Valeria Krasavina is a professional fashion designer and illustrator based in New York City, where she has recently moved to from Miami. She is originally from Moscow. Valeria is also a full-time mom to two of her French bulldogs, Rabby and Mona. Currently, she is working on a new project called "Fine Frenchie," which features her illustrated works of a French bulldog character who loves fashion and enjoys a nice glass of rosé.
Humphrey: Hi Valeria! It's so nice to have you on Spotted By Humphrey. Tell us about your original muses behind your Fine Frenchie illustrations!
Valeria: Thanks for having me, Humphrey! My two French bulldogs are the muses behind Fine Frenchie. I had the idea to create this character about 9 years ago when we got our first frenchie that my family named Rabby Josephine.
We got her only after a month of moving to Miami from Moscow, which was crazy since none of our family members even spoke decent English. Plus, it was our first dog ever! All of us immediately fell in love with Rabby's sweet, gentle, and silly personality. Just like many dog owners, we started "humanizing" her by dressing her in different outfits. My sister even painted her nails once. During those little moments is when I first had the thought to create this character.
"My sister even painted her nails once."
Humphrey: Tell me about it. As I like to say, dogs are people, too! When did you get your second frenchie, Mona?
Valeria: We got our second frenchie, our precious Mona Black Moon, last year. Rabby and Mona are two completely different personalities, like day and night. Mona is so cute and sneaky. She can't stay still and has so much energy! I love them both so dearly, especially to cuddle with them every morning!
Humphrey: Aww, I love that they have such distinct personalities! I'd love to meet both of them one day. How did they inspire you to create the Fine Frenchie character?
Valeria: The Fine Frenchie charater emcompasses both Rabby and Mona's personalities. I felt drawn towards a free-spirited, sassy yet classy female character that can unapologetically be herself. It's not always about being the most fashionable. Even queens can have pizza or ice cream on their night off while watching their favorite TV show. The goal is to make it fashionable yet relatable, so everyone can see a part of themselves in Fine Frenchie. And of course, also to have a good laugh.
"The goal is to make it fashionable yet relatable, so everyone can see a part of themselves in Fine Frenchie."
Humphrey: I love that about your character! Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? For example, where do you find your inspiration and ideas, and once you come up with a concept how long does that take to materialize into a completed illustration?
Valeria: The inspiration is not something I wait for to come to me; it is my job to be inspired every day. Ideas come from real life: from a quick ride on the subway to going grocery shopping, to just waking down the street near my house.
I observe people and dogs a lot, and then I combine my ideas with a touch of witty personality of a French bulldog and a twist of real life such as the classic struggle of having nothing to wear!
Sometimes the illustrations come very naturally and quick, but there are moments when one illustration can take days to develop. It's definitely not as easy as it looks, but once the puzzle pieces come together, it flows very easily.
Humphrey: I love that your illustrations are so relatable. No wonder it comes from your observations of people and dogs going about their daily lives. I also love that your illustrations combine your two big loves: fashion and frenchies. How much of your time and energy is dedicated to your fashion career vs illustration career?
Valeria: That's why I love working on Fine Frenchie so much -- it's my two favorite things combined together! Fine Frenchie is a brand new project for me. Since it's growing so fast into a brand of its own, I feel that it's taking most of my time right now.
Two things Valeria loves: fashion and illustration.
Humphrey: I can completely relate to that. Since Spotted By Humphrey has launched, I've had to sacrifice certain aspects of my "pet influencer" career. At the end of the day, time is also a resource and you allocate your time and energy wisely based on what your goals are. So I totally understand you putting more time into your illustrations at this time.
Valeria: I agree. From my experience fashion design and illustration are both very time-consuming, just like any career field, or business. If you want to make something perfect, and make it blossom into something bigger, you have to give it your all. But it's not as scary as it sounds. Because I love what I do, it's never a hassle for me. It's my baby, after all!
Humphrey: Amen to believing in your dreams, pursuing your passion, and giving it your all! So you've recently moved from Miami to New York! I am so happy and excited for you! What made you move, and how do you like living in New York so far?
Valeria: It was crazy and scary but ultimately the best decision, and I couldn't be happier with my decision to move to New York. I lived in Miami for 9 years, which felt long enough to be ready for new adventures. Also, I felt that it would be a beneficial move for Fine Frenchie. Moving to a new city is definitely nerve-racking, but also very exciting.
Humphrey: It is definitely very exciting! New York is the best city to people-watch (and dog-watch, since that's also your thing), so I imagine it would be a very inspiring city for you.
Valeria: Yes, I am originally from Moscow, so I naturally feel drawn to the fast-paced environment and the energy of a big city.
Valeria Krasavina, Fashion Designer
Humphrey: Lastly, we are dying to know what you love from our shop, especially someone with such great aesthetic taste!
Valeria: Absolutely adore your store! What a great selection of stylish pieces for our fur babies. I've come up with a few items I love -- shop my favorites by clicking on the image below!