Anka Zhuravleva – from Modeling in Playboy to Working in the Darkroom

ANKA ZHURAVLEVA (BORN ANNA BELOVA)

Anka was born on December 4, 1980 in Moscow, Russia. She spent her childhood with books on art and her mothers’ drawing tools, covering acres of paper with her drawings. In 1997 she entered the Moscow Architectural Institute deciding to follow in her mothers’ footsteps. But at the end of 1997 her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died in less that a year. Then her father died in 1999. After that Anka’s life changed dramatically.

In attempt to keep sane, she plunged into an alternative lifestyle – working as a tattoo artist, singing in a rock-band, sometimes looking for escape in alcohol. In order to make a living while studying, Anka worked at several modeling agencies. Thanks to the drawing lessons she wasn’t afraid to pose nude, and her photos appeared in the Playboy and XXL magazines and at the Playboy 1999 photo exhibition. But she was not looking for a modeling career – it was just a way to make some money.

In 2001 Anka was working in the post-production department at the Mosfilm Studios. That same winter one of her colleagues invited her to spend a week-end in Saint-Petersburg with his friend, composer and musician Alexander Zhuravlev. In less than a month Anka said farewell to Moscow, her friends, her Mosfilm career and moved in with Alexander in Saint-Petersburg. Living with her loved one healed her soul, and she regained the urge for painting. She made several graphic works and ventured into other areas of visual arts.

In 2002 Gavriil Lubnin, the famous painter and her husband’s friend, showed her the oil painting technique, which she experimented with for the following several years. During that period she made just a few works because each one required unleashing of a serious emotional charge. All those paintings are different as if created by different people.

Anka Zhuravleva

Anka’s first exhibition took place on a local TV channel live on the air – the studio was decorated with her works.
Several exhibitions followed.
Private collections in Russia and abroad feature her paintings and sketches.In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and decided to take up photography.
Since that time Anka took part in numerous projects -magazine’s publications and covers, book and CD covers,  exhibitions.
She engage digital photo art and analog film photography  as well.
In 2013 Anka with her husband moves to live in Porto, Portugal.

Anka’s Advice:
“Keep your eyes wide open, try to find your inner child, let he (she) help you with that. Try not to create ‘like somebody’. Yes, maybe this is the fastest way but often it has no progress.”

“If you don’t know what to shoot, it’s better not to shoot. Go to museums, look at the paintings, watch some movies, walk around and look around. Always think about the reason you take the picture. If there is no reason, it’s better not to shoot. When working with human models, choose those who are not just beautiful, but have something similar with you or has a connection with you. You have to feel the person you are shooting. Post production is very important. But if the picture is bad, it will not help. Now in the age of Photoshop always ask yourself before post production why you are going to make your manipulations. What exactly in your picture do you want to change, or fix, or make better. Don’t just press ‘thankless’ keys on your keyboard.”
“Become your own angry critic and your own fan in one. Only you know better everything about your mistakes and successes. And never give up!!”

Artist’s website

Anka’s works on Alafoto Gallery

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