Let’s get illustraight to the point! We sat down for a chat with talented illustrator and Elements Author, Kaleriia Tverdokhlib to discuss illustration trends, tips and more.
The rise of digital illustration has seen a welcome abundance of creativity and artistry blossoming online. And there’s no denying that brands, businesses and creators alike are all embracing illustration design and catching on to the fact that a picture does, in fact, says a thousand words…
To celebrate Envato’s latest content challenge championing illustration, we couldn’t help but draw some inspiration from some of the incredible illustrators behind the screen.
Meet Elements Author Kaleriia Tverdokhlib
Fine Arts graduate and Elements illustrator Kaleriia Tverdokhlib started out playing with watercolors at an early age, and has since developed her illustration style into a unique craft, combining realistic drawings with a touch of elegance and mysticism.
Now a professional illustrator and certified painter specializing in botanical illustration, portraits, architecture and abstract painting, it’s hard to believe that Kaleriia has only been working in the field of professional illustration for just over a year – honing her impressive Photoshop skills by watching tutorials online.
We chatted to the talented illustrator about how she’s carving out a career for herself in the illustration industry…
What’s your artistic background and how did you develop your creative style?
KALERIIA: Since childhood, I’ve loved painting with watercolor. When I graduated from Fine Arts, I chose watercolor as my main medium. It’s my favorite material, you can create anything with it – from traditional paintings to modern abstract illustrations. My main niche is elegant realistic drawings with a touch of mysticism. I love to draw girls and women in any style! This is my favorite topic for both client work and my personal paintings.
When someone commissions a project from you, what does the creative process look like?
KALERIIA: First, I think about the idea, discuss the color palette and style. Then I do a sketch, fill with color, and clarify details. After that, I process the image and send it to the customer.
How and where are your clients typically using illustrations?
KALERIIA: Mostly my customers use illustrations for wedding invitations, cards and portraits. Floral illustrations are great for goods for children, as well as textures for clothes and textiles.
Which brands are nailing illustration?
KALERIIA: I would note Good Objects with their wonderful watercolor illustrations in combination with line art.
What inspires you?
KALERIIA: Everything inspires me. I love space, planets, universes, nature and flowers. I like to think of unusual color schemes and come up with illustrations for them.
In a sea of talented illustrators online, what’s your advice for creating unique work that stands out from the crowd?
KALERIIA: Find a niche that interests you and try to improve it. Experiment with textures, shapes and combine with something else. Choose your palette carefully, and look at how other artists are doing this.
What are your go-to digital tools, programs, or techniques for creating your work? And what do you avoid?
KALERIIA: Procreate and Photoshop are my two main programs. I rarely draw in a vector, so I avoid programs like Illustrator. If images for the customer need to be vectorized, I use Vector Magic
What’s the biggest learning you’ve had from becoming an illustrator?
KALERIIA: Hard work! Don’t try to copy more successful artists – develop your own style. Do not neglect the quality image processing in Photoshop. And again, do not abuse colors – carefully choose a palette: this is the basis of mood and style.
What do you think makes a great portfolio? Any tips or tricks?
KALERIIA: Restraint – don’t push all of your work on one page. In the beginning, I often did not know how to stop, overloading the decor of the cover to my sets. The ability to choose a font is also important! Spend some time selecting and comparing fonts.
What trends do you think are having the biggest impact on illustration in 2020?
KALERIIA: Coronavirus greatly influenced the trends of 2020. Masks, medical staff, gloves and more – the “gold mine” at the moment for illustrators. But personally, I work in a completely different direction – I make mystical and cosmic illustrations, which, by the way, never go out of style and are popular even now. In addition to this, the simplest and most minimalistic illustrations also influence me a lot.
How do you see the future of illustration in the digital era?
KALERIIA: I think after some time we will return to organics, slight imperfections and manual work.
We live in a super-digital world, which means that tons of projects look clean, neat and sleek. However, hand-drawn works have their own special beauty that you love even with all the flaws. I think in the future this will be an absolute trend.
Feeling inspired to get into illustration? Here’s this year’s top illustration trends to get you started!