Fashion Illustrator Turned Digital Painter

Shira Barzilay, aka Koketit, tells us that the World is her inspiration. Based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, 25 year-old Shira, worked as a fashion illustrator for nearly ten years before she found her true passion as a digital painter. Shira collaborates with numerous artist to create unique, one-of-a-kind creations with a variety of mediums.

“Those are the moments I live for – those ‘aha!’ moments in art – where you discover something new about yourself.”
- Shira Barzilay

Shira’s work not only attests to her passion as an artist, but her skills, expertise and raw talent. Though all of her work is unique in itself, she uses a minimalistic approach. Although she employs and praises a minimalist style, all of her work is unique and demonstrates her distinctive, original approach.

Credits: Gabriel Lester

Credits: Gabriel Lester

“Excess is so ten years ago.”- Shira Barzilay

We had a chat with Shira to learn more about her process as an artist, and her inspirations.

THE PLUS: Hi Shira! Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Shira Barzilay:
I’m vegan, an animal lover… and I’m easily distracted by cute doggie videos on Youtube, as well as by my beloved dog Bono.

TP: We find your work to be very unique. Can you tell us about some of your inspirations?
SB:
Thank you. I am inspired by everything and anything. Our mind is the only real limitation, so I gather my inspiration from a broad range of resources. The world is my canvas, and therefore, the world is also my inspiration.

Credits: Clare Nicholson

Credits: Clare Nicholson

TP: When did you begin creating? Have you always been into the more abstract style?
SB:
I studied fashion design in college and was a fashion illustrator for roughly ten years. Over time, my inner voice led me to explore subjects outside fashion.

Accordingly, my style has evolved into a more abstract expression, leading me to discover one-line aesthetic and less figurative forms. It was truly liberating to break down my own mental barriers about how a body should be composed in terms of realism and figurative thinking. Once that barrier broke, it was like a dam exploded and out came the waterfall of creativity. Those are the moments I live for – those ‘aha!’ moments in art – where you discover something new about yourself. I was intrigued by the notion of saying more with less, a minimalistic approach. I discovered it to be a philosophy that I practice daily, one that I am trying to implement into my life as well as my art. I prefer reading poetry over novels. I want to refine. Excess is so ten years ago.

TP: What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
SB:
Digital painting is my passion and my forte. At this point, my ipad pro feels like an added limb. I never thought I could be so emotionally attached to an electronic device. This digital element brings the world into the palm of my hand.. Subsequently, I have access to more information, more people and more inspiration than would be possible without this tech.

Credits: Annemarieke van Drimmele

Credits: Annemarieke van Drimmele

TP: Of all the projects you’ve worked on so far, do you have a favourite?
SB:
I really love all my projects. My favourites are the ones where I am given total freedom to create what I love. The capsule collection I did with Suncoo Paris this past Summer is a good example. We did a travel-themed collection that was comprised of a tote, a t-shirt, passport holder and luggage tag, and I was given free range to “do me.” I feel it really came through well. I’m very proud of it.

TP: Tell us more about your process. Do you have any ritualistic processes when creating new pieces?
SB:
It’s all in the process. It is so important to practice daily. I can’t expect a masterpiece to be created in the first 4 minutes of a session. The wheels need to warm up and I am usually working on something for awhile before the gems to arise.

It’s important to realize that it’s not enough to have talent and a voice. Practicing your craft is like going to the gym or praying – it helps strengthen the connection and intensify the intention and devotion. You have to be devoted to your craft and work hard on it. If you want to succeed, you have to put in the time.

Credits: Sergio Paqué

Credits: Sergio Paqué

Instagram allows me to post thought- provoking content to my followers. It leads me to practice creative thinking daily, explore my internal dialogue, and of course, sharpen my technical drawing abilities.

On a side note…I believe that ‘lady muse’ is a co-collaborator in all my creations. Sometimes, more than others… but she’s always there; a guiding spirit that channels my creativity. It’s a strong feeling that does not occur all of the time. Sometimes I’ll stare at a blank page and there’s nothing. One must not force these things. It is important to use positive affirmations, stay curious to your surroundings, and have a cheerful disposition.

TP: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Thank you for your time!
SB:
I’m so honoured to have my art inspire people. It’s more than my wildest dreams. I hope to continue to inspire others through my art, and grow.

Credits: Al Vielfaure

Credits: Al Vielfaure

Credits: Victória Rocha + Silas Studio

Credits: Victória Rocha + Silas Studio

Credits: Victor Costa

Credits: Victor Costa

Credits: Ulas Sergin

Credits: Ulas Sergin

Credits: Nu Swim

Credits: Nu Swim

Credits: Maison Nue

Credits: Maison Nue

Credits: Luís Eusébio

Credits: Luís Eusébio

Credits: Caz Moore

Credits: Caz Moore

Credits: Fikri Amanda Abubakar

Credits: Fikri Amanda Abubakar

Credits: Rob Aparicio

Credits: Rob Aparicio

Credits: Al Vielfaure

Credits: Al Vielfaure

Credits: @a_moment_o

Credits: @a_moment_o

Credits: Wouter van der Weerd

Credits: Wouter van der Weerd

Credits: Sam Johnson

Credits: Sam Johnson

Credits: Koketit

Credits: Koketit

Credits: @customizedbydaniel

Credits: @customizedbydaniel

Credits: @thoughts_onasummernight

Credits: @thoughts_onasummernight

Credits: @my_soulwax

Credits: @my_soulwax