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    Trainspotting for Art's Sake: Young Russian Artist 'Humanizes' Railway (PHOTOS)

    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
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    Meet Sonya Stepanenko, a talented 18 year-old artist from Moscow, who grafts human personalities onto images of Russian passenger trains, Sapsan expresses, and even cargo carriages. She first visualizes them in her mind and then creates the characters on paper, she noted in an interview to Sputnik.

    The girl, who goes online under the nickname Drofa, has recently started sharing her 'humanized' art pieces on Facebook, prompting  praise and commentary from railway personnel. Sputnik Poland spoke to Sonya about this and a great deal more.

    Wagon moskiewskiego metro w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)
    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
    Wagon moskiewskiego metro w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)

    Sputnik: Sonya, do you happen to remember how the idea to make a portrait of a train occurred to you?

    Sonya: I remember standing on the platform late one evening. When my train arrived, its image immediately struck me.

    Sputnik:  Do you often go travelling? Can you recall the farthest point you have ever reached by train?

    Nowoczesny wagon moskiewskiego metro w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)
    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
    Nowoczesny wagon moskiewskiego metro w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)

    Sonya: I travel pretty rarely due to lack of money. Nevertheless, I travelled pretty much by train when I was a little girl. The longest trip I went on then was from Russia to Denmark.

    Sputnik: In one of the interviews, you said that you can visualize some of your characters in their entirety. Can you describe them? Their character, perhaps, or age? What’s your favorite one?

    Sonya: I’ve got my own characters that personify my hobbies. My fave is a female soldier called Tatyana. She is cheerful and fun-loving, and she never gives up.

    Sapsan - szybki pociąg, który kursuje między Moskwą a Petersburgiem w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)
    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
    "Sapsan" - szybki pociąg, który kursuje między Moskwą a Petersburgiem w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)

    Sputnik: Trains always leave one place and head for another one. Is it typical of your characters as well? Do they have a native city or nationality, perhaps?

    Sonya:  Haven’t thought about this yet. All changes or additions to my characters come to my over time.

    Sputnik: Have you even painted trains or train carriages abroad?

    Sonya: Not yet.

    „Łastoczka” (Jaskołka) w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa).
    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
    „Łastoczka” (Jaskołka) w wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa).

    Sputnik: What’s your take on graffiti? It’s rather common to put graffiti images on train carriages. Would you like to try this genre?

    Sonya: I’m okay with graffiti as far as it doesn’t become vandalism. And yes, I’d like to try it, just out of curiosity.

    Sputnik: You said some railway staffers had written to you. Do they also see trains as living creatures? Can you recall any interesting comments?

    Sonya: Yep, they make comments on my works, laugh, suggest that I pick new trains, as well as point to some drawbacks. Below one of my posts, one girl technician from a train depot wrote that she would love to give all the "female" trains a hug.

    Pociąg ER2R w kierunku podmoskiewskigo miasteczka Nachabino w Wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)
    © Sputnik / Drofa (Sofia Dorofeeva)
    Pociąg ER2R w kierunku podmoskiewskigo miasteczka Nachabino w Wykonaniu Sofii Stepanenko (Drofa)

    Sputnik: Have you thought about broadening the choice of your characters? By, for instance, 'humanizing' planes?

    Sonya: Not yet.

    Sputnik: Have you received any orders or offers since you started posting your art? How do you see yourself in the future after you finish your studies?

    Sonya: I got some orders even before my 'humanizations' appeared. I can’t say for sure what my future occupation will be, but I would certainly like it to be connected with art.

    READ MORE: Photographers From Some 40 States to Compete for 2018 Stenin Contest Prize

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    trains, railway, painting, art, Moscow, Russia
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