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Featured Shop: Yelena Bryksenkova

Jun 13, 2014

by Yelena Bryksenkova

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Yelena Bryksenkova, and I’m an illustrator and fine artist living and working in New Haven, Connecticut.

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I opened my shop while I was still a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. I was busy with schoolwork, so my shop was a small-scale operation that I ran on the side. Just before I graduated in 2010, I submitted my work to Design*Sponge and was featured in a post. This turned out to be a very timely move, and as orders began to trickle in, I started thinking about a more efficient method of printing. That summer, I purchased a refurbished, professional-quality Epson printer and started making my own prints, learning about shipping and customer service as I went along. I work as a full-time illustrator now, and I’m glad I started my shop all those years ago – quietly and without any rush – because it’s paying off now, like a plant I’ve been watering patiently for almost five years. Slowly and steadily, it has grown into a valuable counterpart to my freelance work.

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I get a lot of questions about larger prints but, believe it or not, most of the prints I offer are already enlargements. I work very small and become completely engrossed in details. A lot of my inspiration comes from Eastern European folk art and 19th century painting, photography and literature, but also everyday life and all sorts of romantic notions and nostalgic recollections. People often find meaning or emotion in something I’ve painted; they send me little messages about a distant memory it stirred, how it reminds them of someone they love or something they’ve lost. I like to think of these as my silent, secret transmissions – my prints travel great distances all over the world and settle in the homes of those who pick up on them.

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Over the years, I’ve streamlined my process of printing, packaging and shipping to make sure that prints reach my customers quickly, safely and packaged like presents, with bright tissue paper, washi tape and a handwritten note. I think thoughtful presentation is a very important method of communication as well; there’s a childlike joy that comes with unwrapping a pretty package, and nothing says “thank you” and “I care” quite like taking the time to put one together.

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My shop is a direct line to people all over the world, which means everything to someone like me; I’m easily sent into a reverie at the sight of an international departures board at the airport. That I can contribute something to this world is a very heartwarming feeling. And although it comes with packaging and shipping conundrums, one of my goals for the future is to start offering larger prints. I’d also like to make some useful objects, like notebooks. As an avid collector of notebooks (I’ll use them eventually!), I have no qualms about bringing more into the world.

Follow Yelena on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

All photographs by Yelena Bryksenkova.

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Satsuma (print)
Satsuma (print)
ybryksenkova
$22.00 USD
Night Statue (print)
Night Statue (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Evening Routine (print)
Evening Routine (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
HELLO copper foil card
HELLO copper foil card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Bath Nude (print) - support PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Bath Nude (print) - support PLANNED PARENTHOOD
ybryksenkova
$12.00 USD
Green Thumb (print)
Green Thumb (print)
ybryksenkova
$18.00 USD
Moonlight Serenade (print)
Moonlight Serenade (print)
ybryksenkova
$18.00 USD
Reykjavík (print)
Reykjavík (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Cat Nap (print)
Cat Nap (print)
ybryksenkova
$22.00 USD
Somnambula (print)
Somnambula (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Perseids (print)
Perseids (print)
ybryksenkova
$25.00 USD
The Reader (print)
The Reader (print)
ybryksenkova
$18.00 USD
The Breakdown (print)
The Breakdown (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
UNbirthday card
UNbirthday card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Philodendron (print)
Philodendron (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Lakehouse (print)
Lakehouse (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Watering the Plants (print)
Watering the Plants (print)
ybryksenkova
$22.00 USD
Love Fan gold foil card
Love Fan gold foil card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Reading (print)
Reading (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Nude in the Kitchen (print)
Nude in the Kitchen (print)
ybryksenkova
$22.00 USD
Herbarium (print)
Herbarium (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Dance Party For One (print)
Dance Party For One (print)
ybryksenkova
$22.00 USD
Siamese Cat (print)
Siamese Cat (print)
ybryksenkova
$18.00 USD
Blackberry Jam (print)
Blackberry Jam (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Unicorn (print)
Unicorn (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Patti Smith (print)
Patti Smith (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Flower Basket thank you card
Flower Basket thank you card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Lacy birthday gold foil card
Lacy birthday gold foil card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Margarita (print)
Margarita (print)
ybryksenkova
$25.00 USD
The Arrival (print)
The Arrival (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
THANK YOU copper foil card
THANK YOU copper foil card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
Unicorn thank you card
Unicorn thank you card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD
New Baby card
New Baby card
ybryksenkova
$4.50 USD
Walk in the Park (print)
Walk in the Park (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
L'inconnue (print)
L'inconnue (print)
ybryksenkova
$20.00 USD
Father's Day card
Father's Day card
ybryksenkova
$5.00 USD

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