Elena was born in 1973 in the northern Caucasus, Russia. Both her parents were artists so she was exposed to artistic influences from the start of her life. She has worked in watercolour from her earliest years.
She trained at the Graphics department of the State Academy of Art and Design in St Petersburg, graduating in 2002. Her postgraduate diploma designing and illustrating a new edition of Ovid’s Metamorphosis won a government award.
While she was a student she won a First Programme Scholarship from the Finnish Government and spent one semester at Lahti University studying printing techniques. In 2003 she was awarded the Sleipnir travel grant by the Nordic Counties’ Council of Ministers to help her collect material to aid her work illustrating Scandinavian mythology.
Since graduation, Elena has worked both as an artist and artistic editor for several publishing houses in St Petersburg and also in Sweden. She has travelled extensively in the Black Sea area and in the Caucasus Mountains researching for her illustrative work.
She loves ancient mythology and magic tales. She has illustrated many books, including Tolkein’s Farmer Giles of Ham, The Twelve Deeds of Hercules, Old Edda and Graeco-Roman Myths.