I was accidentally brought to the House of Culture, where I worked for 21 years. I gave one advertisent in the newspaper and gathered people for 3-4 groups. Very quickly I realized that just drawing is not interesting to me, well, you will draw 20 flowers….and that I love history, different sciences, and the concept of encyclopedic knowledge appeared through drawing. I collected various information about space, the origin of dinosaurs, Egypt, Sumer, Babylon, the myths of Ancient Greece ... I learned to speak figuratively and understandably, not like at school, I made various manuals. Very quickly, the core of the community was formed, mothers who wanted good knowledge for their children and did not want a kindergarten. Our children got singing, aerobics, swimming, French, English, theater and drawing as a way to learn about the world. We fed children in a cafe, agreed on dinners, and it was like that for two years.
I think it was difficult for all of us in Komsomolsk and together we created a world in which there was love and adventure, deeds and social benefits. I worked there when there were no other occupations, Yulia worked with me. It is difficult to draw for three hours at the age of 4, and so I let her wander around the recreation center and climb into the hall behind the stage. Yulia found children herself and hung out with them.
We didn’t do theater on purpose. We just put the myths of ancient Greece in order to better remember them or played space exercises. From the age of 4, during the holidays, Yulia was asked to play with the children in the next room in order to let the adults sit quietly. From the age of 6, during such gatherings, Yulia began to stage performances. The children rehearsed, we talked. Then Yulia called everyone. We came, watched the play, praised and went to our office, and Yulia staged a new production.
The theater as a study circle with another teacher was the most classic. With games for memory and attention and distribution of roles. Yulia went there for about 5 years. I cannot say that I regret it, but now she does not remember this place. So it was not very good there.
I tried to combine school and life, I saw Yulia’s super-memory and learning speed. I was thinking about a career of a diplomat with training at MGIMO. I had to go a long way from demanding brilliant studying from her to giving Yulia the permission to first rarely go to school, then completely drop it at 15 years old.
At the age of 15, Yulia took up dancing and Japanese professionally. At 17, I sent her to Moscow, where parkour appeared. Further London and a lot of travels. Almost complete isolation from state institutions and great trust on my part, permission to do adult projects, 8 languages almost in parallel, a rich environment: in the end, life won out. Now I see that life helps Yulia survive in this story.