I am 23 years old and have been in college since 2012, studying Translation and Interpreting in English-German. I hope to become a conference interpreter in the future if I somehow manage to graduate. I wish my hopelessness didn't show but... yeah, Raven is not graduating soon.
Good luck on your endeavors! I've wandered upon a few Russian comments on your graphic before (stalking? what stalking?), that pretty funny! Now that we know a little bit about you, let's get down to the juicy designing details. How long have you been a designer, and how did you first get started?
I first started using PS to make signatures for my RPG characters. I think it has been more than nine years but believe me most of that time was only cropping images, putting them side by side and writing names on them with atrocious fonts. In bleeding colors. Sometimes when going through my old files I still see some of those and want to punch my keyboard. It's not that I think being a beginner is a bad thing, not at all, what's bad is all the graphic trends in my time (huh, feeling old) were SO UGLY and I was in that phase for a loooong time. It was only when I decided to make a deviantArt account that I got better. People here helped me in many ways and I'm still thankful. 2014 was a transformation year for me.
I can't even begin to imagine the lack of tools available back then! Nine years is a very long time, and I'm sure you've got a few good tricks up your sleeve. Are there any advice you can give to aspiring designers?
What created my style was moving out of my comfort zone and I will never ever get tired of saying this; leave your comfort zone. You may be able to do things in a way that makes you content with it but after mastering something, always move on to the next challenge. Don't keep dwelling on it or repeating it in every single graphic you make. Always aim for something new, something you are unfamiliar with. Soon you'll master new ways and will be able to combine them in a unique way, which ultimately leads to creating your own style.
Also I would like to share a tip which I follow myself too. It has been only a few months since I started to play with my canvas a lot and this is something I'd recommend to anyone. For example, if you are making a signature (500x200) just for once open a different canvas size, like 800x320 and do what you normally would do. After you are done, paste the work you made in 800x320 into a 500x200 canvas. Using transform tool, play around with it. See how it looks by positioning your main focus into different parts of the canvas. This way I learned using different canvas focuses and it really helped a lot! And it's easier to work in a bigger canvas too.
I love your second tip, it's such a great and new way to look at compositons, and breaking the habit of reusing familiar placements. It sounds like you put a lot of work into your designs. Is there a thought process behind your works?
There are two kinds of graphics I make; the emotional kind and the not that emotional kind. My thought process is rather simple, I work better if any fandom is involved. That's my emotional kind. They give me a hard time but in the end I always like them better because I feel like paying tribute to something that I love. I listen to soundtracks, I read quotes and after that just go with the flow. It's like creating a story with just one graphic, it's overwhelming but rewarding too. The other kind is where I use model pngs and make graphics of pretty people when feeling lazy. No thought process at all, just aiming for what looks better. The overall theme is lacking, it's a bunch of stocks put together with no intent of providing a story. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy it but in the end I feel less satisfied with my work.
No wonder why your graphics are always so striking! I love the story behind your LotR blend. It made me recall the storyline, and the emotions felt while watching it. Your graphics are always so dynamic, in part by the wide range of movement seen in your characters. When choosing models, what sort of things do you look for in regards to poses, types of people, or mood?
Ahh movies and series, the crack of all fangirls/fanboys. Are there any TV shows/movie/anime you're obsessed with?
Guys, I'm a fangirl... like I'm so deep in that hole you can't imagine. First of all even if it's a video game (no it's actually a life style) I'll just say MASS EFFECT. I'm trash. I love it. I ship this game with myself. I can talk all about it for days but I'm just stopping here without it's too late with great pain. I mean in the end I have a million more obsessions to talk about xD Like Avatar The Last Airbender and the sequel Legend Of Korra. I won't even tell you about my OTP at this point because people will judge... I just know it, even I judge myself because of this. But apart from these three fandoms I am usually a decent person, I'm a sucker for hospital series like Scrubs and House MD. My favorite TV series nowadays is The Walking Dead and I will love the Lord Of The Rings till the end of time.
Duh. Best thing I ever made. I want to be remembered with this one xD Black, orange-gold tones are so me and I guess even with all the new stuff I'm trying this is my ultimate style.
Wowzers, look at that blend *whistles* Let's move on to one last question, and beware, it's a funky one! Describe your graphics using fruits (and why you chose the fruit).
I gave much thought to this and decided to say tomato, cause I still don't know if it's a vegetable or a fruit? Same thing goes with my graphics, it's somewhere in the middle. People telling me that it's a fruit but I think it's a vegetable. (Raven that blend is beautiful!) (Nooo, pls think about it again.) I promise I'll start to make sense soon.
Like right now.
Thank you Abby so much for deciding to do this interview with me, you will always be my ultimate dA crush and you should know that. In case I get too obsessed. (fair warning)