I was born and raised in Toronto Canada, by two lovely Ukrainian parents Yuri and Aksana Botnarenko. Early on they took notice of my interest in illustrating stories and drawing massive scenes with multiple things going on at once (almost like a dutch painting done with crayons and markers). So instead of signing me up for Hockey like every other good Canadian boy, I had private art classes which I kind of dreaded. I was made to paint fruit... like every single week. But I did learn a lot about the foundations of art in those early classes, so I will give credit where credit is due.
As high school was finishing I knew I wanted to continue studying and improving my artistic skills. I found the Ontario College of Art and Design University and enrolled into the Illustration program. As much as I love Illustration, I discovered I loved concept art and digital matte painting more. I grew up loving films and the art of film making. I was the kid in high school who bought special edition dvd's to watch the behind the scenes and listen to the commentary tracks. So the art of film always interested me, but specifically concept art, early special effects like miniature models and matte paintings always got me excited. I was just always amazed when I found out that certain shots didn't exists in the real world in some of my favourite movies. Like "Oh wow, thats a matte painting?" always fooled me and sometimes it still does. Thats what I love about Matte painting the most. Creating a convincing shot is always a rewarding experience for me.
My biggest visual influences come from a variety of mediums and artists. Comic book artists from the 70s-90s, Horror films from the 80s, retro video games, and 90s toy playsets.
Education: Ontario College of Art and Design University (2011-2016)