25-year-old Russian artist Ellen Sheidlin, known as Sheidlina, invites us to her creative, weird, and whimsical fantasy world that is her Instagram feed. Her photos are not your regular perfect shots we are used to seeing; she takes her craft to another level by combining photography, digital art, fashion, and makeup. Her bizarre ideas and compositions can be uncomfortable but utterly impressive at the same time, causing strong reactions and interpretations—and for this reason, her work is never monotonous or dull. Behind her delicate figure and often vibrant colors, her surreal artwork has themes of social commentary and a deeper message.
Thanks to her edgy social media presence, this model, photographer, blogger, and painter has become a true Instagram sensation with 4.5 million followers.
We've made a list of her most eye-catching pics and it will help you understand why she's extremely popular.
Rather than following social media trends, Sheidlin creates her own surreal and vivid world thanks to which she has become an internet phenomenon at such a young age. She experiments with different photography and editing techniques combined with imaginative outfits and makeup looks to create otherworldly images that are odd, but aesthetically appealing at the same time. She is brave enough to be different from millions of people on Instagram and that eccentricity is one of the key factors of her success.
Sheidlin's feed is a colorful playground at first glance, but when you take a second look, you can actually notice that her work is often conceptual and multi-layered. With the surreal images, she uses her influence to express her opinion on socially important topics such as mental health, social media critique, millennial culture, and gender roles or to raise awareness about global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the devastating Siberian wildfires of 2019.
The Instagram star told KALTBLUT magazine in 2017 that she discovered the internet in her teenage years, but had never imagined it would turn out to be her creative outlet and source of income.
"I discovered the internet when I was only thirteen, while in my friend’s house. Back then, I didn’t even think it would change my life so much. So when I was a lonely teenager with a lot of insecurities, I created an account on a Russian social network Vkontakte, where I could fulfill my potential in drawing and photography. So my insecurities disappeared and I found more than a million friends! I’m thankful to my life, that I was born in this age of the internet—it’s the best invention of mankind."
She's inspired by "ideas, pure ideas or metaphors" and always tries to visualize everything that she hears or reads. Her artsy mind doesn't only reflect in her creative photography projects—Sheidlin also is a talented painter with a very unique style. She's worked with major world-class brands such as Nike, BMW, PayPal, and L’Oréal.
Sheidlin is a model in most of her photos, which is a clever way to partake in her ideas and create a brand for herself.
"I realized that the main interest for my fans to follow me was my face. My selfies collected the greatest number of likes and comments and then I decided that the best way to preserve and multiply interest in me is to add myself to my idea. Today, normal selfies are the most unvalued photos, the public always waits for something unusual, they are absolutely not satisfied with just a photo. Everything sooner or later goes out of fashion: style, colors, even memes, but an idea will never become mainstream, it is eternal."