Alternative Realities: Olya Tsoraeva

I’m fascinated by animators. The best thing I could form out of play dough as a child was “rock cakes” or if i was feeling especially creative, a very ill-proportioned stick man. I suffered and still do suffer from the fatal combination of impatience and stumpy, clumsy fingers. “No,” my friend kindly told me, “you could never be a hand model. Unless it was for modelling bricks on a construction site.”

I’ve never seen Olya Tsoraeva’s hands but i imagine them to be long and elegant, quick and nimble. Surely they must be to create such mini masterpieces out of plasticine? And I know she’s got patience. For her stop motion film, in which she remoulded Thom Yorke’s face in an alternative video for Radiohead’s “Creep”, she spent a year in darkness: four months fiddling around with his features and nine handcrafting the animation. That’s perseverance verging on obsession.

“Don’t you lose inspiration after the first six months?” I asked an artist once.

“Yeh sure you do,” she replied “but you just keep doing what you’re doing.”

“Like a job?”

“No, not like a job. Like everyday life.”

That stuck with me. It’s a relief to know that you don’t have to be wildly creative every single day to make something wonderful. Inspiration can be a little exhausting. As I took it, don’t give up if you’re struggling to see why you started.

Here’s ‘Skinless’ written and directed by Olya Tsoraeva. It’s my favourite of her small but impressive portfolio.

Keep an eye on what she’s up to here.

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