Your Interview Galina Shinkevich
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Galina Shinkevich. I am lighting engineer in LLC “Saros-Svet M” Moscow branch office.
I was born in Tomsk, old Siberian city. There are six universities in the city, owing to this, Tomsk received an unofficial second name – Siberian Athens. Students make 20% of city population. Tomsk is imbued with the spirit of youth and student life and that is its big advantage compared to other Siberian cities.
Choosing a future career, I decided to get a higher education in my hometown. I wanted to get a creative, but at the same time a technical profession. So I chose Lighting Design for myself. I graduated from Tomsk Polytechnic University with a diploma with honors in 2009 and received a master's degree in Technique and Technology in Lighting Engineering and light sources field.
Tell us about your work – is there a specific type of project you like to work on or an area you specialise in and why?
I started my career in Tomsk in a small local company dealing with design of architectural lighting systems. A couple of years later I got a job at Tomsk Energy Company and I was engaged in design, development and implementation of the celebration illumination of the city. For years I created new patterns and designs to decorate streets and squares for Christmas and other holidays.
In 2021 I moved to Moscow and now I am working for a large manufacturer of lighting products mainly for street lighting. Now my responsibility area includes the calculation and design lighting for streets, residential compounds, parks, architectural lighting and other objects. I am also involved in tasks that require creative solutions in my work. The most interesting project for me was working on the architectural lighting design.
Presently, I am striving to expand my knowledge and skills in the lighting design of various objects. I am interested in architectural lighting, interior lighting and light installations. Now I feel like I am at a new stage of inspiration for my profession and I take on any job and every new project with great interest and involvement again.
What project are you most proud of and why?
For now I am proud of extensive projects to decorate my hometown for Christmas holidays. Our company was the main contractor for the street decoration of the city and its central part. Every year we invented and realized the ideas of lighting design, trying to give citizens a positive celebration mood through light and bright colors. And every time after a well-done job, it was nice to receive letters of thanks and positive feedback about our work. The importance of the work performed was felt. In some way, we also gave people a holiday. I wanted the citizens and guests of the city to feel the mood of wonder and magic when walking down the streets and all get into a colorful bright world.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
Perhaps the most challenging thing in my work is to convince people with the authority to make decisions on the choice of lighting solutions and design, to make the right choice, to trust a specialist, to listen to the opinion of competent employees.
How does light inspire you?
For me light in the dark is like paint on canvas. You can draw whatever you want, highlight the winning details and hide the drawbacks. Probably the primary art education affects me. When I was a child, I actually loved to drawing, I entered art school and graduated with honors.
Well-organized lighting can attract the viewer's attention, inspire active actions or, conversely, calm and relax. The lighting of an object strongly affects the emotional mood of the viewer, no less than works of art.
In the hands of lighting designers, a lot of responsibility is concentrated for the mood and comfort of people's lives after sunset. But it is important not to forget about ecology, including light. My favorite light is invisible, when you see the glow of the object itself, but you don't see the light sources. In this case, there is a certain puzzle that you want to solve. As for me ideal light is a soft unobtrusive light, eco-friendly, without parasitic illumination and preserving a healthy environment for all living beings.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
You should not be afraid of any difficulties in mastering your chosen profession. One of the most important aspects of life is to find a business to your liking and grow in it. Wake up every day and take up your work with joy! To search, to try, to feel yourself in various activities. Find what pulls you the most when you are so immersed in the process that you do not notice the passing time! And if you find such a work, you will be the happiest person! It's great if this case is connected with light and all its forms! Do not be afraid of searches and failures! If you feel inspired inside then you are going the right way!
“Do not be afraid of searches and failures! If you feel inspired inside then you are going the right way!”