Anna Velichkovsky produces some of the cutest stock images you’ll ever see on Fotolia – readers of a macho disposition should probably stop reading now! We spoke to Anna about her work, her life, and her experience in the stock industry…

My name is Anna Velichkovsky, some call me Ania.  I have my own company PushArts, which is named in memory of my cat, Pushkin.

Anna VelichkovskyI attended fine art school in Russia and graduated with high honors. However, life had different plans for me, and after my graduation I began working in animation. From wanting to be a well-known painter, I became someone who does commercials. I was very happy with that, more than I ever anticipated, and was able to release my inner child.

My critics and fans were always helpful to me – so were my two daughters, and to this day I always ask for their approval and help with my designs.

Cute Princess and UnicornIn 2008, when the economic crisis happened, I was fired from my position as creative manger and designer with a technology company. It was a very traumatic time.

There were no jobs, especially in the design industry. I did not know how or where to move on. So, I started rethinking my whole life.

One day, a very close friend (Leonid Dorfman, whom I owe so much), suggested I try stock. At first my family and I were skeptical – we didn’t understood how to make money out of it, but we gave it a shot. My friend made it his goal to help teach me.

I was amazed that after the first month I received a good amount of money, and from that point things only got better! It took some time to learn the technical demands of the field, who my target audience were, and how to keep improving.

Running White RabbitThen, two years ago, my family and I moved to the United States. Our immigration process was much easier because I had a job already. The stock industry released me from the pressure that comes with an office job.

The most popular images in my Fotolia profile are children and animals, which, in my opinion, are the two most influential and important things in any human life.

It takes almost all of my time to manage my stock profile. I am in charge of my own business and therefore I had to learn basic management skills to control my business better.

What I’ve learned during my time in stock is that trying to emulate popular images doesn’t work. You need to find your own style where you feel comfortable – and buyers understand and appreciate that. At the start of my stock career I drew abstract backgrounds and buttons, just like many others. But my business only really took off when I understood the need to focus on my own designs and not simply reproduce something others do better than me.

Magic spring forestMy favorite subject is fairy tales, particularly Alice In Wonderland. I love the Victorian age, and that book really puts your imagination to work.

I enjoy drawing pets, because I love all animals, especially cats. With time, illustration has become my career. However, Art is still important to me, so I decided to find other artistic hobbies, such as creating steampunk accessories and enjoying abstract canvas pictures.

My work is very feminine: I focus on children and animals, therefore I assume that most of my clients are women. I am very grateful to those who buy my work so they can emulate their ideas through mine.

Fairy tales and cuteness are not a passing trend. In 2013 I drew a lot of foxes, due to the famous song What Does The Fox Say? but it didn’t make any difference. I always  stand by my own style and what I believe is interesting, so my work can keep improving.

To check out more of Anna’s beautiful illustrations visit her Fotolia portfolio.