Anna Belenkiy (@annabell illustration on Instagram) is a self-employed digital artist who is currently expecting her first child. She wanted to share her experience with her fans utilising Disney Princesses and some hilarious everyday situations of what it’s like to be pregnant as part of her project “Real-life princesses.”
#1 Celebrating First Moments
“Mulan and Shang Lee had planned a romantic Valentine’s Day, but the impending baby warrior had other plans. This image was inspired by my baby’s first kicks.”
What prompted you to start an Instagram account devoted to Disney characters?
“My urge to build a Disney-themed account derives from my childhood love of Disney characters (to childbirth). Mulan taught me to never give up, and Ariel pushed me to achieve my goals.”
How do you come up with the ideas for your drawings?
“I got the concept for this series when I was pregnant” (this is my first pregnancy). Pregnancy has always been portrayed as beautiful and great, especially when you see other pregnant women and want to be like them, but reality kicked in, and I wanted to record some of my less glamorous pregnancy moments with my favourite Disney princesses.”
2 This One Is For The Dads
“We found out the baby’s gender today, and the father started crying. Isn’t that adorable? This piece is dedicated to all the caring fathers out there; you’re the best!”
3 Pregnancy Glow They Said
“It’s true that pregnancy helps you shine and seem beautiful, and they’re right! My ass, you’re glowing and pretty!” I don’t think I’ve slept in a long time. When I look in the mirror, she shouts back at me and begs me to stop! What’s the deal with all the pimples? I had even less when I was a teenager! My pregnancy anguish is only known to Ariel.”
As a digital artist, what was your first job? Did you begin by dabbling in other forms of art?
“I’ve always enjoyed drawing, but I didn’t become proficient in digital painting until I started my animation degree five years ago.”
Do you imply you’ve been sketching for a long time when you say you’ve been sketching for a long time?
“I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a toddler. I first saw Ariel when I was five years old, and I’ve been painting her ever since.”
What are some of the themes that attract your interest? What are some of the backstories behind your work?
“Since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, my main purpose has been to raise awareness. My previous endeavour was a series that used Disney princesses to increase mental health awareness. Excessive sleeping, for example, is one of the most well-known side effects of grief, so I chose Sleeping Beauty to reflect that.”
#4 No More Skinny Pants
“Oh my goodness, all of my clothes are no longer fitting, and because we’re on lockdown, there’s no place to buy new pants, so I’m stuck!”
#5 It All Begins With A Fantasy, Just Like Any Other…
“Because this amazing and magical time when you realise you’re about to create new life and bring it into the world is one of a kind, Mulan wanted to surprise Shang Lee with a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift. “Congratulations to the new parents-to-be.”
What motivates you as an artist? Is it a sense of awe, a desire for beauty, or a quest for meaning that drives you?
“Having worth and meaning in the art I create is incredibly important to me as an artist, whether it’s raising awareness for social issues like domestic violence, mental health issues, or pregnancy struggles. Although it is delivered in a lighthearted and humorous manner, the message it represents is considerably more important. It’s been a great privilege to affect so many people’s lives by using well-known characters to tackle taboo topics.”
#6 The Loss Of All Manners
“Belle, like me, had forgotten all her French etiquette in the pursuit of French fries… Who knew that fried food could bring out the Beast in you?”
#7 Next, A Relatable Moment To All Moms-To-Be
“As a pregnant woman, morning sickness that lasts all day is an everyday occurrence for me. My devoted spouse wanted to capture this “priceless” moment on film so we could show it to our child later. As a result, I’d want to express my gratitude for this amazing photograph.”
#8 Jumping Into Real Talk Territory
So, first and foremost, I’d like to address the elephant in the room:
My pregnancy was meant to be peaceful and magical, so that’s how I imagined it. Nobody warned me that I’d wind up like a gigantic gas balloon with no control, so I’m here to tell you the whole storey.
I can state clearly that the romance is over.”
#9 Stop Crying Your Eyes Out
The narrator asks, “What the hell is wrong with me?” Is there any way to fix it?! I’m sobbing uncontrollably over everything! I’ve shed enough tears to fill a bathtub. I decided to capture a special moment between my spouse and me by portraying us as Cinderella and her prince for a day in my life.”