Elements Experts: Creating Abstract Digital Art with DanJazzia

Want to know how to create abstract digital art? Envato Elements author Danjazzia shares how he creates his unique work, and his top advice for aspiring artists.

Modern abstract portrait of four people and a cat vector illustration by Danjazzia on Envato Elements
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated December 21, 2021

Designer, digital artist and Envato Elements author Danjazzia has attracted a following for his colorful, abstract graphics and illustrations. Featuring a bright and bold color palette, surreal scenes and geometric shapes, Danjazzia’s work is instantly recognizable. In addition to selling his art on both Elements and Graphicriver, Dan also works as a freelance illustrator, and he shares his eye-catching creations and commissions via Instagram.  

After studying programming and web design, Dan discovered a passion for drawing and illustration, and has built a thriving career for himself in graphic design. We chatted to the man behind the designs to learn how he creates his unique work, where he gets his inspiration, as well as his top tips and tricks for aspiring artists and designers… 

What’s your artistic background and how did you get into digital art?

I have no formal art education – I just love creating illustrations. I studied programming and web design, and attended many boring lectures about vector graphics. When I first tried drawing with Bezier curves, I hated it so much that I decided that I wouldn’t ever do it again! But the more I practised, the more I liked it and now, here we are – I’ve been creating illustrations every day for 15 years and I love it. Life is unpredictable, isn’t it?

Your art style is so interesting and unique! What inspires your work?

I like to portray the uniqueness in people’s faces. I love combining people and objects, but I usually don’t have a plan or a sketch – I just sit down at the computer and start drawing, and the illustration creates itself. It’s like playing jazz, I just feel the rhythm and improvise. 

How would you describe your creative style? 

I would define my art as digital painting rather than commercial illustration. I can’t even imagine where my artworks would be featured, but people continue to download and buy and use them and I’m very happy about that. I developed my style by simply doing it every day. It sounds simple, but it works. 

How do you create items for Elements? What’s your creative process?

I first make the base in CorelDraw, then work on the colors, gradients and finishing touches in Adobe Illustrator. I save and export the layered file in various formats so that my client is able to use the artwork both as a whole illustration and as separate elements. Usually, my zip archive includes seven options for both raster and vector graphics, including files that can also be processed in video editing programs. I also still create my illustrations using my computer mouse – I tried using a tablet, but it turns out that I’m a creature of habit!

What main programs, tools or techniques do you use to create your work? Do you have any expert tips?

I mainly use CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop – as well as my computer mouse, my hands, and my imagination. 

If you do something for long enough, your imagination begins moving in that direction. You start to see what others don’t, which helps to solidify your style and set your work apart. Just allow inspiration to come to you and let the artistic process happen – you need not interfere. 

How has Envato Elements helped you grow your career as an artist?

Elements allow me to do what I love, and at the same time keep my freedom and not be chained to any one workplace. For me, Elements is the number one stock site –  both in terms of earnings and the number of people who order illustrations from me via my Elements portfolio. 

Do you have any exciting creative projects on the go at the moment?

I’ve started selling my illustrations as NFTs, and I also sell my work on other websites such as Creative Market, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, GraphicRiver, Getty Images, and Alamy. 

What are your words of advice for new designers or Envato authors who are just starting out? 

If you’re selling your work on Envato, then you’re already making something of yourself. Just do what you like and try not to copy anyone – be unique and interesting. I simply do what I love,  even though many of my illustrations (which I consider to be some of my best artworks) remain unclaimed. People aren’t always going to like everything you do, but don’t let that stop you. 

What’s one thing Envato has enabled you to achieve that you might not otherwise have had the chance to do?

Envato has helped me to improve my technical skills (such as making layers, using fonts, creating gradients, experimenting with effects, etc.), as well as the details of my work. Developing as an artist has enabled me to create and sell better illustrations on Elements. 

Feeling inspired? Head over to Envato Elements and start creating today! Or, for more creative inspiration, check out these Inside Illustration Q&As with 3D Illustrator Amrit Pal Singh, the Texture Expert Nassy Art, or Watercolor whiz Kaleriia Tverdokhlib.  

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