Designer Anastasia S. on how you can discover your inventive voice

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Designer Anastasia S. on how you can discover your inventive voice


Kyiv-based designer Anastasia S. began her profession at 15 and have become a longtime and profitable designer on the 99designs platform at a younger age. Her ardour and dedication have been the driving drive behind her success and dealing with a variety of manufacturers on 99designs helped her outline her inventive voice.

Her distinctive fashion is a good match for small companies that wish to deliver their personalities ahead. She creates hand-drawn illustrations which are enjoyable, charming and delicately intricate. Whereas none of her two works are ever the identical, it’s simple to see that every one of them have a excessive dose of persona. She repeatedly makes use of hand-lettering, earth tones, pastels and delicate brush strokes for a novel contact.

We chatted with Anastasia about her course of, her inspiration and the way she grew her profession as a assured, working designer.

Designer Anastasia S.
Graphic designer and illustrator, Anastasia S.
Inform us a bit about the way you started your profession

In Ukraine, you possibly can go to school after ninth grade, so I ended up finding out design at 15 on a little bit of a whim. I selected graphic design as a result of I knew how you can use Photoshop.

In my second 12 months of faculty, I joined 99designs. I used to be drawing sketches for contests throughout courses, making use of the teachings I used to be studying in real-time. For instance, my academics would say that we must always draw 100 sketches for every concept and so I might draw 100 sketches to give you one contest entry. I used to be getting a lot beneficial apply by doing this.

However as a result of I put in a lot work into every contest, it felt like a catastrophe once I didn’t win. I might be heartbroken. However then I’d simply return to the record of contests and discover one other one. It was so cool to have alternatives to create and check out my work. It actually helped me develop into my very own as an artist.

Wally's vegan ice cream logo
vintage inspired ice cream packaging
Wally’s Vegan Ice Cream branding and packaging design




After about two years on 99designs, I lastly understood my very own voice and design course of. What I create and the way I create it now feels very true to me.




So that you joined 99designs while you have been 17?

That’s proper. I’m now 22 and I have already got a number of expertise. Once I first began out, I used to be attempting to comply with what I used to be studying in school very diligently. However I shortly realized that it was all a bit old school and simply not proper for me. After about two years on 99designs, I lastly understood my very own voice and design course of. What I create and the way I create it now feels very true to me.

When do you know that designing was the correct path for you?

Throughout my remaining 12 months of faculty, there have been three weeks to submit my remaining mission and I didn’t actually have a subject. So I simply accepted a mission that the varsity assigned me—I needed to design 4 or 5 posters to advertise the college. I anticipated it to be extremely boring nevertheless it turned out so properly. I didn’t even must “defend” it. I offered my work for about two minutes and that’s all it took, everybody favored it.

diploma book sample
A web page out of the designer’s remaining diploma mission

I used to be struck by the truth that this was my creation. I might tackle one thing seemingly uninteresting and bland and make one thing tremendous cool with it. And I really like this about design work.

Inform us a bit about your present design course of

When I’m assigned a mission, I learn it after which step away from it. I take that point to work on different open jobs. As soon as I’ve had sufficient house to let it sink in, I’m going again and start to work. Each model is exclusive and it’s essential to offer your self time to soak up and modify to every mission.

I spend a number of time engaged on the design temporary with the consumer. When the purchasers have common requests like, “I must discover a font” or “I would like a colour scheme”, I inform them that we have to determine what would work for his or her model.




Each model is exclusive. It’s essential to offer your self time to soak up and modify to every mission.




kombucha bottles design by Anastasia S
FIRST8 Kombucha by Anastasia S
Model collateral and packaging for FIRST8 Kombucha




Attempt to not be intimidated by your individual concepts. I at all times used to suppose that my concepts weren’t adequate. Then I spotted that if I don’t strive it, I’ve no clue the way it will prove.




That is why I’ve created questionnaires for a wide range of tasks to get a way of the consumer’s imaginative and prescient. I take the time to grasp the corporate’s background, their opponents and audience.

I additionally ask about manufacturers they like visually and why they like them. The primary two issues I’m looking for out are “What does the consumer need?” and “What is going to work for them?”. I’m attempting to get a way of what they need but in addition what they want me to keep away from.

After that, I do one or two tough sketches. After which I work on these, lots. I choose to good one or two as a substitute of developing with a 100 like I did at first.

What conjures up your work?

I feel concepts come from nearly every thing that you simply’re uncovered to on a regular basis. In Kyiv now we have a phenomenal metropolis middle. The structure is admittedly cool. So I benefit from the metropolis walks throughout workdays.

Brand identity by Anastasia S
Emblem & model identification for 3D artist Kasita

I like to go on Pinterest and profiles of designers on Instagram. The extra you see, the extra concepts you get. I additionally wish to go to museums. There are numerous fashionable artwork museums and galleries right here and the exhibitions change often. My favorites vary from Monet to Soviet modernist avant-garde posters.

For instance, now we have a number of conventional Ukrainian artwork like petrykivka. They’re extremely detailed and shiny. I might like to deliver a contact of that affect into my work. Once I was 14, we used to do that fashion of portray with my mother. You have to do it with particular brushes made out of cat hair.

Talking of design instruments, which of them do you employ whereas designing?

I largely work on an iPad. I take advantage of Procreate, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign (if I would like it), Adobe After Results for the animations, and Sketch or Figma for the online.

Window mural illustrations by Anastasia S
Window mural illustrations by Anastasia S
Window mural illustrations by Anastasia S
Window mural for The Broom and Pebble, a bar celebrating lesser-known sports activities




For those who’re a designer at first of your profession, learn to worth your work. You eat, sleep, want relaxation, and pay your payments identical to everybody else.




Once I was 17, I didn’t have an iPad. Once I joined contests for vintage-style logos or hand-drawn logos, I might draw on paper, scan it, add some magic to it on Photoshop after which vectorize it. It felt like I used to be the one contestant who was doing that. It’s honest to say that working acquired lots simpler.

Quite a bit has modified in your profession because you joined 99designs 5 years in the past. What makes you proceed on the platform?

I really like 99designs as a result of it affords an area the place designers of any degree can get higher at their craft by getting actual work—even a 17-year-old who’s simply beginning out. You learn to “work” as a designer by speaking to purchasers and dealing on a lot of tasks.

By 99designs, I’ve related with numerous folks and tasks. I labored with folks from London, Germany, the USA, Canada… Now I’m at a stage in my profession the place I solely be part of contests when I’ve some free time and largely work immediately with purchasers.

Cup design by Anastasia S
Model and occasional cup design for Athanasiou Bakery

I really like doing one-on-one tasks on 99designs. They’re secure and I don’t have to fret concerning the settlement, whether or not I’ll be paid and different administrative issues. I do know that if I’ve an issue with the consumer, I’ll have help. It’s good to have a 3rd social gathering who’s managing that facet of issues.

How do you retain your designs contemporary?

I attempt to be taught new issues on a regular basis. When lockdown started in 2020, I used that point to be taught extra about animation and After Results. I discover that it’s higher to be expert and educated throughout completely different design disciplines. With a various portfolio, I’m extra more likely to be the go-to designer for small companies and different purchasers.

Linocut work from Anastasia’s studio




It’s higher to be expert and educated throughout completely different design disciplines. With a various portfolio, I’m extra more likely to be the go-to designer for small companies and different purchasers.




What are some ideas you can share with new designers?

For those who’re a designer at first of your profession, learn to worth your work. Once you’re beginning out, seeing your work and time as beneficial feels not possible. You’re feeling as if you need to work always, work through the weekends, or work with purchasers who don’t worth you.

Some purchasers don’t notice that you’re a residing, respiratory human. You eat, sleep, want relaxation, and pay your payments identical to everybody else. You must perceive the worth of your work and time from the very starting and never look forward to exterior affirmation.

Mushroom Jerky packaging design by Anastasia S
Mushroom Jerky packaging design by Anastasia S
Packaging redesign for mushroom snackfood model, Munchrooms

Additionally, strive to not be intimidated by your individual concepts. I at all times used to suppose that my concepts weren’t adequate, however then I spotted that if I don’t strive it, I’ve no clue the way it will prove. If an concept or an idea doesn’t come alive like I imagined, it’s not the top of the world.

Now that the lockdowns are largely behind us and you’ve got your weekends to your self, what do you do along with your free time?

I watch some Netflix. I love to do some oil portray once I’m within the temper, and I’ve been engaged on my calligraphy. It’s very meditative. I do some step aerobics courses. I additionally identical to being open air very a lot. One drawback of being a designer is how a lot time we spend sitting down.

Love Anastasia S.’s work?
Rent her on your subsequent mission.



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