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Meet LCC graduate and multimedia artist Polina Belenchuk

Illustration representing the Guerrilla Girls movement by Polina Belenchuk
  • Written byGiada Maestra
  • Published date 05 June 2023
Illustration representing the Guerrilla Girls movement by Polina Belenchuk
Polina's entry for Tate Collective Open Call | Photo courtesy of Polina Belenchuk

Polina Belechuk graduated in Graphic and Media Design at the London College of Communication in 2017. She started her own company called Belenchuk Arts Limited in 2022 and was commissioned by Tate Collective to create a billboard for their Open Call 2.0.

In this interview, she talks about being a creative entrepreneur in London and her - very pink - art practice.

Tate Collective is Tate's scheme open to 16-25 year olds worldwide that gives you access to discounted tickets, free events, and opportunities.

Polina's collage workshop
Collage stand in MOYNAT shop | Photo courtesy of Polina Belenchuk

You graduated from LCC BA Graphic and Media Design. Can you share your experience of College with us?

I graduated with a BA in Graphic and Media Design from the London College of Communication (LCC) in 2017. During my studies, I worked on many different projects that helped me better understand my career path. I particularly enjoyed UAL’s workshops and printing facilities because I love creating tactile as well as digital artwork. The tutors were very supportive and encouraging, and the academic aspect of the course taught me to be reflective and critical. The UAL libraries were also exceptional, offering a wide range of materials and space for your own research.

How did attending LCC impact your creative approach?

I think I became who I am now as a result of both my studies and personal experience. For me, one doesn’t work without the other. Education gave me the freedom to play and experiment, and work taught me how to apply that freedom in business - sometimes facing the reality of what sells in the market can be disappointing. In my final year at LCC, I completed a series of personal projects that allowed me to work on new project briefs, proposals, and strategies - this made me realise I could make art outside of commercial work.

Tell us about your background and interests.

I have been working as an in-house graphic designer for an architectural bureau and a big e-commerce company for three years. During that time I have worked closely with managers, copywriters, UI/UX designers, and art directors, creating designs for a wide range of purposes. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of the world of illustration, and it was at that time that I decided to pursue my big passion for drawing and go freelance. In 2022 I founded my own company: Belenchuk Arts Limited.

Polina's collage workshop
Photo courtesy of @mr.harvey.wallbanger

What inspires your illustrations?

People and fashion. To draw a person wearing recognisable clothes in a minimalistic way, without losing the character and making it exciting to look at, it’s an inspiring challenge for me.

What's your favourite colour?

I love pink! I think it goes so well with every colour and I like to combine it with blue or black. Pink inspires me and makes me want to create - that’s why it’s so present in my work. I think I can say pink is my brand’s color.

Polina's commercial work
Cider 'I buy my own drink' | Photo courtesy of Polina Belenchuk

Can you share a career highlight that stands out to you personally?

Completing a commission for Tate Collective was a great personal achievement because I’ve always admired Tate, and what they do. I also enjoyed creating an illustration pack for the diabetes monitoring app SmartStart Health. It was a great feeling to know I was contributing to making a positive impact in the world of wellness with my art.

Polina's billboard for Tate Collective
Tate billboard | Photo courtesy of Polina Belenchuk

You recently collaborated with LCF alumni Tamta Mosulishvili on hosting a collage workshop at Moynat London for International Women's Day. Can you talk more about this experience and how you two met?

I met Tamta at the monthly Networking Drinks for Enterprising Alumni in King’s Cross, where I showed her my collages. She mentioned she needed someone to host a collage workshop at MOYNAT on the occasion of International Women’s Day so we decided to collaborate. Tamta provided space and material for the event (she even ordered pink scissors for the occasion!). I really enjoyed working with her, she’s professional, organised, and has a good eye for detail. The event went really well and we had a lot of fun!

Spend time on your personal work.

— Polina Belenchuk
Speakers at the Alumni X The Dots event 2023
Speakers at the Alumni X The Dots event in April 2023 | Photo courtesy of Berenice Guzzo
Tamta Mosulishvili and Polina Belenchuk
Tamta Mosulishvili and Polina Belenchuk | Photo courtesy of @mr.harvey.wallbanger

What advice would you give to UAL students and graduates who want to pursue a career in illustration?

I would encourage you to spend time not only on your commercial work but also invest it in your own personal art. Write down your briefs and make your own projects. You never know if one day a client will like your personal work more than what you’ve done for a commission. I created collages for fun and I wouldn't have expected them to become such a cool collaborative project with Tamta Mosulishvili at MOYNAT.

Polina Belenchuk's website

Follow Polina on Instagram  @belenchuk

Tate Collective

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