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Inside Illustration with Elements Author Alex Krugli

Draw some inspiration from Envato Author and professional illustrator Alex Krugli.

Posted 1 Apr 2021
Inside Illustration with Envato Author Alex Krugli

Digital illustration has become one of the biggest design trends of the last few years. From line art and watercolor to complex 3D illustrations and animation, it’s among the most sought after art forms featured online.  

As a result of illustration’s popularity, Envato Elements is absolutely overflowing with amazing illustrations created by talented digital artists. So, to celebrate their wonderful work, we’re introducing you to some of the incredible illustrators working within the Envato community… 

Meet Elements Author Krugli

Alex Krugli is a Talented Belarusian illustrator from Minsk, currently based in Novi Sad, Serbia. A self-taught artist specializing in illustrations for web, apps and games, his portfolio of work is colorful, bold and optimistic. Working mainly in a flat geometric style, Alex’s designs feature complex illustrations, as well as experimental textures and gradients. 

Want to draw some inspiration from Alex’s professional illustration portfolio? Read on to learn all about the artist’s creative journey…

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

I have no artistic background in terms of education. Everything I know is fully self-taught and learned by doing. 

For several years I’ve been creating vector assets on different topics, as well as some spot illustrations for online businesses. During the last year my main focus was on freelance work and producing complex illustrations for mobile gaming, which had a strong influence on my creative style. My illustrations became more colorful, bold and optimistic. I work mainly in a flat geometric style, and enjoy experimenting with textures and gradients.

Talk us through your creative process…

I start out with an exploration stage, where I gather references and look how similar projects are being done by other professionals. For some specific projects I do additional research on history, culture, etc. Then I discuss possible illustration variants with the client and create some sketches. Sometimes I sketch in my notebook, but recently I’ve been sketching in Procreate. I create a few sketches if required, and after they are approved by the client I start working in Adobe Illustrator. I think most illustrators’ workflows would look similar to mine

What inspires you to create?

Most of all I am inspired by planet Earth, as well as cultural and natural diversity. I love to travel and discover new places, which is something that influences most of my best artworks. And of course I also get a lot of inspiration from other modern illustrators like Maite Franchi, MUTI studio, Michael Driver and Owen Davey, as well as from illustration masters such as Charlie Harper

Where are your clients typically using illustrations?

They mostly use my illustrations for motion graphics, video explainers and other animations, as well as mobile applications, games, blogs and websites. One of my projects was even used by a puzzle company!

Which brands do you think have it right in terms of illustration?

It is great to see that more and more brands are using illustrations. TheCultureTrip’s website and app have great travel illustrations, and I love the artworks which Michael Driver creates for their blog.

What’s your advice for creating unique work that stands out from the crowd?

For me, it is all about following what you love to do. Every illustrator is distinctive in their own way, with different life experience and cultural backgrounds. I’ve never tried to stand out from the crowd or create something unique, but I’ve always made sure to pay attention to my personal projects. They are the best representation of who you are as an illustrator, and will help you grow in your professional field.

What’s the biggest learning you’ve had as an illustrator?

It is very important to learn how to say “No” to people, and decline some projects in order to have enough free time for better opportunities. Never accept collaborations that don’t feel right. Even if they could earn you much more money than your average income, I believe it’s very important to listen to your inner voice.

What are your go-to digital tools, programs, or techniques for creating your work?

My main instruments are my old Mackbook Pro (mid 2012), Wacom Intuos and Adobe Illustrator. As for other digital tools, I use PureRef software for gathering references, Texturino plugin from AstuteGraphics and some vector brushes for texturing. Recently I’ve bought an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and I love them a lot and am sketching mostly in Procreate.

I try to avoid working at night and drawing in Illustrator without doing a previous sketch.

What do you think makes a great portfolio?

Feature only your best artwork in your portfolio. If you are interested in working on particular types of projects or for certain clients, gather work which appeals to them. It’s also important to review your portfolio from time to time and delete any old artworks.

What trends do you think are having the biggest impact on illustration?

More and more illustrators are using Ipad Pro and Procreate which is having a large impact on industry. I think soon we will see more textures, organic shapes, brushes and even digital watercolors. I am also sure that 3D illustration will increasingly be in demand.

How do you see the future of illustration in the digital era?

Because all illustrations are so cool and different, they give us an infinite number of styles and more opportunities for communication. For brands and businesses, illustrations can add a unique point of difference. I’m very optimistic about the future of digital illustration

Feeling inspired? There’s more where that came from! Get to know Elements Author Kaleriia Tverdokhlib, or brush up on 3D Illustration with Elements Author Amrit Pal Singh. 

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