- Hakan Öztunalı
Shimmering Arcane Visage w/ Naya Kotko
Updated: Feb 26
Illusions, allusions and delusions.. Disperse your blustering clouds. On this day, I am honored to invite Naya Kotko into my desolated realm to encircle with her moonlight.
Naya Kotko is distinctive visual artist, photographer and gothic dreamer. Her inventive artistry interpretation towards depiction of picturesque must seen.
She has got deep comprehension of symbolism with elaborate touching and detailing what she perceive in an alternate form.
I believe we need more souls like Naya, she has a special place in my heart. Her artwork influences me heavily-indicating that there are much more to behold new meaningful concepts which stimulates my current presence. I would like to thank her for everything she do, brought shimmer into my arcane visage.
The semiology behind her work begets interesting inference. For the most part, she prefer to wield moon, vampiric manifestation, witchy ornaments, personal fashion style, crescent and thematic gothic components to disclose new identification via emphasized photoshoots.
Static imagery with a finesse theme setting can boost and enhance the visualization if it embraced by story-telling and commitment.
Without further ado, leap to our interview to witness how she become master of her devotion!
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers who may not know you yet?
Naya Kotko: Hello all, I’m Naya Kotko photographer, visual artist and gothic dreamer. I create photos.
I want to thank you for your interest in me and my work. I very rarely talk about myself or the process of my photography on the internet. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to do so.
Evidently, you are blending goth/gothic style for your appearance & maintain as a life-style. Usually, I see people dressing in the same way with merely forming contrast from the black and white color palette. You are dauntless to use other color tones. What is your secret?
Naya Kotko: I don’t have a lot of colors in my closet, but I try to use them to the fullest, trying to break the canons of the genre.
I think that the Gothic style is inextricably linked to the emotions of people, to their fears and experiences. That’s a palette of colors and associations, so I try to add colors and textures to evoke the necessary associations.
Shape and dynamics also have a strong influence on perception. I think in a gothic way, you can create visual images beyond the black and white palette by using distinctive shapes and subjects.
At the end of the day, chances are everyone perceives color differently, so it’s not that big of a deal.
The backstage for your photoshoots must be fatigable. Besides, compiling the whole work to create the finale product, sounds burdensome. What are the difficulties of being a visual artist?
Naya Kotko: Good question! There are difficulties at every stage!
First you have to think about the concept of the future work, prepare the makeup, arrange the wig, prepare the materials, and sometimes you have to sew the clothes if the idea of the future shoot requires it. For most photos, I act as the model and photographer.
The process of shooting turns into a run from the camera and back, it is especially difficult and sometimes dangerous with complex images and sprawling clothing. In particularly difficult cases, I turn to my husband, who meekly pushes the buttons, following my capricious instructions.
I am immensely happy when I get to work with models and assistants, time with them turns into a continuous stream of creativity and pleasure. Thank you very much! They also reduce the amount of bruising and broken things I always get when shooting alone.
Equally time consuming (and sometimes more difficult) is the post-processing of photos. At its best, the photo undergoes color correction and other light processing, but much more often it’s a complete redo of the shot!
Going through the material, it’s very hard to resist new ideas and images, sometimes beyond the original intent. I combine several shots at a time and even draw some details from scratch, scolding myself each time for going so far.
But most of the time it’s worth it, but when you deviate from the original intent, you have to remember that it will bring new challenges and possible additional shoots. Among the unforeseen difficulties is the workplace. Because of the moves, you have to do the final drawing literally on your knees, on tiny screens and in an unfavorable environment.
But in the end I always feel relief and satisfaction when I finish a new picture.
You create your own realms. In other words, escapism, where fantasies prevail under control. Could you depict one of your fantasy?
Naya Kotko: I do have a lot of different fantasies. Sometimes a short description of the world or the subject is good for figuring out how to structure a photo shoot.
Right now I’m working on a series of photos called “Isle of Swords”. These are female figures with no faces and swords. The island itself is a place of oblivion and an echo of unjustified cruelty, violence, exploits and bravery, a place where everything is equally forgotten. Perhaps in the future I will share a description of this world in more detail.
How do you see yourself from the viewpoint of omniscient?
Naya Kotko: Ahaha. I’d probably say: – Why does she shove the moon everywhere ?
In general, I’m pretty self-critical, especially about my work. I always see that I need to work and develop more.
According to my observation, you reached a level where you unlocked the gates of serenity and maturity. Can we say Naya Kotko reached the final form of her individuality or there is much more to delve into mortal life?
Naya Kotko: I’m afraid I still have a lot to learn.
Every day the world changes, and so do I. I dream of such peace in life, but I am very far from it. The throes of creativity have not yet let go.
Symbolism of Witches, one of the primordial movement comprises esotericism, wellness and mysticism. There are various chaotic/dark elements as well. The age we live in seems to be changing. How do you describe your scenery and role about this topic?
Naya Kotko: The era, of course, has changed greatly, but the love of the dark and mystical has only increased.
If before it was all feared and condemned, now it’s the opposite. Although not quite.
I remember at the beginning of my career I was very afraid to show my art to my relatives. Even now do not readily touch the subject with them. So I think in today’s world I wanted to get rid of more of the prejudices of the old era…
I don’t quite understand my role in this, I certainly have a lot to say, but for now I just do what I like and how I see fit, not particularly attached to certain symbols and meanings. It seems to me that it is possible to let go of the obligatory attributes of witch culture and add new forms, designs and patterns and still remain mystical and dark.
Modern form language and people’s tastes have evolved enough to bring my favorite witch aesthetic even into mainstream trends.
What do you like to do in a daily routine?
Naya Kotko: Hmm…probably a morning cup of coffee and an evening cup of lavender tea. There is very little joy or favorite things in my current routine.
You are interviewing me at a very difficult time in my life. It will be interesting to read it in a couple of years.
What would you like to see to be altered or renovated in the fashion community?
Naya Kotko: I want a more eco-friendly approach to fashion, to eliminate overconsumption from it. For fashion to pay more attention to the creation of ecological clothing production, at least partially.
I understand that in our reality this is sometimes impossible. But we must strive to be in harmony with the world and nature. And people need more freedom of choice and accessibility.
Clothes are your armor, your style is your inner world. You can be stylish and unique in any outfit. The main thing is your imagination and comfort.
What is the garment you banned from your wardrobe?
Naya Kotko: All colored things. I can’t say that I don’t like colored things, it’s just that over time I get bored with them very quickly and become uncomfortable in them.
Black has been the perfect color for me for a very long time.
I’ve always loved the way Yohji Yamamoto talked about black. “Black is both humble and arrogant, casual and comfortable. And mysterious at the same time. But most of all, black means: “I don’t bother you and you don’t bother me.”
I would love to have any of your work. Do you have plans for creating your e-commerce business line?
Naya Kotko: You can always write to me on instagram or by mail. I will be more than happy to tell you how you can get my work.
Soon I will open my patreon, there will be a lot of interesting content that you can get and see only there. I also plan to finish my website for easy purchase of my works. In the development of course a lot of commercial material.
In addition to the prints of my work, there will also be different merchandise and possibly 3D printing. But this intrigue I will leave for the future.
How did you refine your aesthetic knowledge in terms of composing niche concepts?
Naya Kotko: In the beginning I acted instinctively and relied on my taste. Just combining everything in my visual library.
I don’t say that now I approach it more systematically, but with experience, I see more clearly what I need to learn or study before the next job.
I think everything is still ahead and you can always improve and learn new things, then run them through the lens of your mind and show people exactly how you see it!
Could you share a hint about your upcoming projects?
Naya Kotko: I have a long list of upcoming projects. While I’m busy looking for new places and new people to work with.
There is an opportunity to assemble a team of enthusiasts like me. It’s easier to work in a team.
So if you are reading this interview and you are interested in my work. Write to me. (a minute of advertising ahah)
Naya Kotko’s Instagram Page: @kot__ko
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