Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

Artist, filmmaker, musician, muralist, ripping skateboarder, art director, ROCK STAR. April Jones is all of these things and more.

“Artist is a very vague term so it’s hard to describe what I do because I try to do everything. I’m an artist through filmmaking, skateboarding, painting, photography, animation and even the art of conversation (laughs). ” She decides “Producer” most aptly describes what she would call herself because she produces in all the above mediums in one form or another.  Even so she can’t help mentioning her favorite and most fantasized title of “Rock Star” a few more times throughout the interview (and rightly so).

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Maybe you’ve seen her cruising the streets of the LES or in Tompkins Square Park on her BMX bike. There’s just something different about her. A distinct sense of style, flair and self-assured confidence that oozes into the air. Meet Anastasia Akulinina…amazingly talented artist, designer and street culture queen.

Hometown: Stavropol, Russia
School: Academy of Architecture and Art, Rostov-on-don, Russia.
Travels: Paris, Berlin, Belgium, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, New York

At 23, Anastasia has already had 8 years of focused art studies , makes up half of the Russia design crew called LAB261 and keenly notes how her new hobby of BMX inspires her work. “I like BMX flatland tricks because they’re like magic. It’s more like a philosophy with having to feel your balance and the bike. It opens my mind up and I think of new and cool things. It’s inspiration for my drawings and for my future projects.”

Apparently having passion, determination and talent equates to looking like a natural even though she’s only had a BMX bike for 3 weeks!  In reality she’s been dreaming about freestyle BMX for 5 years but didn’t have the the money for a bike until now. Instead she ‘substituted’ her dream with skateboarding since 2006, becoming one of the first females to skate in Russia with features in regional videos. How do you like them apples? When she borrowed someone’s board on the sidewalk and landed a kickflip first try you knew it was no joke. Yet, she modestly smiles and amusingly declares she just wants to draw, design, and meet more creative & inspiring people.

As for her current in-store installation at Zakka in Brooklyn (photos below), Anastasia simply asked the store owner with earnest aplomb, ” I see you have a big white wall and it’s like a dream for me. Can I draw?” The 2 wall piece was drawn in ‘real time’, where people could see the progress over a month time span and was completed this past week. Last year she was invited to collaborate with 6 other artists at the Lucky Gallery in NYC, where she produced amazing work and clinched her love for New York with a vow to return. She’s back. Take definite notice!