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Yelena Bryksenkova is an illustrator and fine artist working primarily with acryla gouache. Her work is inspired by quiet moments and the comfort of everyday objects, as well as more magical, mysterious and melancholy themes.

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Yelena studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Czech Republic. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Yelena has illustrated various books for children and adults, most recently The Happiness Passport by Megan C. Hayes and Light Filters In, a book of poetry by Caroline Kaufman. She is currently working on a picture book biography of Mary Shelley. Her publishing and editorial clients include Chronicle Books, Abrams, Penguin Random House and the New York Times.  

During her residency at VAR, she plans on keeping a visual diary about her month in Northern California with the objective of re-discovering the habit of drawing for pleasure. She also plans to use the time and space provided by the residency to collect ideas for an illustrated book of her own.

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