The Bratz aesethetic gets an uncanny makeover thanks to Denize Orlovska AKA Flamerz
Groovy Chick meets Tim Burton in the illustrator and fashion content-creator’s original works. Here, she tells us about life after graduating from Norwich University of the Arts.
- Joey Levenson
- 4 October 2021
Denize, whilst now an illustrator and content-creator, had never planned for things to turn out this way. “I originally planned to become a stylist and go down the fashion route,” she tells us. “But when I was studying art and design at the University of the Creative Arts, I was able to discover a lot of different artworld pathways and illustration was one of them,” she says, pointing to her tutor Jake Rickwood for helping her hone personal style and artistic expression. Denize’s love for fashion and her great eye for style has kept much of her illustrative work today feeling edgy and contemporary, and her uncanny artistic wit is also worth taking note of. It's Groovy Chick meets Tim Burton – part Bratz doll, part Adventure Time. “I always say that their faces are a mix of Bratz dolls, skeletons and aliens,” Denize says.
Across her body of work, Denize's use of colour is always distinct. “Colour in itself is a powerful form of communication,” she explains. “In the past few years I have undoubtedly noticed that it plays a major role for me, that is the first thing I notice when looking at art.” Swathes of reds, pinks, and greens take over Denize’s palette, and together work to create a cartoon world that hinges on an acid trip. “With the colours, I love drawing big heads with luscious lips, chiselled cheekbones, and semi-closed eyes,” Denize says. “The women I draw usually have rather serious faces, I think that this is unintentionally taking inspiration from myself as people often say that my face seems very serious, even though on the inside I feel like a ray of sunshine.” Whilst Denize is a fan of drawing digitally via Procreate, she does spend time experimenting with other mediums and returning to traditional drawing mediums. “Digital art can sometimes feel too ‘perfect’ because you can re-do one line so many times,” she explains. “So I occasionally switch it up and just draw on paper, it feels more free and spontaneous.”
Different themes crop up across Denize’s work, and mostly they tend to orbit around women, fashion, and nature. “I think my art is a representation of my interests and thoughts,” she says. “For example, in the past year I have been really into sustainable fashion and buying secondhand clothes from Depop, therefore I decided to make a little series where I find clothing pieces on their app, style them together and then illustrate it all together as an outfit.” It’s a refreshingly innovative idea, one that sets Denize’s social media channels apart from the rest. “I want to show people that you can reduce the environmental footprint and still have amazing wardrobe pieces.”
“For my final project at Norwich University of the Arts, I decided to design mock-up advertisements for brands I am a big fan of like Converse, Vans, and Nike,” Denize tells us. “I looked into the history of the brands and then accordingly chose sports activities that were associated with them.” Whilst different from the art Denize posts as ‘Flamerz,’ it was a project she challenged her creatively and allowed her to move in a different direction. “I had to capture a range of movements and try to encapsulate the energy, which I hadn’t done before,” she says. “To practice depicting these complex poses, I had to take reference pictures of myself and go to life drawing lessons which helped me improve my skills.” The project helped Denize open her art to be more commissionable, and now, she’s itching to collaborate in the real world for more. In the meantime, a post-graduation period during COVID-19 helped Denize hone in on what she really wants to focus on: utilising her drawings to design a sustainable clothing brand. “I figured out that I can easily mix these two and ever since I have been thinking of ways to make it work,” she finally goes on to say.
Flamerz Denize: Flamerz Baddies (Copyright © Flamerz Denize 2021)