Igor Oleynikov is a painter and illustrator born in 1953 in Lyubertsy near Moscow. He began drawing as a child but studied at the Institute of Chemical Engineering; after six years of study he worked for three years as an engineer. In 1979 he began working as an artist at the animation studio, Soyuzmultfilm and later at the Christmas Film Studios. In 1986 he began working as an illustrator for children’s periodicals and on book projects. He is very prolific and his illustrations are very dynamic with unusual characters, often rendered like cinema shots. He prefers to paint with gouache and work with textures.
He has illustrated more than 80 books for children and young adults, including many classic fairy tales and works of children’s literature. Among these, Ballada o malen’kom buksire (The ballad of a little tugboat, 2011) by Joseph Brodsky was included in the 2012 IBBY Honour List. Other important titles include Mahalia Mouse goes to College (2007) by John Lithgow and Fairy Tales (2016) by Alexander Pushkin. In addition to numerous exhibitions in Russia, he has exhibited at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2004 and 2009 and at the BIB in 2003 and 2005.
Besides he still goes on drawing cartoons and can't really say what he likes more—cartoons or books.
He is married, has got children, granddaughter and grandson he loves very much.