Olena Mynenko is an artist and illustrator with time-served experience as a fashion designer. She was born and studied Fine Art in Kiev, before completing her final studies in fashion design at Barcelona. ¨I have experience of working with film production companies as well as several years as an in-house designer for Spanish designer Antonio Miro.¨ It was during this time that the creative decided to set up her namesake brand ´Olena Mynenko´. Several years later, she relocated to the more rural climes of Southern Spain with her family, and it was here that she dedicated her time and studies to interior design and tourism.
¨In 2014 my family and I moved to Brussels and it was here that I actually decided that I would dedicate all of my time to drawing and illustration. I opened up my Instagram account and from then on, was able to attract followers and clients on a regular basis.¨ Her early initiation into the illustration scene saw her work with clients such as French luxury brand Hermes and Napolese designer Luigi Borrelli in addition to undertaking a full succession of private portraits and custom illustrations.
¨In 2018 we moved again to Cape Town, where I was heavily influenced by the beauty of African Nature and created a collection of pencil sketched landscapes. After some time though, I started missing a lot ´the place where I came from.´I realised that I like to work most within the fashion field; it´s where I feel the most comfortable and can achieve immediate feedback.¨ – Olena Mynenko
Mynenko has a proven track-record of working with different techniques and mixed medias; ranging from the more traditional watercolour on paper, through to digital illustration. Her most successful projects have been from fashion brands such as Hermes where she felt ¨very proud to have had the experience to work with them in Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxembourg – creating fashion and portrait illustration sketchbooks for their events.¨
Her most passionate projects saw her affiliate with perfume and jewellery brands that were ´seeking a classic, sophisticated style but with a contemporary interpretation.´Olena is currently studying a complimentary course in social media marketing after realising the importance of this for a professional approach to her on-line business. The Instagram account is her main source of self promotion and also affords easy communication with international colleagues from the fashion side of business.
¨Instagram is where most of my clients come from. I have to learn something new every day and be flexible enough to feel connected to my Instagram audience. Right now, I am re-interpreting themes that I am interested in and finding a way to deliver them in my own, personal way. The key features that I identify with artistically are ´Classic´, ´Sophisticated´ and ´Effortless.´¨- Olena Mynenko
¨One of the projects that I am currently developing is how to get a classically elegant sketchbook on paper to another, more contemporary level. I would like to use my strong drawing skills in sketching and my fashion experience to create visual material for various types of events. This could be from a fashion show, a backstage event, brand celebration, wedding or an event where the location and visual aspect of its participants is one of the main criteria. Thanks to the digital world, I don’t need to travel anymore to specific locations to witness this. I can stay anywhere in the world (with a good WiFi connection) and follow my colleagues on social media, live-streaming directly from an event. These opportunities are ´my eyes´ and I can take as many screenshots as I need. In my case, the quality of these photos is not that important – it´s the content I see that interests me the most.¨
The first stage of Mynenko´s ´Instant Sketchbook Project´ is to create very quick sketches and then edit them with different applications to make content more engaging for the followers. In some cases, her content can even be completed and sent back to the client within the timescale of the actual event. During this process, her clients can start posting her material and promoting the event on social media ´real-time´, using the more exclusive content to engage with their fans. After this comes the second stage – the creation of a sketchbook; so that by the end of the event, all visual material is collected and can be developed into more detailed sketches which feature additional creative and artistic inputs for a premium and bespoke final result.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald / Olena Mynenko
Illustrations: Copyright Olena Mynenko