Timur “Tim” Aleksandrovitch Astashkevitcher was born in the former Soviet Union (now Moscow, Russia) and emigrated to the US as a child with his family. From an early age he had an interest in the human form – drawing muscled superheroes and his own comics. This led him to a serious study of artistic anatomy. While in junior high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he received special permission to attend college-level life drawing classes at the University of Michigan. He also took classes in visual art and photography while studying as an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, and has continued to take periodic life drawing refreshers over the years.
Since the age of eighteen Timur has also been actively creating figure and travel photography – first using traditional film, then transitioning to digital. His photography has always had a strong compositional sense grounded in his painting and drawing, and he rarely crops or recomposes his work. Over the years he has developed a more fluid style of working and has captured many perfect moments as a consistent series of spontaneous “happy accidents”.
Timur’s art has spanned a variety of media including:
- Pencil drawing on paper
- Watercolor on paper
- Compressed charcoal on paper and primed mortarboard
- Acrylic painting on canvas
- Film photography
- Digital photography
His work has been featured in galleries and one-man shows around the San Diego area since 1995, and is held in dozens of private collections in the U.S. and Europe.
Outside of his art, Timur is a successful entrepreneur in the world of online marketing. He attended University of California, San Diego on a full U.C. regents academic scholarship. After graduating in Computer Engineering and Cognitive Science with high honors, he stayed on for Masters, and PhD work at UCSD. In college he was also a conference-winning varsity sabre team captain and Athlete of the Month. His agency SiteTuners has worked with over 1200 clients including Google, Facebook, Nestle, Canon, Nespresso, Humana, Thomson Reuters, and Yahoo! to create over $1,200,000,000 in incremental online revenue. He founded and chairs the Digital Growth Unleashed conference series – with over 30 events in the U.S. and Europe since 2010. He has written two bestselling books on Landing Page Optimization which have been widely acclaimed and translated into six languages. Timur is a dynamic and highly regarded public speaker and has spoken or keynoted at over 200 online marketing events across the U.S., plus Australia, Germany, Holland, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Mexico, Romania, Spain, and England.
Tim lives within walking distance of the beach in San Diego, California with his wife and two children.
Capturing the female form through photography, drawing and painting has been a lifelong passion and hobby.
My “eye” is still evolving and learning. What I think sets me apart is the ability to bring out the particularity of each woman I photograph and paint. I am not just looking for some objective reality or preconceived “look”, but rather something that arises out of the person’s unique presence. I am confronted with truly seeing the person in front of me and capturing their spirit.
The photoshoot is usually an improvisational collaboration as the model and I work to reveal her essential qualities. Subsequent paintings based on photographs that I have created are explorations of feminine beauty that are surreally tweaked to create an even more intense reality.
I almost never crop or recompose the image. To me, the composition and deciding what goes into the frame is a key contribution that the photographer should bring to the collaboration. I usually do minimal or no post-processing (sometimes just some mild brightness or contrast adjustments). Basically, “what I see is what you get” – an unfolding interpretation as my own life perspective changes.
To create my unique multimedia photo-paintings I curate and hand-select some of my best black-and white photo compositions and print them on gallery-wrapped 1.5 inch canvases. I then paint on them with acrylic paint in a variety of styles (delicate washes, bold graphical posters, metallic accents, and striking hyper-realism). These are second-look works. Even though each one originated in one of my photographs, the subsequent interpretation allows me to come back to each subject and see it anew. The process is akin to the Monet’s haystacks, water lilies, and cathedrals – subjects to which he returned to mine them for additional depth and meaning. The base composition remains the same, but the artist of each painting is fresh and different every time – creating a double spontaneity and uniqueness.