“Adventurous” is both the keyword and modus operandi of our newest designer, Katya Sovich.

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, she earned her M.A. degree in Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Communications at university there. But then she set off on two of her biggest adventures and changed both her career and her homebase: she is now happily married and ensconced in a graphic design career in Virginia – a world away.

Q: Coming to the U.S. was a quite an endeavor. How did that come about?

A. As a lover of learning and new experiences, I took the opportunity to come here on a student exchange program. I’ve been here now for eight years. I met my husband here and now Virginia is my home.

Q: What led you to change your direction to become a graphic designer?

A: I’ve always been interested in art, especially illustration. As a child, I loved the beautiful illustrations that could be found in children’s books. My favorite artist then was Ivan Bilibin, whose intricate and vivid illustrations for Russian folk and fairy tales fascinated me. After college, I realized how much I enjoyed doing fine art myself, especially collages, and eventually signed up for classes in graphic design at Northern Virginia Community College.

Illustration for the poem, Tale of Tsar Saltan, by Ivan Bilibin
Illustration for the poem, Tale of the Golden Cocherel, by Ivan Bilibin

Q: Where do you like to look for creative inspiration?

A: Sometimes an idea just hits me right away. If not, one approach is to go to the Internet. Favorite websites are Pinterest, the Adobe Create Magazine and AIGA Eye on Design but inspiration can come from non-visual sources, too, such as current and past experiences. But mostly, I find that “doing” is the best way for me to get into the creative process.

Q: Other than the opportunity to be creative, what do you like best about your work?

A: I love illustration, but even more I enjoy the opportunities for creative solutions presented by the endless variety of projects we get to work on. It’s what makes my job adventurous, too.

Q: What about your free time?

A: One of my favorite outdoor activities is archery. Inside, I love to read, especially self-help and other non-fiction books. Archeology is another of my interests. It combines the kinds of activities I enjoy both inside and outside; it’s both an activity and a topic. My favorite TV show is the travel series “Expedition Unknown,” which investigates unsolved events and archeological sites around the world.

Katya says the superpower she would choose is teleportation. She came a long way to get to us without having to use it, but we’ve already discovered that her experiences add a great dimension to the CSG family.

Church of the Savior on Blood
Saint Isaac's Cathedral