Friday, June 28, 2013

CS Featured Artists Jennifer & Roman



Name: Roman and Jennifer 
Columbus, Ohio
Roman is originally from Saint Petersburg Russia
Jennifer is from Manchester New Hampshire
Roman's website -
Jennifer's website -



How did you meet? I’m sure roman’s answer will be less sentimental, but here goes….I was given a gift certificate for ballroom dance lessons, it was something I wanted to do more than anything, the only problem being is that I was a the height of a pretty severe bout of depression and agoraphobia. I was working as an artist from home, I had no real friends at the time, days went by without leaving the house even to go to the mail box. So though I wanted to dance more than anything I was scared to death to even try. It took 8 months for me to build up the courage to go in for a lesson. I think I lost 5 lbs that week, I was so scared.
Finally on the day of the lesson I walked in the door of the studio feeling like I would get sick on the floor….when a blond Russian looked at me from across the room, ran, jumped over a table and hugged me and said “you must be Jennifer, I’m Roman I’ll be dancing with you”.
I was a little creeped out…..and the rest is history

How did the dance partnership blossom into the artistic partnership? Well we had a student/teacher/friend relationship  the first 7 months of knowing each other, it was not until Roman left the dance studio that we started really collaborating. We met at a Panera the next day and decided to start writing a fictional non fiction story.
We wrote together for a while, then sort of drifted apart for a bit, by then I was a ballroom dance instructor. I decided to leave the art scene, I was so burned out, the art had lost all creativity and feeling, though I was incredibly successful at the time….I stopped being happy .So I left that world and started dancing….I had a couple dance partners but they were not the right fit, the connection was not there. Roman came back to the studio and we started dancing together again, started experimenting with movement and darker themed music. We slowly started to leave the ideas of traditional “ballroom” dance behind us. We started improvising all of our dances and movement. I think that was the start of the real artistic partnership. That and the mutual love for Chinese food and finding abandoned places we can sneak into to take photos. I think we became each other’s muses….photography led to painting and music and more writing. I found myself inspired again by art, Roman did this, he the working together, he sees when I need to take things less seriously and pulls me out of extreme neurosis.
We left the ballroom world in March, we still dance but the the overall creation of something beautiful has become the main goal.

What about the other person inspires you? the color of his eyes are the color of insanity….it’s a song lyric but it applies.

Why do you work together? He makes me a better artist, he challenges me on a daily basis…..he is my muse and it's an honor to be let into his mind, which is brilliant and the most genius I have ever known.

What personally motivated you to begin creating? It’s this or interact with the outside world.

What’s your most embarrassing moment? Everything up until right now.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist? Coffee barista, retail slave, magician’s assistant, actress, dancer, model, gallery girl, and I sold porn magazines at a slightly shady store.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? I find inspiration in the moments of each day, beautiful ones I find myself nostalgic for before they even end….the terrible moments…they are all inspirational. I guess the few times in my life my heart was shattered are the most inspirational

How did your style develop?  I know the kinds of things I like to look at, listen to and be surrounded by.....I guess I just started to make things I wanted to be around. I love forgotten things, lost letters old walls, old photos so I collected things like that, the work was born out of that. 

Is the artistic life lonely?  It can be isolating and terrifying under the wrong circumstances….but under the right ones I prefer my own company to anyone else’s.

What do you dislike about the art world? The business of it, the pretense, the stuffy art openings when everyone is trying to impress each other and no one is looking at what’s on the walls

What makes you angry? Emotional withholding, in myself and in others, also tardiness

Name something you love, and why. Rain, The smell, it smells like what happiness should be.

Name something you don’t love, and why. Lack of curiosity, it reeks of ignorance and laziness.

What is your dream project? Going to Chernobyl with roman to take photos, 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? “don’t go to Chernobyl it will give you cancer”

Professionally, what’s your goal? Make something beautiful. Don’t starve to death.

What wouldn’t you do without? i think I could make do without almost anything, i guess if Iost myself that would be fate worse than death. As long as I have my imagination and the ability to daydream everything else in the world can fade into nothing.

Why do you do what you do?  there is no other way

Explain what you do in 100 words- i'm a magician I make sad and beautiful things i write poems about ghosts and scars dance to music that allows me to pretend I am no longer human and take photos of places no one sees, and people the way no one sees them.

What art do you most identify with? Mixed media anything with a lot of layers, hidden secrets….also Roman’s photography

What work do you most enjoying doing? do what you love and it's not work.....

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? large abandoned hotel on Star Island off the coast of New Hampshire lighthouse in the background on another island, foot steps echoing in large empty hallways. My parents were bored and I was in heaven

What themes do you pursue? Victorian malaise, decay, faded beauty, a slow demise into mental illness.

How many pieces of work do you produce in a year? Countless. Every moment is a piece of work.

Has anyone in your life influenced your work? everyone influences me either good inspiration or bad

What would you consider your largest success to date in your art career? having work shown this july in a gallery in ny, Also the recent paintings I have done with roman are personal successes. 

What are your goals for 2013- don't starve to death

Which past & present artists do admire? Waterhouse Klimpt, Mucha, Nan Golden, Lillian Bassman, Wes Anderson, Sebastian Horsely, Chuck Palahniuk, Brett Easton Ellis, Anne Sexton, Donald Hall, Damien Rice.

Do you remember the first piece you created?  (if so, do you have a picture of your first art piece?) don't remember, probably something terrible but very earnest

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?  (if so, do you have a photo?) Divine comedy paintings done with Roman, they are our monster, a portrait of our demons, and a masterpiece

Do you listen to music while creating? / Is music an influence on your work? if so what is your favorite? There is usually music playing anything from classical to ambient electronic to black metal, depends on the day.

What are your favorite materials? paper ,time, imagination, loss, love

For you personally, do you feel the internet has had a postive or negative influence on your work? well for many years it allowed me to live comfortably and sell art for a living....when I sold under the name "stilettoheights" on etsy I did very well on the internet, after my 2 year sabbatical things seem different online,....bigger, colder. I think it still is a great influence on the work though because the ease in which to find new artists is incredible

What good advice can you pass along, to emerging artists? make something you love, don't listen to anyone else.

What is your first memory of your craft? Are you self taught or did someone teach & encourage you? I taught myself, as for encouragement, it started happening when I started selling my work. Now I learn and am encouraged on a daily's the beauty of having a collaborator.

How would you describe the style of your work?  layered with metaphor, visual time travel victorian melancholy. 

What type of materials do you most love to create with? old paper, dead flowers, found objects

When you shop for materials, what makes you shake in your boots & screams to you "BUY ME"! Anything with a story to tell, I will always be a sucker for old letters, and photos that someone has thrown away/

What are your inspirations? my dreams, ghosts, past lives, love, loss

Why do you think people should buy handmade?  there is no reason to not.


How did you meet?
We met at a dance studio. I am pretty sure i jumped over a table and a
chair to greet her and then hugged her like a maniac (they want you to
be excited for your costumers at Fred Astaire). She was my student for
about seven months and then I quit because she was the only
entertaining thing there and I wasn't motivated to make money but art.

How did the dance partnership blossom into the artistic partnership?

It was first an artistic partnership. The first time I quit dance
business, we were already writing together. It was partly for my
collage writing class. After multiple partners who had the
intelligence and emotional depth of a squirrel, I decided i would
rather make something beautiful then waste my time on an empty but a
"successful" moment.

What about the other person inspires you?
The female hysteria and general malaise.

Why do you work together?
It does me honor to just be in company with a creative genius like
Jennifer. It's the aura and the energy of an artist that people feed
off of. Most people are like vermin when it comes to that, but to
really communicate you need to get to a higher level. Communication
with ordinary human beings is unbearable.

What personally motivated you to begin creating?
With the impossibility to destroy the world or kill myself, I decided
to make the best of what there is.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Can't remember, probably blocked it out.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I was a waiter at a Turkish restaurant for a year and I've taught
Ballroom dance at Fred Astaire for about four years. They should make
a sitcom about it. A misanthrope in the service industry.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
The time where you lay in bed right about to fall asleep is always eye-opening.

Is the artistic life lonely?
Yes, but only when it's stops being an artistic life. If you're lonely
by yourself then you're in a bad company.

What do you dislike about the art world?
The artists, the galleries, the people who see the art and the people
who buy and sell it.

Name something you love, and why.
The ability to change. Morphing into something new is an ability we
all have but are too sane to do it. Boredom is the only evil.

Name something you don’t love, and why.
The holidays. They remind us that nothing is special.

What is your dream project?

To go on a tour where I perform the the most outrageous fits of becoming.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Buy our artwork, give us attention, and lots of money.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
Try not to starve to death, but I will try anything once.

What wouldn’t you do without?
I could probably do without anything at all. Anything at all...

Why do you do what you do?

The clock is ticking and death is the deadline, yet there is
absolutely nothing worth doing.

What art do you most identify with?
Music. It's been with me since the beginning and it will be with me at my end.

What work do you most enjoying doing?
Nobody enjoys doing work but everybody loves to play but nobody
remembers how to play.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
Watching the rain hit the puddles.

What themes do you pursue?
The extremes of human emotion

How many pieces of work do you produce in a year?

It really depends what medium we focus on and how much focus we give
it. I started working on producing electronic music since i quit my
job and we also started taking hundreds more pictures then before.
Right now we are working on a dance piece to submit or perform
somewhere. We also started working on still-art this week.

What would you consider your largest success to date in your art career?
Our works are being exhibited in New York this July, 2013.

What are your goals for 2013

Learn how to sing and play guitar.

Which past & present artists do admire?
Emil Cioran, Yoshiki Hayashi, Kim Carlsson from Hypothermia, Andrei
Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa, Takeshi Kitano, Luis Bunuel, Sebastian
Horsley, Klaus Kinski, Chuck Palahniuk. Not in any order and too many
to list.

Do you remember the first piece you created?  (if so, do you have a
picture of your first art piece?)


What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?  (if so, do
you have a photo?)

The Divine Comedy. Its a disgusting looking triptych painting that is
the definition of a masterpiece. Its sad that we can't share it
because a photo doesn't do it justice. There is so little galleries
here and half of them don't even reply.

Do you listen to music while creating? Is music an influence on your
if so what is your favorite
More often then not. Sometimes we listen to classical music, sometimes
to deep dungeon dubstep. You never know.

For you personally, do you feel the internet has had a positive or
negative influence on your work?

The internet has always been my main source of finding new art.
Especially music, since most local artists are totally worthless. A
good balance is the key I guess, but somehow pornography always finds
a way into my work. Not just in a sexual sense but in a sense that it
kills innocence and the magic of real life experience.

What good advice can you pass along, to emerging artists?

I like egg sandwiches, cheesecakes and fruit if you ever meet me.

What is your first memory of your craft? Are you self taught or did
someone teach & encourage you?

Acting was my first craft which my mother had me and my brother do.
For the holidays, we did small performances for our family when we
were little. My mother is a painter, designer and a writer although
she doesn't think so.

How would you describe the style of your work?
It's like standing on top of a snow covered mountain, walking through
the dense fog without knowing where the edge is.

What type of materials do you most love to create with?
Organic ones. Instruments over digital, hands over brushes, living
over writing, laughter over art.

When you shop for materials, what makes you shake in your boots &
screams to you "BUY ME"!

This country is so diseased by advertisements that everything already
screams that at me. I hardly shop for materials and last week i found
a mirror in the dumpster to paint on.

What are your inspirations?

Imagination. Existence is communicating with itself all the time.
Imagination is the undefined nonsense that makes this life possible.
So you could say I am in love with death and it's fearful mysterious

Why do you think people should buy handmade?
I don't think they should buy anything except our work, regardless
whether it's handmade or not cause you know it will be beautiful.


(Jennifer to Roman)

1- what inspires you? why?
Repression. You never see anyone scream in public, nor do you ever see anything unusual. Bringing a bit of individual essence to the world that's incredibly dull is my aim.

3- describe your perfect day?
Walking around ordinary environment in complete ecstasy and bliss.

4- do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, i happen to know one. Luckily she is a friendly ghost and we make art together. Sometimes if you're lucky you will get a chance to see us haunt different places.

5- can 2 people share the same dream?
I believe so. I've had occasions in my childhood where me and my brother were in the same dream. I think it can be done again with enough training.
6- what is the strongest of your senses?
My ears. But it's unfortunate that God gave us eyelids to shut out what is ugly but he didn't give us earflaps to shut out what is boring.

7- you have an in incredible ability to remember all music you have ever heard, how does this affect your memories?
Not true. Only the music that i ever enjoyed. It effects my memory in quite a bad way actually, because i don't bother remembering a lot of things.

8- what is the first music you remember hearing?
My mother's lullaby.

9- what makes you the most nervous?
Lack of energy.

10- what is your favorite book?
Probably Sebastian Horsley's memoir "Dandy in the Underworld"

11- what is your favorite quality in a person?
The funny.

12- what do you hate most (at this very moment)
The sleepiness

13- planes trains or automobiles? how do you prefer to travel
Trains of course. It has been many years since I've been on one.

14- dream "vacation"?
If it has to be this planet then i would say Chernobyl. The kind environment i grew up in, except destroyed. What can be more inspiring then that?

15- do you sing in the shower
No, usually just in public.

16- if you could time travel, what time would you go to?
Sometime before or after human existence.

17- favorite art form?
Cinema since it incorporates all the mediums.

18- favorite artist?
Jennifer Gordon at the moment.

19- do you prefer being happy, sad, angry, bittersweet?
Bittersweet and a little sour.

20- do you believe in regrets?
I don't, but that's maybe it's because i don't have any. At least not yet.

21- if you could be a criminal of some kind and get away with it, what kind would you be?
A tyrant. It even has a nice ring to it.

Roman to Jennifer

1. In what kind of place did you grow up and what kind of influence had it had on your life?

I grew up in New Hampshire, which is a stereotypical part of New's beautiful, historic, brutally cold in winter, and deep thick air during summer, the autumns are perfect. The east coast has abandoned factories and mills the way the midwest has farms, and the west has the desert. It is the landscape just as much as the rocky coast line and the granite filled mountains.
My family was very 'east coast' they were not overly warm or affectionate, they were closed off emotionally to "outsiders" or to the public,  and were fiercely private. That's not to say they were unemotional, they were just at odds I believe on how one should express emotions perhaps. This has shaped me, I realize more now than I used to how much an influence my upbringing and the locale has had on me, and in turn, being away from that 'home' has also had a profound effect. A intense feeling of displacement. It is almost tangible.

2. What is your biggest life accomplishment? - just the every day survival of life....not killing myself, or becoming a shut in.....pretty big accomplishments to be honest.

3. What are you working on at the moment? - trifecta of paintings with my artistic collaborator. Photos, a series of short stories, and thousand different moments merged into dance.

4. What individuals had the most influence in your life, be it bad or good? everyone leaves a finger print on your life, even strangers on the street, and good and bad is all how you look at it. If I had to narrow it down I would have to say my mother has had the biggest influence on my life.....both good and bad.

5. What's the biggest hardship you went through? my father being ill, watching a person deteriorate in front of your eyes, become literally and figuratively a shell. It was horrifying. Also living in ohio....

6. Have you ever had a supernatural experience? Yes, my father was sick for a long time, and while living in the house he had a bell that he would ring to get my mom's attention, because he was too weak to talk. After he passed away my mother moved to miami and I moved back into the house, every night for about a month I would wake up to the sound of a bell, very clearly coming from his downstairs bedroom. I feel like he was confused, my mother was no longer there and he was trying to find her. one night I went downstairs and just talked to the air, explained where my mom went, and that the bell was scaring me, though I knew he did not mean to. It stopped after that.....I only heard it on a few occasions after that, usually when I was under a lot of emotional stress, or if  I was very sad. As if he was reassuring me. I have other ghost stories too....but this one is the least frightening to me to tell.

7. What artist are inspiring you at the moment? Roman Sirotin.....someday he will be studied in books, and statues will be carved of him. He .is a beautiful, mad, genius

8. If you could replace any season and weather, what would you replace it with? I would probably get rid of summer, specifically oppressive heat, though I would keep summer rain storms, on the ocean. I would replace everything with autumn, or sire and flood....but fire and flood are not really a "weather"

9. What do you like about yourself the most? that I can be funny.....also I think I'm capable of deeply profound
heart hurting love (this is something I sometimes can hate too).

10. Do you think there is art or questions that are just too personal? no such thing as too personal art, and questions only seem too personal when the wrong person is asking. You can ask me anything ;)

11. What kind of significance do you think your art has on you and other people? art is a diary, i can speak without talking, which I love. most time talking gets in the way. silence is best. I hope other people feel the same way

12. What kind of environment is the most inspiring and uninspiring to you? I love faded beauty, people and places that were once stunning, and have somehow fallen into disrepair, where the only thing left of who or what they once were is the memory, or the ghost. it's why i love abandoned places, and why I love a beautiful face with sad or haunted eyes.

13. In the grand scheme of things, what do you think the meaning and purpose behind all this? To feel

14. What kind of future do you predict for yourself and mankind in general? Myself.......i will probably make some people evry happy, and some very sad, I will exist the only way I know how, I will try to survive every day, I will sob, dance, and laugh more than most people on the planet ever will, and then one day....I won't. The end.  The rest of mankind.....i don't really know. probably die out in a plague of type 2 diabetes.

15. What are your favorite words?'s my current favorite

16. What inspired you to be an artist? i know no other way to live.

17. Describe your as an individual and an artist? ghost girl, teller of stories, muse, dancer, poet.....i guess this works for myself as a person and an artist. it's all the same

18. What's your favorite story and why? it's not finished being written yet. ;) until that time, it's the haunting of hill house, by shirley jackson....i was drawn in during the first few lines, i was prisoner to that book until I was done, no other novel has ever had that effect. I still get chills when I think of Elanor saying 'stories end in lovers meeting"

19. What are you doing when you're not creating? making funny faces and funny noises. teaching my dog sign language, haunting abandoned buildings, work out.....and on occasion have incredible dreams.....but that also requires me to sleep.

20. What would people be surprised to learn about you? i played "hookers" and lesbian call girl barbie when I was little. I have no idea how I even knew what those things were

21.  Favorite animal? Why? any kind of fox......Because they are perfect, I feel like if I look into their eyes, they recognize me as one of their kind.

Your worst habit and obsession? worrying is my worst habit, and being paralyzed with fear, doubting myself, feeling broken inside, those are sadly my worst obsession.....also i guess chinese food.....its the reason I am poor.

Jennifer and Roman are offering 10% off in their Etsy Shoppe!! OH MY!!!!  This is only for Creative Souls members. Please use the code creativesouls if you order something from their Etsy shoppe.

Roman's website -
Jennifer's website -