Christmas according to illustrator Anton Berezin: last-minute gifts and technology

Christmas according to illustrator Anton Berezin: last-minute gifts and technology

Massimiliano Santolin Published on 12/16/2019

Christmas is also about… rushing around, stress and presents!

An ultra-high-tech city teeming with bright monitors, last-minute offers and people running around like headless chickens, so fast their feet barely touch the ground. Among the swarms of frantic people, the artificial lights and the ubiquitous smartphones, there is also space for remembering those we hold dear and those we are forced to endure, and a touch of anxiety, only dispelled when the right purchases are made.

Raise your hand if you’ve had to buy a last-minute gift: most of you, I’m sure!

And one person who probably has his hand up is illustrator Anton Berezin, who has given us his personal reconstruction in graphical form of the Christmas period. Anton’s illustrations are a synthesis of everything that Christmas typically embodies in a large city, and the feelings of its inhabitants. A whirlwind of instant messages, chock-a-block roads, rampant consumerism and thoughts about the people who really matter. A script that will be familiar to many, but interpreted here with truly unique visual force.

Ready to take the plunge into the streets of a metropolis that can’t wait for the big day?

Good luck grabbing that final gift!

Could you please spend a few lines to describe each of the 5 artworks you’ve created? Tell us about the emotion you felt in that precise moment you conceive them, or your interpretation of the images, or some story connected to that particular artwork.

In this series, I used the general attributes of Christmas: weather, scenery and Santa Claus as additional part. As a main part, I wanted to depict some type of Christmas holidays emotions, which are not very popular in advertising campaigns or fairy tales. But I often felt that emotions at Christmas eve.

These illustrations are about a situation that has happened to many people. About the moment when you missed something important or remembered about it too late.

The first illustration talks about a funny moment. This has happened to me and, I think, with many other people. I’m talking about the moment when a person finds out that he missed something important, just browsing social nets. I mean this story is about people who are keen on some chores too much and do not notice anything around. I’m definitely one of those. Sometimes I suddenly find in Instagram that a friend’s birthday is today, or that Christmas is tomorrow.

At the second illustration, the story is developing. The hero understands that the holiday is very soon, and panic comes. He need to put aside everything and run to choose gifts. (This is not an easy thing even without any haste). The Xmas eve city is filled with so many advertising and “offers” that the hero get lost.

At the part 3 is the same city and the store, which seems to be closed very soon… The hero has to hurry.

Here you can see how the rush and the process of buying gifts are accompanied with messages from family. At this moments any person are trying to forget nothing. He is uncomfortably short of hands and time. At such moments, he thinks, “It’s a pity that there is no real Santa who would do everything instead of me”.

At the last illustration, finally, everything is well and the city calms down. Chaos of the Christmas Eve has finished. The time of family joys has come. I wanted to show the outward calm of the city after bustle ends.

Why don’t you write down a quick brief about you: who you are, what are your passions, your profession and your dreams?

I am a graphic designer and illustrator. My profession has completely determined my lifestyle. This is my job and my hobby. I can work a whole day with illustrations for a client, and then, as a rest, I start drawing something for myself. It may seem boring or monotonous. But for me, the creative process is a huge interesting world. And this world is always available to me. I just start to imagine and pick up a pencil.

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There is no Xmas without winter! What are your feelings when you think about this indissoluble couple? How Anton feels while Xmas is quickly arriving? What kind of memories do you bring to the surface during Xmas time? Feel free to be honest!

Although I do not forget about the real world either. I like traveling and I dream to see as many corners of the planet as possible.

For example, last Christmas I was in Bali. I spent time in a restaurant, which was decorated with a Christmas tree between palm trees. The waiter brought me a young coconut with the inscription “Merry Xmas” on it. I enjoy by getting a new amazing experience. Christmas holidays among palm trees is very unusual for me. Because most of my life I lived in Russia, where December is a rather cold month. It often snows. Therefore, cold and snowy weather, warm clothes… are the first things that comes to my mind when I think about Christmas.

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We know you’re living in a place used to coexist with long winter seasons. Do you think this fact could influence your artistic spirit? If the answer is “yes” could you tell us in which ways?

I also got used to short daylight hours during this holiday season. For me Christmas is associated with evening darkness and bright artificial lights. Not with something sunny. Now I am even thinking of moving somewhere to the south of Europe to spend my holidays in a more sunny place.

Obviously, the experience that I have is very influential to my works. Of course, I pic snow for the Xmas illustrations! My interest in travel-theme also can be observed. I try to look at a plot of my artwork from many points of view. Like a citizen of different cities and cultures. I used this trick with this series of illustrations too.