About

Anastasia Mak

Anastasia Mak (Makarenko) was born in Ukraine, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 14, initially by herself, as an exchange student. Her parents followed her a year later. Since then, she has lived in St. Louis, Atlanta, Italy, and from 2002 onward – Chicago.

WAIT. Just let me talk to you in first person, ok? …Ah. Much better.

I’m a full-time artist who can’t quite sit still (and that is why, of course, I also always paint while standing). Travel ignited a fire in me a long time ago, and I do not plan on putting it out. Wanderlust fuels my artwork.

When I was a little kid, I began to draw and paint, so obsessively that my parents signed me up for a preparatory art school for children (which was tedious, by the way – things are always less fun when they’re mandatory!). In college, however, I pursued a more “practical” route and obtained a business degree – but art always consumed a larger space in my head. I worked in the corporate world of marketing for a few years before quitting in 2008 to paint full time – and haven’t looked back since! I now create art in my studio in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.

It is hard for me to last a season without taking a trip – I’m a bit obsessed with discovering new cities, experiencing different countries, and finding fresh hiking trails. My home, Chicago, is also a great muse. So, naturally, my paintings became DESTINATIONS IN COLOR – their subject matter comes from photos I take and sketches I do while out exploring. Figurative themes and even animals make their way into my work, too – they are also a reflection of things I see and do.

In my paintings, I mix geometrical elements with distinguishable buildings, landscapes, people, or creatures.  My pieces are known for their non-realistic “signature skies” – that is where I get creative with patterns. My inspiration comes from things I see and photograph (of course!), various forms of art, street graffiti and textures. I infuse bright color and high contrast into my pieces, which makes them breathe with energy.

I started out by specializing in oil, then switched to acrylics (fewer fumes!) and now also layer occasional mixed media – such as collage, pens and markers, screen printing – into my pieces. My originals are created on canvas or wooden panels.

The style of my art appears to fall under Contemporary Expressionism – although I prefer to focus more on my creative process and less on my style terminology; the latter can be defined by art scholars, while I paint.

I am lucky to have exhibited internationally in galleries and fine art fairs. My paintings have been acquired by a broad group of collectors, ranging from corporate executives to college students. I hope that, by viewing my work, you take a relaxing journey without leaving your home! If you own an Anastasia Mak original, you own the one-of-a-kind physical result of many hours of thinking, planning, sketching, and layering of brush strokes that went into that piece. Enjoy it!