Anna Belenkiy (also known as annabell_illustration on Instagram) is a freelance digital artist who is experiencing pregnancy for the first time. She decided to share her journey with her followers using Disney Princesses and some hilarious everyday moments of what it's like being pregnant as part of her project “Real-life princesses.”
Celebrating First Moments
“Mulan and Shang Lee decided to celebrate super romantic Valentine's Day, but the upcoming baby warrior had a different plan for their romantic date. This illustration was inspired by my baby's first kicks.”
What inspired you to start an Instagram account based on Disney characters?
"My inspiration for starting up a Disney-based account comes from my love of Disney characters that have been part of my life since childhood (to childbirth). Mulan has taught me to never give up and Ariel taught me to keep chasing my dreams."
How do you come up with ideas for your drawings?
"The idea for this series started when I got pregnant (this is my first pregnancy). Pregnancy has always been viewed as something glamorous and magical, especially when you look at other pregnant women and you want to be like them, but then reality came crashing down and I decided to use my beloved Disney princesses to document my least glamorous pregnancy moments."
This One Is For The Dads
"Today we discovered the gender of the baby and the father started crying. Isn't that adorable?! I wanted to dedicate this illustration to all the sensitive daddies, you are the best!"
Pregnancy Glow They Said
“They said pregnancy makes you glow and pretty, glow and pretty my ass! It looks like I haven't slept for ages. When I look at the mirror, she screams back at me and begs me to stop! And what is the deal with all the pimples? I had less when I was a teenager! Only Ariel feels my pregnancy pain.”
Where did you start as a digital artist? Did you explore other forms of art first?
"I’ve been drawing my whole life, but I became proficient in digital painting when I began my degree in animation 5 years ago."
How long have you been drawing?
"I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a little girl. I remember seeing Ariel for the first time when I was five years old and I’ve been drawing her ever since."
What subject matters interest you? What are some of the stories behind your work?
"Since I’m living with depression and anxiety, raising awareness has been my main goal. My previous project was a series to bring awareness to mental health issues with Disney princesses. For example, I chose Sleeping Beauty to represent depression, as one of its most known side effects is excessive sleeping."
No More Skinny Pants
“Oh god, I just realized that all of my pants no longer fit and, since we're in lockdown, there is no place to buy new pants, so until my online orders arrive, I’m stuck!”
It All Begins With A Fantasy, Just Like Any Other…
“This incredible and magical moment that you realize you're about to create new life and bring it into this world is one of a kind and Mulan decided to surprise Shang Lee for Christmas with a super unique present. Congratulations to the future Mommy and Daddy.”
What motivates you as an artist? Is it curiosity, the search for beauty, or meaning?
"As an artist, it is extremely important for me to have value and meaning to the art that I create, whether it’s raising awareness for social causes like domestic violence, handling mental issues, or the struggles of pregnancy. It might be presented in a humorous and amusing fashion, but the meaning behind it is much more important. It has been truly an honor to touch so many lives using familiar characters with topics that are a little taboo."
The Loss Of All Manners
“Belle forgot all her French manners while craving some French fries, as did I… who knew fried food can bring out the Beast in you?”
Next, A Relatable Moment To All Moms-To-Be
“Morning sickness that continues all day long is a huge part of my daily life as a pregnant woman. My dearest husband decided to capture this 'precious' moment on video in order to show it to our child in the future. So thank you for this unforgettable capture.”
Jumping Into Real Talk Territory
“So I wanted to talk about the elephant in the room:
I imagined my pregnancy real gentle and magical. No one prepared me for the fact that I would be a huge gas balloon without any control over it, so I’m here to tell you the whole truth about it.
At this point, I can definitely say that the romance is gone.”
Stop Crying Your Eyes Out
“What the hell is wrong with me? Can it be fixed?! I find myself hysterically crying about everything! My tears can fill a bathtub. I decided to capture the moment of me and my husband and illustrate us as Cinderella and her prince as a day in my life.”