Recently, I spoke with the talented Latvia-based designer, Tatyana Suhodolska. On Her blog ArtDesigner.lv she provides tons of fantastic free icon sets as well as tutorials on how to create them. In today’s interview, we talk a little about her design background and where she usually finds inspiration. Enjoy!
Q Hi Tanya, welcome to PSDtuts +. Tell us briefly about yourself. Where are you from and where do you live now? How did you start in digital art?
Hello! I am a Russian girl, born in Latvia. I have been an artist since childhood - drawing comics and characters. When I was 5 years old I decided I wanted to be an animator. When I purchased my first PC at the age of 14, the first app that I installed was Macromedia Flash. After that, I began teaching myself Flash. Not long after that I began drawing cartoons. Before long, I was discovered by a television studio that paid me a little to create some animations for them. I really valued this experience but eventually I began designing static graphics. Although I haven’t given up my dreams of becoming an animator.
Q I know that you are working in various areas of design. Tell us, are you self-taught or did you study digital art somewhere? Do you have basic art education?
To be honest, I am a self-taught designer through and through. I did receive traditional schooling but I do not have a formal education in the arts, as you really can’t take those types of classes in my native language.
Q Tell us what programs you prefer to work in, what kind of work do you do, and which type of work do you enjoy most.
I use Photoshop CS2 the most. For the most part, I create websites and icons, although I prefer creating icons more.
Q Tell us a little about your workflow.
I try to trust my intuition. I don’t spend a whole lot of time preparing sketches or looking for inspiration. I design the first thing that comes to mind after landing a job and do my best to satisfy my clients.
Q Do you prefer working as a freelance designer or for an organization? Do you have a heavy workload? How do you set up your schedule?
This is a tough question for me to answer. I have had mixed experiences working for organizations. I don’t mind sitting in an office and being told what to do but to be honest, I prefer working as a freelancer. For the last 2 years I have worked for a French studio from my home in Latvia. I get to work on lots of successful projects but get to do it from the comfort of my own home.
Q Where do you find inspiration before a project? Do you visit any specific websites or is it a spontaneous process? Do you imitate anyone in your creativity or you are trying to develop your own style?
More often, the process is spontaneous. I draw the first thing that pops into my head but sometimes I do find myself browsing the web. I don’t imitate anyone’s style anymore but early on, I did, when I didn’t have a whole lot of experience.
Q I know that you make some really nice Photoshop tutorials. How did the idea to share your experience come to your mind? Do you have plans to write tutorials for our Psdtuts?
Thank you very much! I really appreciate that! I mainly write tutorials for my own icons, which are already available for download. I don’t really know where I came up with the idea to share my experience with the community. I just felt that I should do my best to give back as best I could.
Q What is the most important lesson you learned while working as a designer, and how does it help you now?
Specifically, working as a designer, it’s very important to always project confidence in what you do.
Q Do you have any long-term plans? How do you see your business in 5 - 10 years?
I would really love to travel to America and work at Pixar. It’s my life’s dream. If life takes me in another direction however, I would like to open my own studio.
Q Thanks for the interview. It was nice talking to you. Do you have any advice for beginner designers and illustrators?
Practice, practice, practice! Draw every day and read as many tutorials as you can find.