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Design

Vladimir Tomin Interview

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Vladimir Tomin is a Russian native with a unique style of design. A fantastic mix of hand drawn elements and digital art fused together create imagery from Vlad's life as well as his favorite things in life.

Vlad also creates motion graphics and talks about how he incorporates Photoshop into them. He also tells us his opinion on the most important parts of attracting clients. And as usual we get an explanation of how he created one of his best illustrations. This is another great interview with another talented artist, so lets get into it!

1. Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?

Hey Psdtuts+, thanks for the warm welcome. I'm happy up here! My name is Vladimir Tomin, I'm from Khabarovsk, Russia. We have -35C winters and +35C summers, we're located so far away from civilization, only Google knows where we are.

I'm 27 years old 172 cm short; I love my girlfriend, cats, ice cream, and life! I started photoshopping 2 years ago, in the summer of 2007. My friend Sergei showed me Graphic-Exchange and I was really impressed by the works there. I was inspired enough to try doing some graphics/art myself.

2. What was your first experience with Photoshop? And tell us how you have evolved as an artist since then, what lessons have you learned that stuck with you all these years?

My first Photoshop experience was pen-tooling photos for footage in motion graphics. It was 4 years ago. I learned a few tricks since that time, but I can't call myself a Photoshop master because I rely more on my drawing skills and imagination, and maybe that's why my photo manipulations are not very photo-realistic. 

Lessons? Art is subjective. Critique is gold. Improve or leave. Love or leave. Industry lessons: name and connections are everything; your real skills can help but will not guarantee success. Remember, art IS subjective.

3. "The Story Of My Life" is an amazing illustration that you made for SlashTHREE's latest art pack "Déjà Vu." Can you please walk us through how you created this piece and what exactly you intended the message to be when you created it.

Thank you! This picture is about a boy, and girl who left him. (to make the situation even worse, she left him for another girl – take a close look at the hand she is holding)

This is a very beautiful girl but for this guy at this present moment she is the ugliest monster from his worst nightmares. I lost love once, in a similar situation, I know how this boy feels and how he sees the world. This picture reflects it precisely. At least for me. Technically there was nothing unusual in creating it, a lot of drawing-drawing-drawing and some basic photo manipulation.

4. Your design style varies from piece to piece, it could go from typography, to photo manipulation, to a full painting. Why do you experiment with so many different styles instead of sticking to one and mastering it?

I'm not a perfectionist. I think I can't really master any style, but I do respect people who can. For me, it is the process of creation that matters most. And every time I have an idea of a picture in my head, I don't really know how to create it so it is a challenge for me every time and it is great. It also helps to keep a fresh eye and keep your graphic-mojo in good shape.

5. You have built up a great client base having done work for larger corporations line Nike, Addidas, Toyota, and more. In your opinion what would be the best way to market yourself as a designer to attract clients?

Well most of these clients are only local representatives of big brands. Your attractiveness as a designer depends on the scale of territory you're working with. For example, on the local market you must be a universal master of everything, you must be capable of doing every kind of job in short period of time with good quality.

On a world-wide market, it is easier to master a unique style, and it's better be ad-adaptable. But remember, name and connections, it works everywhere, even in design. Having good friends in big agencies or productions is a much more reliable way to get a job compared to just having your unique style and super-human Photoshop skills. Sad but true.

6. You are also proficient in motion graphics, so tell us a little about what goes into making them? What programs do you use? And lastly walk us through a typical session.

Motion graphics involve some more direction, storytelling and sense of motion. But design itself can be less detailed compared to still imagery, because viewers don't have that much time to actually see all the details.

For my motion graphics project Adobe After Effects is a perfect choice. And the typical process is: idea (or goal in case of commercial work), story, storyboard, style frames, footage preparation, and work. A lot of work.

7. Do you incorporate Photoshop into making your motion graphics if so then how?

Photoshop helps with cutting objects from their backgrounds, preparing backgrounds, matte-painting, preparing footage, making style frames, making illustrations – 30% of most motion graphics projects are Photoshop work.

8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Having fun is all that matters, if you're not enjoying creating your works, why should you do it at all? It was my pleasure, thank you for the invitation!

Where to find Vladimir on the Web

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