sale at the gallery as well as online for those that can't make it to portsmouth (five paintings from the previous show are still available as well!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

nicolas ghesquière for louis vuitton

nicolas ghesquièrethese illustrations also appear in the current issue of l'officiel italia, framing an article about nicolas ghesquière, who recently replaced marc jacobs as the new creative director at louis vuitton. his first LV collection premiered in paris on march 5th, beginning a new chapter for the 160-year-old fashion house.

drawing these looks, i came to appreciate why ghesquière is so well loved (this vanity fair article nicely sums up the appeal of his designs): the proportions of the clothes, the simplicity of the styling and the use of high quality textiles is so easy on the eyes; it just looks so right, so well made, so chic and cozy all at once.
nicolas ghesquière

l'officiel italia

"panama and i"

"panama and i" for ivan olita's article about the american trade hotel in panama, in the current issue of l'officiel italia, out now!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

ik mis je

ik mis je two of my older illustrations appear in the current issue of dutch magazine flow, alongside an article by mariska jansen about loss and longing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

etsy feature

yelena bryksenkova

at work
my shop is featured on etsy today! click here for a ramble about how i got started and a few more photos of my workspace and process. so many thanks for your support and positive feedback; it means everything!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

la boum III: the breakdown

"la boum III: the breakdown" by yelena bryksenkova
it's my party, and i'll cry if i want to: the third painting in my "la boum" series for the next enormous tiny art show. 5x5 inches; pen, watercolor and acryla gouache on paper. since i was burning the midnight oil anyway, i decided to scan it every few steps. here's how it all went down:
 photo la-boum4_zps4e9d4788.gif

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

celestial friendship

"celestial friendship"
as witnessed from greenwich village in new york city on saturday, may 3rd, 2014 in the company of two old friends whom i hadn't seen in years, and in an otherwise empty night sky.

Monday, June 2, 2014

red cap cards holiday 2014

"somnambula" detail
for those that like to prepare for the colder months well ahead of time, i added two new holiday cards to my red cap collection: memories of winters long ago, in places far away.
two new holiday cards 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

la boum II: the arrival

"welcome!" by yelena bryksenkova i've made up my mind that "la boum" is definitely going to be a series for the next enormous tiny art show (and tiny it certainly is - this one is 5x5 inches - and i have a headache now from working so small). i'm gearing up for a large professional project and i'm trying to push myself to be braver with color and light in preparation for it.

i also added frequently asked questions to my website; i get a lot of them this time of year and i hope that my answers will be helpful to somebody who is starting out in the biz or just curious about what kind of pens i use (spoiler alert: .005 microns!)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

blooms of nigeria

"helen" by yelena bryksenkova
my contribution to blooms of nigeria, a collaborative art project organized and curated by rebecca bradley and janna morton. it is an illustrative tribute to each of the kidnapped nigerian schoolgirls. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

la boum

"la boum" by yelena bryksenkova
personal work to get back into the swing of things; it may become a series for the next enormous tiny art show.

Friday, May 16, 2014

london sketchbook: pitchouguina

anna pitchouguina's studio
i visited the studio of anna pitchouguina and saw her beautiful AW 14/15 collection, printed with some of my drawings (click on the image to view it larger).

a london adventure

 photo london_zpse6af65c8.jpg
"a perplexing consequence of fixing our eyes on an ideal is that it may make us sad. the more beautiful something is, the sadder we risk feeling...our sadness won't be of the searing kind but more like a blend of joy and melancholy: joy at the perfection we see before us, melancholy at an awareness of how seldom we are sufficiently blessed to encounter anything of its kind." (alain de botton, the architecture of happiness)

once again alain is right on the money about my feelings from the moment i stepped out of king's cross station and saw a red double decker bus to the final ride on the piccadilly line back to heathrow airport. what an utterly perfect and magical week! and already a glittering memory, which i will share here through drawings from my sketchbook.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


mrs. dalloway's party by yelena bryksenkova
an interior spread from la fiesta de la señora dalloway. there were only so many hours i could spend researching and drawing london scenes before i, too, felt the need to go to bond street and buy the gloves myself. so i'll be in london next week, may 7-15th, hoping (perhaps a little over-ambitiously) to find the time for all of the things i want to do and all of the people i want to see!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


 photo ouroboros2_zps3ef30c87.jpg
this is something that's been on my mind all day; the ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. although snakes generally give me the creeps, i think this image is such a compelling and beautiful representation of the cyclical nature of creation and destruction.