Irina was born 1961, in a small Southern Russian town near the Black Sea. From an early age, she remembers having big city dreams that manifested twice. The first manifestation was when she got accepted into the prestigious Muhina Institute of Art and Design in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is where she received her classical education in Fine Art & Industrial Design. Her second big city dream came true at the age of 30 when she moved to New York City. In America, although her life was fairly comfortable, she also faced some obstacles. She had to make a living and she had to learn English. She found herself working in an unfamiliar field, textile design– a new industry she learned on the spot while at the same time learning how to speak English. This was not easy, but Irina was very persistent. She successfully freelanced for 20+ years in this industry. Although she acquired many new skills and techniques in designing prints, she felt the commercial approach to this industry was shrinking her artist’s soul. When the recession hit, Irina’s textile design work was put on hold. It may have been a blessing because she was now back in her studio doing what she loved most. She returned to working with traditional materials that spoke to her and began exploring new techniques such as painting with coffee and ink. Her artworks became her refuge, her diary, and displayed her inner workings. Irina’s artistic focus observes the human condition and nature. She continues to explore and push the boundaries of her expression. You can find her daily sketches posted on her Instagram account.