Marlena Synchyshyn is an illustrator whose content doesn’t always look to the familiar or likely, but is fascinating in its otherworldliness.
Interested in wide topics such as “Naruto fan fiction, YouTube, The Mists of Avalon and the eeriness of the countryside,” her work is developed from two particular notions. “I’m fascinated by the importance of multiplicity and duality and creating lenticular images really helps me bring these themes together,” explains the illustrator. “For my first series I was interested in the relationship between women and the moon throughout history, as well as Jung’s theory of self and shadow. I’m captivated by the idea of the female unconscious, our primitive, intuitive powers that lurk beneath the surface.”
The result of this inspiration is a portfolio of work that is dynamic in colour palette and context, creepiness is mixed with the optimum measurement of cool. Her lenticular series and stand-alone illustrations often combine two opposite entities, placed together in juxtaposition. “I feature a lot of female archetypes in my work in an attempt to reinforce these ideas of multiplicity,” Marlena tells It’s Nice That. “You can be both strong and vulnerable, you can be connected to yourself and lose sight of yourself, you can be a feminist while participating in mainstream standards of beauty, whether it’s a personal choice or out of necessity.”
Marlena’s intrigue into the subjects that fill the narrative of her illustrations have resulted in editorial pieces in likeminded creative magazines. “I’m privileged to be part of a super supportive group of creatives in London. I love working on projects with progressive publications like Polyester Zine and Sabat Magazine. Looking towards the future the recent Kingston graduate is “working on another series of lenticulars and also starting a YouTube channel,” Marlena explains. “It’s an excuse for me to make short films, which is an excuse for me to make freaky props and set designs, something I find really fulfilling.”
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019, was made deputy editor and in November 2021, she became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.