Viachaslau Semeniuta: Capturing the world through in bright-neon colors.
04.05.2019 | Share — Twitter Facebook Copy link
Thisset aka Local Preacher is a visual scientist as he describes himself. Slava - as he is called in real life is keen to experiment with everything he sees around and capturing it in beautiful brigh colors through his camera lens. He doesn't have his own permanent studio, but if he ever did, he would call it the HYPER UNIVERSE. Here is his story:
What led you into your current career path?
I went to an art school in Minsk located in Belarus. My goal was to become an artist and sell my paintings. As a child I loved to draw dinosaurs, space, underwater world and robots with monsters. In high school I really liked the subject "composition" because in this subject I could use my imagination to create art. I liked didn't enjoy drawing still lifes and landscapes so much, but the basics of academic drawing and painting helped me to get a better feeling for the volume of objects. It also teached me to balance light and shadow and combining colors.
The next thing I remember, was when I saw colorful pictures in the national geographic magazine. I was very impressed by all the places visited by these great photographers. This marked a turning poit an at that moment I realized that I wanted to become a photographer and travel the world.
A few years later I bought an ultraviolet lamp and a fluorescent marker. I played aimlessly with these two items for a while until my girlfriends asked me for helping out on their musical group's project. I wrote lyrics with fluorescent markers on their bodies under an ultraviolet lamp. After this photoshoot, I began to dive deep into this method and experiment in this new direction.
How do you keep in touch with the creative world and community and how does the creative scene look like in your city?
I'm the kind of guy who likes to do things on his own. I enjoy the whole complex creative process of creating an image: from the photoshoot itself to the editing on my computer, to finally publishing the the project on Behance.
I also believe that doing collaborations with other photographers doesn't make sense to me, because I'm very interested to own the whole process from A to Z.
I like to do collaborations with artists in those areas that I do not have touchpoints with or at least a minimum. Normally these are mostly musicians.
I recently photographed Nikita Zabelin for his new solo project called 'Tesla'. We both like futurism, anime and cyberpunk. It was very interesting for me to work with him and we will extend our cooperation in future.
GLOWING CITY is a project that I've collected throughout the year. Only by the end of 2018 I realized that all these photos with buildings need to be merged into one project. I tried different color schemes, but settled on hot orange. The result was a very interesting and atmospheric set with a post-apocalyptic mood.
PALMS ON ACID is one of my first experiments with acid photo processing in photoshop. I photographed many different palm trees in the city of Sochi (South of Russia) and I thought that I do not want to stick to usual photos.
I decided that I would try to replace the background of the sky behind the palm leaves. So I did and I was pleased!
After that I decided to continue and added glow to some leaves.
This is just a photo where I jump in front of a red wall in summer of 2017. I love parkour, I love to jump, ride long boards, SAP surf, climb trees and much more.
What’s your workspace setup?
I am visiting Minsk - Belarus for the last few weeks, staying with an old friend. I came to apply for a visa for my upcoming inspiring trip to China - this time to Shanghai. My workspace is often far from ideal and comfortable and often times changing, but I have learned to adapt and tune into the workflow anywhere.
Have a look at some of the photos and videos of my workspaces below.
What are your 5 favorite work tools/apps and how do use them?
My main tools that I use is my Sony Alpha 7R2 camera with a Sigma ART 50mm lens, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, a compact ultraviolet lamp, fabric fluorescent backgrounds that I bought in a regular fabric store and of course my new source of inspiration: the Roland TR-8S drum machine.
A glimpse into my recent Photoshop files and latest edits I worked on.
I like to sort my programs in groups, it is my prefered way of organizing.
I love electronic music and I often work as a DJ on interesting world events just for me. At the beginning of this year I learned about the cool drum machine ROLAND TR-8S and I bought it when I was in Moscow soon after. Besides being a powerful musical instrument, it looks very futuristic and love the cool aesthetics!
Wacom graphic tablets are my old love. As I wrote above I love to draw and draw since I was a child. When I learned that you can fully draw on computer I really wanted to give it a try. Now I can not only create paintings, but also use it for retouching and editing of photos and videos. Besides I am still engaged in civil modeling using zBrush.
What other creative(s) do you admire for their work? Have you collaborated or thought of collaborating with other like-minds?
In Sochi, I didn't meet many creative people that inspired me. While I lived in Sochi, I communicated with the outside world mostly via Instagram, Facebook and the Russian social network VK.
If I need to find a model for a new project, I simply seatch and send this person a direct message and wait for the answer. Many creative people which I know are in Moscow and in Minsk. For this reason, I want to move to Moscow for a while.
What’s your favorite hack to get work done?
All I have to do to get a job inquiry is to do what I do all the time: I just take pictures of things I like. My projects include: girls, nature, macro, sky, city and more. After publishing these high-quality images and design projects, I always receive a couple of interesting work opportunities and offers. I always emphasize that I am not fixating on one thing, I take pictures of everything that I like. Many years of experience in drawing and photographing influenced my work with a special signature-style with acid colors. This makes me stand out among many other photographers and designers.
What creative or non-creative challenges do you face at work?
There are very few problems I encounter during my workflow. The main problem that I usually solve quickly is the search for new girl models for a new project. Everything else is a very interesting process…well, except that the lack of hours in the day :) I don't mean that I don't have time to do my job. I'm talking about the fact that I always want to do more, because I have so many ideas.
What projects are you most proud of and excited about?
My favorite projects are all new projects that I have done recently or that I am currently doing. Each project is very impressive, exciting and an inspiring process for me that influences following projects.
But if I had to choose two most special projects that mean a lot to me, it would be WET NEON and NEON QUICKSILVER. Both of these projects contain photos of puddles on asphalt. I'm glad I was able to see something very magical in something very ordinary and convey it in the best photographic way.
NUDE Coca Cola is a trial pilot project to attract different major brands who are willing to create provocative and challenging advertising projects.
NEON PASTA is my first creative photo project from which it all began. I soaked ordinary spaghetti in fluorescent paint and photographed them with my girlfriend Yulia Shurmeleva in Minsk. I used an ultraviolet lamp. After that I realized that I had found limitless possibilities in this direction of visual
In this photo I'm in 2017. I was photographed by my girlfriend Yana Razumeichik in Sochi.
Where does your love to bright colors resonate from?
As a child, I always loved the unusual. At first there, I loved dinosaurs because they were extincted and no human has ever seen one. Then I saw creatures from the deep of the sea that have a very unusual look in the encyclopedia. Among them were those that shimmered with bright rainbow colors.
One of my main inspirations has always been science fiction cartoons (especially anime like "memories of the future" and many more, as well as some old Soviet cartoons like" the mystery of the third planet" and "here can tigers be found" ). There were also science fiction movies such as "artificial intelligence" inspiring me.
I am also very inspired by the outer space and the opportunity to travel through it.
I'm sure that there are many amazing things in the universe, and I often loose myself in phantasy and want to create something that will bring me closer to this.
That is why there are so many bright colors and unusual images in my work.
What’s your morning or evening routine and habit after work?
Most of my routines are centered around my kids now. It’s really all about them. Mornings are about getting them ready for daycare and evenings are about supper and getting them ready for bed. Typical parent stuff. I often joke around about having two work shifts a day. The 9 to 5 one and 8 to who-knows-when-one.
When I’m done with work, I like to decompress by watching TV or playing video games - I’m a huge gaming nerd.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day is waking up anytime between 6 and 7am. My girlfriend and I get the kids ready for daycare and I drop them off around 8:30 or so. I check my emails and browse design-related sites for about 30 mins and then start working.
I work from home so I have the privilege of taking small breaks whenever I feel like it. I have lunch anytime between 11am and 2pm and get back to work afterwards. We pick up the kids from daycare around 5pm and play around with them until supper-time. At that point, the whole night routine kicks in - dishes, baths, sleep, etc. Once the kids are asleep, around 8pm or so, I often go finish up some work for a couple hours. Most days end with me playing video games. It’s one of my favourite ways to really disconnect.
Any advice for ambitious creatives starting out?
I advise everyone who starts his career in any field to do only what you really like, otherwise you will not get an excellent result. Doing something just because most people like it is a very slippery road. We all live to be happy. But of course I'm not saying you are going to achieve it quickly. It's quite the opposite: it is a difficult and sometimes a long exhausting way.
Even if your favorite thing for a long time does not bear fruits, you at least get pleasure from the process. I believe that it is very important not to exchange it for a calm, stable, but limited by a variety of social framework life.
Life is a game in which you do not have bonus hearts. You need to live it the way you really want to, because you never know when the end of this level will arrive and whathever the next level will bring.
Where can people find you and follow you online?
People can find my work on Behance at: https://www.behance.net/thisset
On Instagram you can follow me at: https://www.instagram.com/thisset/
Thank you for the interview!
"All I have to do to get a job inquiry is to do what I do all the time: I just take pictures of things I like."
Quote by Local Preacher