Ukrainian artist-illustrator, working under the name Soosh, became popular online thanks to two touching series of works: about a little girl and her huge bearded father and the friendship of two girls, one of which – a mermaid.
Soosh illustrations are very delicate (not least because the artist works only in watercolour technique), sometimes a little sad, sometimes ironic. And most of them are dedicated to small touching moments that happen in family life. These are not some loud words or lush gestures, but perhaps it is from such everyday trifles and happiness is formed.
Soosh says of his work and sources of inspiration: “I am incredibly inspired by tin boxes with different trinkets. You know, all of us used to collect these as kids. It’s a small iron box that kids put their “treasures” in: coloured glasses, shells, stones, pieces of rope, nuts, feathers – everything you could find in the yard or attic of a summer cottage. I still collect these boxes of mine. There’s some magical power in them.”
“Often my illustrations are born of a feeling of loneliness and a desire for protection. I raise my son on my own, and sometimes I wish someone would come and say: “And let me help you. I’ll do it myself, and you get some rest for now.” And this “somebody” is a big daddy with a little girl, and a forest spirit, and goddesses. And it seemed to me all the time and it still seems to me that I’m going to draw some goddess and mother of fertility and be under her protection”.
For several years now Soosh has been publishing its illustrations in Instagram, not stopping only at the series that made it famous. However, new drawings about the girl and her father do appear in the artist’s profile (now they are rarely accompanied by the girl’s mother). And in 2018 they were collected in the book “Dad By My Side”. A series dedicated to the friendship between a girl and a mermaid is also added: in one of the works Soosh portrayed them as adults, with their young children.
One of the most important series of Soosh calls the drawings of ancient goddesses. “My son and I love the fairy tales of the peoples of the North. When we read them, we got interested and started to study the history of different Northern tribes more deeply. This is where my series of illustrations about forest spirits began. I have a favorite book on this subject – Clarissa Pincola Estes “Running With Wolves”. It’s a book about female archetypes in myths and legends – very interesting!”