Community Stories, Design

Meet the Makers: Our Authors’ Creative Journeys with Envato

To celebrate our $1 Billion community milestone, we chat to some of our authors to find out how working with Envato has enabled them to achieve things they never thought possible.

Portrait for Kelsie Rimmer By Kelsie Rimmer
Posted 09 Nov 2020
Meet the Makers - Creative Journey With Envato

Since Envato was founded in 2006, thousands of creatives have used our products to sell their work, grow their businesses and even turn a passion into a career. 

This year, Envato’s creative community has just hit an incredible milestone. Our cohort of over 80,000 authors have earned more than $1 billion USD through Envato Marketplaces and Envato Elements – an impressive sum that reflects not just the money paid out to designers, developers, photographers and artists all over the world, but the successful careers that these creatives and entrepreneurs have carved out for themselves too. 

Whether creating for Envato is their hobby, side-hustle or a primary source of income, many of our authors have been able to achieve creative and financial freedom by selling their assets via Envato. We chatted to some of our community to hear about their creative journeys with Envato, and how being part of this community has enabled them to achieve things they never thought possible.

Premiumilk: Creating Projects Without Deadlines

Envato Author: Apostolis Alexiou – Premium Milk Founder
Apostolis Alexiou – Premiumilk

Premiumilk, aka motion graphic designer Apostolis Alexiou, is known for the incredible motion graphics and video templates available on Envato Elements, VideoHive and GraphicRiver

Apostolis began producing After Effects Templates for Videohive while also working on projects for clients. Premiumilk has since grown into a successful  creative company made up of many talented employees and freelancers.

How did your creative journey with Envato begin? 

I started making Motion Graphics and 3D Animation for my company Playcreate–based in Greece–15 years ago. Seven years later, I got into creating After Effects Templates for Videohive as Premiumilk, while at the same time working on my own projects for clients. It was then that I realised that the freedom offered by Envato – creating projects whenever I wanted and without any clients or deadlines – was something really worth pursuing.

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

Envato has enabled me to focus on creating projects and uploading them very easily. The growth of Envato’s community gave me the chance to show my projects to a large number of people. Envato made me more competitive, reliable and focused on quality rather than quantity. 

The numbers speak for themselves. Here is what Premiumilk has managed to achieve through Envato so far:

  • 34000 templates sold worldwide in 200 countries.
  • 220 unique After Effects and Premiere Pro templates.
  • 3280 Videohive followers.
  • 1840 Youtube subscribers.
  • 5000 Behance appreciations.

Ddraw: Becoming a Full-Time Freelancer

Elements author and former Kinder Surprise illustrator, Ddraw, is well known for his incredible cartoons, graphics and illustrations available on Envato Elements

After five years of working as an illustrator for one of the most established companies in the world, Ddraw – aka Danilo Sanino – now works for himself as a freelance digital illustrator. With Envato now his main source of income, he has full control over how he creates and sells his work. Envato has enabled Danilo to become a full-time freelance illustrator.

What’s your background and how did you get started as an illustrator?

I’m a freelance illustrator, living in Cuneo – a little town in Piedmont, Northern Italy. I worked for five years for Kinder Surprise, the chocolate eggs with surprise toys inside. I illustrated the pieces of paper inside the eggs with the toy characters and inscriptions.

I was looking for independence, and I discovered the passive earning potential of working on the web. When I received the first dollar from my personal illustrations uploaded to Shutterstock, I realized that it was real. I then extended my portfolio to other sites, including Envato.

How has Envato helped you to grow your career as a freelancer? 

Envato helped me a lot, and at the moment it is the main source of my earnings. When I joined Envato, I was quite doubtful due to the fact that in the past I have spent a lot of time uploading my images to other sites with poor results. But in this specific case with Envato, I was pleasantly surprised with my earnings. 

But more importantly, Envato gives me the opportunity to live through my passion. I have searched all my life to reach this milestone, and the biggest treasure that I have gained in my career on the web is economic independence. For this reason I want to thank all the people on Envato that work behind the scenes.

Kaleriia: Turning a Passion into a Career

Professional illustrator Kaleriia is known for her elegant illustrations and unique watercolor style. She has a portfolio featuring a wide range of illustrations, graphics and templates on Envato Elements

While she’s only worked in the field of professional illustration for a little over a year, Kaleriia left her previous job to concentrate more on Envato.

What’s your artistic background and how did you develop your creative style?

I have been drawing since childhood, and have been working in the field of art since the age of 14. After school I painted portraits – it was a hard but interesting job. When I received my first paycheck, I realized that I could draw better and earn more. I started creating stock images for Envato just over a year ago, and the process has engaged me more and more. I could have worked 12 hours a day – not because of need, but because I enjoy it so much. 

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

I left my previous work and started to concentrate more on Envato. If this didn’t happen, I’d still be working in the job that weighed me down. I am still always learning how to become better, and Envato helps me with this.

Envato has helped me to understand the needs of the market and how to work in the digital creative space.

Kaleriia Tverdokhlib

Not all assets are accepted on the first attempt, and this encouraged me to do better and master my work and improve the quality. Envato has helped me to understand the needs of the market and how to work in the digital creative space.

Blaqmatrix: Joining a Community

Envato Author: Blaqmatrix
Workspace of Vlad and Tanya - Blaqmatrix

Envato authors Blaqmatrix – aka Vlad and Tanya from Belarus – are a talented motion design duo who create videos, graphics and video templates for VideoHive and Envato Elements

How did your creative journey begin?

Our creative journey began several years ago. We both attended the same fine arts course at university, and during the training, we were both interested in animated graphics. Along with classical education such as drawing and painting, we tried to get more additional opportunities through digital graphics e-courses. We've grown into a family-owned professional design team and have been working with Envato for six years.

How has Envato helped to grow your business?

We love Envato as it’s an ever-growing online space for developers and designers. Being completely open to using our expertise in new projects, we try to support not only Envato Market but also contribute to Envato Elements and Mixkit. It helps us to understand and analyze our creative career paths and move forward. Several years ago we were at the stage where we did not know how or where to apply our knowledge. We are now thrilled to be part of Envato creative community and to share our experiences. 

MotionCan: Supporting Further Education

Leo - MotionCan
Leo - MotionCan

MotionCan, aka 21-year-old Leo, is renowned for his incredible digital motion assets available on both Envato Elements and Envato Market. With a passion for motion design and the creation process – from sketches to animation – MotionCan creates a wide range of high-quality video content. 

Leo had no access to money or art education growing up, and Envato has helped him to not just pay for college, but find financial and creative freedom in the long term. 

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

I’ve done a lot of good projects, but thanks to Envato I’ve had huge success with this Toko Graphics Pack project for After Effects and Premiere Pro, which took about a year of hard work to put together.  

At the moment, the project has more than 16,000 sales and over 300 positive reviews! It has also been ranked as a top VideoHive project for more than two years. We constantly work on this project to improve, fix and update it. 

How has Envato helped you to grow your career?

I love the artistic freedom and skills development opportunities that I get working with Envato. I am glad that I was get to meet other interesting authors. I almost always work alone, so creating large projects and updates takes a lot of time.

I would like to thank Envato for making such a huge platform for creativity and for us designers to promote their projects and ideas!

MotionCan

I would like to thank Envato for making such a huge platform for creativity and for us designers to promote their projects and ideas! I would like to further improve my skills and develop in motion design, constantly raising the bar for the quality of my future projects on Videohive and Envato Elements. I hope Envato will continue to help me grow and develop more and more. 

PixelBuddha: Building a Business

Envato Author: Pixelbuddha
The Pixelbuddha Team

Pixelbuddha has quickly become one of the most popular and innovative authors on Envato Elements. The team of talented professionals are passionate about creating resources for the design community and are known for their wide range of graphics, templates, mockups and versatile creative tools – most notably their amazing Procreate brushes

Selling their work on Envato Elements since their early days, Pixelbuddha has managed to achieve huge growth and success through the platform.

How did Pixelbuddha come about? 

We started out as freelance UI designers. In 2013, when Flat Design became all the rage, we created one of the first commercial icon sets in this style. They turned out to be in enormous demand, so we decided to launch a website with freebies and premium design items. It was entirely intuitive, and we were just curious about what might come out of it. 

Pixelbuddha soon became very popular, and a few years later we introduced our paid membership program. We also started creating more design products, including effects, brushes for Procreate, and other add-ons, which are now available on Envato Elements.

How has Envato helped you to grow the PixelBuddha business? 

We’ve been selling our work on Envato Elements since our early days. At the beginning, we treated it as an extra source of passive income, and just re-submitted our releases from other marketplaces there. But this year, we’ve paid particular attention to it.

With a wide selection of products and stats on how they perform on the platform, we could better understand how our customers use the service. This way, we started tooling part of our releases precisely for Envato Elements. It’s helped us achieve huge growth, which is just mind-blowing. 

For the present moment, Envato Elements is the most coherent and complete catalog of design goods available by subscription. We use it ourselves as we often need something for product presentation like mockups or fonts – in this case, a subscription allows a designer to download and try as many variants as they need. 

Amrit Pal Design: Making a Career Change

Envato author and 3D illustrator AmritPalDesign is best known for his ‘Toy Faces’ series. Amrit’s work features a wide range of diversity, individuality and representation, including his unique, eye-catching 3D illustrations available on Envato Elements.

While he started out selling his work through Envato as a side-hustle, Amrit soon discovered that he could earn a consistent income through the platform, which encouraged him to go full-time. He says it has turned out to be one of the best decisions of his career.

What’s your story in a nutshell? How did your creative journey with Envato begin?

Growing up, I loved Studio Ghibli, Disney and Hanna-Barbera – so my interest in 3D was meant to be. I got into design and animation when I was 16. I ended up graduating from Vancouver Film School at the age of 22 where I learned most of the tools and techniques.

I was lucky enough to get a full-time job right out of college at Fueled, a technology consultancy based in New York City. I worked with Fueled for two-years as a motion designer and eventually returned to India to start my own design practice. I spent the next few years as a Product Designer working for clients from all over the world and doing a bit of 3D on the side.

From 2017 to 2019, I worked as Head of Design at a fintech startup based in New Delhi. 

After selling design assets with Envato as a side-hustle for one year, I left my job in 2019 to pursue this solo practice full time, focusing on 3D illustrations and design assets.

How has Envato helped your career as a 3D illustrator? 

Envato has made all the difference. I started selling on Envato Elements on the side and I was amazed by the consistent source of income. It helped me to realize that I could sell digital assets full-time and work on things I really want to work on. 

Sturdy income from Envato Elements gave me the push to leave my job and pursue making assets full-time.

Amrit Pal Singh

I started using my 3D skills to make mockups, and Envato Elements has enabled me to create and sell like never before. From branding mockups to device mockups Envato allows you to focus on creating while they do the selling part. 

Sturdy income from Envato Elements gave me the push to leave my job and pursue making assets full-time. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my career. 

Tellu: Surviving the Global Pandemic

Indonesian-based designers Telllu create colorful and punchy graphics featuring watercolors and lettering. Founded by Ingga Endita Nafasyah, Telllu is a husband and wife team that not only produces digital assets, but also hosts creative community workshops in Indonesia. 

Envato has provided this crafty couple with the opportunity to make a living, and helped them transition to digital and earn enough money to survive amid the global pandemic.

How has Envato helped you to grow your business?

Because Envato is such a great community, especially here in Indonesia, we meet a lot of great authors with successful stories. We're so happy that we finally get one of our own! Being a part of Envato was a big turning point for Telllu, with so many opportunities ahead.

What Envato has enabled you to do that you might not otherwise have had the chance to?

If we were still only selling craft products, I don’t think we would have survived the global pandemic. By selling digital products through Envato, we can avoid so many physical interactions and do remote working efficiently. We're so thankful that we became an Envato author and can’t wait to contribute more to the community.

We hope you enjoyed reading the creative journeys of our Envato authors! For more creative inspiration from our talented Envato community, head to our Community Stories category to read up on our Envato Authors' creative tips, as well as the fellow Envato Authors who inspire them!