Work / Animation

Dasha Chukrova’s absurd animations inspired by Nickelodeon

Moscow-based Dasha Chukhrova’s interest in animation and illustration grew from watching odd cartoons on Nickelodeon. Since then, she has always been fascinated by “weird and ambiguous stories that have bizarre characters,” she tells It’s Nice That. “I believe all these great animations like, SpongeBob SquarePants, Aaah!!! Real Monsters and Purple and Brown have somehow affected my visual language and approach to storytelling.” 

Dasha’s own work combines “moving images and indefinite stories,” such as Lemon Resort, her most recent work and a well deserved Vimeo Staff Pick for its absurdity. “Most of the ideas in Lemon Resort were born in the making process,” she explains. “The only thing that stayed from the beginning was the idea of creating a non-existent environment with strange rooms and habitants.” The final animation sees the animator build a digital resort of variable interiors. “Each room has its unique atmosphere and theme. For example, the “birdy room” has various types of birds in it such as paper, a statue, a portrait and a real one; the main inspiration behind the “unstable room” is a Rube Goldberg machine – a complex construction that is made out of objects/devices in order to create a domino effect.” 

Dasha’s tendency to be attracted to a surreal and slightly silly narrative is due to her taste in favouring “things that don’t make much sense,” she explains. “So I focused on creating a surreal atmosphere and the feeling of an odd place. Such denial of normality lead me to an idea of making a lemon the main character.”

The animator’s work is overtly impressive when you consider that she is building her own world, with elements based on nothing in particular, more a combination of interests. “It was interesting to look at works of some architects from the 50s, who work with surrealistic themes, such as Ricardo Bofill, Luis Barragan and at some interior designers like David Hicks.” Another piece of work Besides was inspired by Philip Garner and his “playful approach to consumer products as he invented a completely new world,” she says. “In addition, I really like 80s Memphis design for its bright, juicy colours and brave ideas! In particular I was fascinated by colourful drawings of Nathalie De Pasquier…To sum up, I tried to use a little bit of everything! “

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort sketches

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort sketches

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Dasha Chukhrova: Lemon Resort sketches