The Ukraine-based artist Elizabeth Litovka proves that footwear creations can still brim with powerful creativity. And the magic of her work lies in the creation of heels from everyday objects, such as food, plastic bottles or glass cups. We conducted this interview a few weeks prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we stand with the Ukrainian people and hope for a future where this conflict will be resolved soon. Here are some ways you can help marginalised and displaced people from Ukraine. 
She’s a social media sensation who started out by exploring design in college, but ended up learning it all on her own. It started with experimentation and broken pieces of Kinder toys. Now this sculptural practice takes the centre stage in her life. We spoke with her to delve deeper into her work, her references and most importantly, why se focused on feet.
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First off, who’s Elizaveta Litovka? How would you define your work?
My name is Lisa. I am 30 years old. I am an artist from Ukraine.
Have you studied anything connected to Fashion Design? If not, have you studied anything related to what you’re currently doing?
I studied Graphic Design at the university in Voronezh, but what happened there was actually more like studying at the Faculty of Arts than at the Faculty of Design. I learnt the art of image-making from watching grannies on the metro and in markets. I like their very sincere and sometimes naive combinations.
You literally transform everyday objects such as food, face masks or crystal glasses into sculptural pieces for the feet that look like heels, mostly. How did you come up with the idea of doing all this?
I've always liked shoes. I am impressed that it is both a base and a means of transport. They are sculptures that set the tone for movement. You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. I like to fantasise about it. At school I used to draw a few pairs in a maths lesson, pass the drawing around the class and ask my friends to vote for the best one.
Maybe because money in our family was scarce and we did not have enough of it to control the whole [outfit] image, my mother always said that shoes are the base of the image and the rest is not so important. But every season she bought me very beautiful, quality and cool shoes. It was rare, but it was a significant event and brought a lot of joy. My mother also had very pretty, slender legs and I always thought that was unattainable. Except with the odd pair of shoes.
And yes I am impressed by everyday objects. Their beauty is hidden from a quick glance, we see them so often that unfortunately we start to see them only as tools to achieve a goal. And when you suddenly start seeing them, you can't stop admiring their forgotten beauty.
About the first important shoe for me - it started when I walked around the house and cleaned up the broken pieces of Kinder toys scattered all over the floor. And it was a bit of a motherhood crisis. So as not to go crazy, I decided to cover my, recently unused, stiletto shoe with these toys. And the resulting work is about the inner struggle of a mother, a woman and an artist. 
Why have you focused your work on feet? Do they have a specific meaning or was it purely for the aesthetics?
Well it's convenient not to burden anyone with your ideas except your own feet. They are always there, not resisting, not shy, not close, but not far either. In my obsession to do something, with them I can go as far away as I want without worrying about time or anyone else. They are alive. Both beautiful and ugly at the same time.
In my art I step on objects in a sense. I try to make them personal, my own, become intimate with them, become them. I want to grasp their beauty and steal it, to become as beautiful and run somewhere. It seems to me to be a natural human need to possess that which delights. But it is all the more ironic that almost all my shoes are born and immediately die. I love the transience of the moment, and the photograph captures its death. Although it is a reminder that things can live more than one life. I can't steal this beauty forever, but understanding it and smiling, every time is fascinating.
I’ve read in several articles how they only centre the attention of your work on the feet’s image. But as you’ve said, your work is not about feet. It’s about your eyes and your personality as an artist, and I totally agree with you. Do you think that having focused your work only on sculptural shoes has also reduced the impression you make on others?
I think it increased the impression, but I'm more focused on what impresses me. As long as it impresses me I will do it.
How do you want people to feel when seeing your work? Do you care about it?
In my works, I want to convey my feelings. Obviously they are different, and so are the works. But the overall message is that I would like my viewers to smile, laugh, rejoice, admire, be amazed, and feel the beauty of everything around them. I do it to make their lives better and more joyful.
In addition, do you think it’s related to any fetish?
I don't think it's related. Although recently in my dream my foot was galloping like a horse and warned of madness. Maybe I should think about it.
What is more satisfying for you, creating the ‘shoes’ and enjoying that process, or photographing them and simply seeing the end result?
I create and photograph at the same time. I love the way shape is born, I love finding the right answer in the interaction of objects and trying to capture it. Sculpture is very poetic and it fascinates me and brings me into balance. Generally, I am a very absent-minded person, and in these moments I am as focused and happy as possible. And it's important for me to let go of the result, to let it live somewhere. It doesn't matter how or for how long.
As an artist that works with Instagram, can you live off this project or do you have to combine it with other jobs?
I don't have another job and I manage to live.
Apart from all this, we cannot deny that your work has a lot of personality. Would you share with us some of your art or fashion design references?
Films of Quentin Dupieux and Martin McDonagh. I'm very inspired by their sense of reality.
Last but not least, Elizaveta, where would you like to focus this project in the future?
I would like to focus on the present.
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