Interview – Elena Savitskaya

I believe many of us have seen before the beautiful works of Elena Savitskaya over Flickr, blogs, design magazines and etc. Today we are very proud to have an interview with Elena here. Check out how this Marketing Manager turned into a Professional Graphic Designer!
 
Hello Elena, thanks so much for sparing some time on this interview! To begin, how about telling us a little about yourself and your design background?

Hi Johnson, thank you for asking me to do this interview, I’m absolutely delighted. I would probably surprise a lot of people by saying that I don’t come from Graphic Design background. The story goes like this, I’ve graduated as a Marketing Manager from a college aged 17, then I went on to continue my studies and at some breaking point in my life unfortunately I had to stop studying due to serious financial difficulties that my family was facing and was forced to find a job. I’ve always been a very determined individual and choosing to be a “waitress” was not an option. Design was a hobby back then, so I decided to turn it all around and try to become a Freelance Graphic designer, because after all, who needs 18 years old Marketing Manager? Through a lot of self-education, books, tutorials, just genuine passion for the subject I’ve grown from being a complete “noob” to getting featured on the cover of “Advanced Photoshop” magazine this year. I consider this to be the biggest achievement of my life so far. I’ve also spent 1 year working in Online Marketing Agency and another one in a corporate environment of Oil Trading and Conference Organizing Company, looking after their corporate image and brand. It’s been quite a journey and I’ve decided that I’m capable of managing myself now and mature enough to go back to being freelance. So right now I’ve gone back to freelancing and studying Business Management.

 
"I would probably surprise a lot of people by saying that I don’t come from Graphic Design background."
 
I came across your post on “2009 Free Wallpaper Giveaway”  and have been using it on my desktop since then.  It is truly a beautiful piece of work.  Where does your inspiration usually come from?

I’m always so happy to hear that people use my work and it becomes a part of their life one way or another. Thank you ever so much. I get inspired by almost anything to be honest, ups and downs in life, films, art galleries, especially classic art, my wonderful partner, my incredible family, industry leading designers and even good weather :)

 
Download Wallpaper Pack Here (Available in various sizes)
 
We can see all your artworks are of high quality. Which is your personal favorite?

It’s very hard to choose your own personal favorite. I’m not quite sure I have one technique-wise, as I’m never satisfied with anything I achieve and I always just keep pushing myself to the limit. But if it comes to emotions and personal meaning, my recent work named “Hope” is probably the closest one to my heart. It has a lot of my true human emotions in it.

 
"My recent work named < Hope > is probably the closest one to my heart. It has a lot of my true human emotions in it."
 
I noticed you started a blog named Design with a Thought (D.W.A.T). How about giving us an introduction about it?

This is a little project of mine at this stage, which will hopefully grow over time to become a part of amazing online resources about design industry out there. That’s the goal. The idea behind is to bring back a bit of a business acumen and marketing into designers world, as with the rapid development of the industry we seem to have forgotten the main reason why first color prints were put in tin cans – to boost sales. A lot of designers tend to forget that this is why clients need our services, they don’t want an “artwork”, they want something that will help them generate more sales and revenue. And speaking from my personal experience, if you help you clients achieve that, they will always come back to you. I tend to think that I have a unique point of view on the subject and that I could share some information with design community which would hopefully help other people grow and gain a better understanding of design as a tool of visual/emotional sales impact.

 
Visit D.W.A.T at http://designwithathought.com/
 
What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?

Passion, love for what you do. Otherwise it will never be a satisfying job. Hehe. But on a serious note, it’s all about basic knowledge of fundamental rules used in design. Knowing how to use Photoshop won’t teach you the fundamentals behind composition, components and concept. The 3 C’s of Graphic Design. It’s all about going back to origins of Graphic Design and learning major rules of it. For me personally those are: rules of composition, colors perception, visual impact, classic “math” behind any visuals and that lovely little twist called marketing knowledge. After all we’re trying to help our clients to sell and promote their products.

 
"Knowing how to use Photoshop won’t teach you the fundamentals behind composition, components and concept. The 3 C’s of Graphic Design."
 
What are your tools of the trade?

The main tools that I use are my PC, I do have a thing for Mac’s, but when you are freelance you don’t want to run into cross-platform problems with any of your clients, especially if you have small clients. I use a range of Adobe products, Adobe Photoshop CS2 (I stick to classics hehe), Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D etc.

 
"I use a range of Adobe products, Adobe Photoshop CS2 (I stick to classics hehe)"
 
Are there any website(s) that you visit regularly?

Yes, there is quite a few, I start my day by reading Seth’s Godin blog (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) , the most inspiring writer/marketer, then it’s onto reading industry blogs such as yours, Smashing Magazine, PSDTuts, abduzeedo and many many others. I have to admit I am horribly addicted to facebook and I’m an obsessive news checker, I tend to check BBC News website every few hours, i don’t have a particular explanation for that one, I guess I’m just naturally curious person.

 
"I have to admit I am horribly addicted to facebook and I’m an obsessive news checker."
 
Lastly, I will like to thank you once again for this interview. Is there anything that you wish to share with the designers at 10Steps.SG?

I would like to share a few thoughts. If you want to succeed in this job, be passionate, stay focused, believe in yourself (as many people don’t and it’s a major issue), be VERY self-critical at the same time when it comes to your projects, never ever give up on anything and set massive career goals, but not deadlines. There’s a thing about goals, goal itself can’t lead to failure, you would probably get there one day anyway, but goals with deadlines limit you, they set you on a trail of failure in case you don’t meet them by a certain date, and as we know, thing’s normally don’t happen when we want them and how we want them to happen. Thank you once again Johnson for giving me a great opportunity to do this interview and all the best.

 
 
For more updates of Elena Savitskaya’s works, visit her portfolio at http://elenasavitskaya.com

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21 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Hi, for me that sounds interesting, who knows what the future will bring… Let´s wait for it…

  2. homebreware says:

    Hi, Just thought I’d let you know your website is rendering funny in my K-melleon browser. Looks good from what I can see though.

  3. Noorahimi says:

    wow……….so nice work….i really like that, hope i can b one of like this, someday…………….thnx Johnson for posting this …thnx again and i’ll be waitin’ for new posts………best wishes…~_~

  4. aymen says:

    fantastic work .. sh have :D

  5. Lord necros says:

    Hey man your work is awesom i’ll like to learn how do you make “HOPE” its look so good

  6. T-Law says:

    Excellent designer. I love her works, good luck.

  7. dGjess says:

    very rare to see a girl graphic artist..she’s really good, btw

  8. Really !!! Me too !!! jejeje really GOOOOOD ! XD

  9. Johnson Koh says:

    I agree with you fully on this ;)

  10. orphicpixel says:

    wow, look how great she is on photoshop, amazing, im starting to love her :)

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