Without a doubt, the best part of writing this blog for the past nine years has been the opportunity it has given me to meet really great people who share my passions for bicycles and design. Some of them I have met in person, but many others I have communicated with on a regular basis only through email, instant messenger, and social media. Ilya Vostrikov falls into that latter category. He first contacted me in 2012 when he was working in Germany as an automotive designer. At the time, he was very enthusiastic about sharing a few of his bicycle sketches. His talent was obvious and I was immediately a fan of his fast and loose sketching style, so I was happy to oblige. After that first post, I heard from Ilya on a fairly regular basis (and shared his work a few more times). Sometimes he wrote to show me a new sketch that he wanted to share, but other times he was just checking in to say hi, or comment on an interesting design he had seen.
Most recently, Ilya was living in Los Angeles and working as a freelance designer. He was interested in bike related projects big and small, and I pointed him to a few people who had recently contacted me looking for a freelance designer. I also recently used a few of Ilya’s sketches in an ad (shown here) that was targeted at designers with work to submit, and he seemed pretty happy about having his name on it.
I last heard from Ilya on March 3rd, and I was saddened to read on Facebook that he was killed in a car crash a couple weeks later. He was 27 years old and is survived by his mother and sister in Russia. His friends have set up a Go Fund Me account to help with the cost of cremating his body and sending his remains home to Russia, so take a look and help if you are so inclined.
As I mentioned before, Ilya was a talented designer and artist, who was really just getting started in his career. Check out his blog to see just a few examples of his work. I want to offer my sincere condolences to Ilya’s friends and family…and to the loved ones of the two others who died in the wreck. Such an incredibly sad story all around…rest in peace.