We started the series ‘Story Behind the Image’ earlier this year and it’s gone from strength to strength. Our intention was to share the inspiration and physical lengths our Contributors go to to capture or create the perfect photo, illustration or vector.

Today’s ‘Story Behind the Image’ however turns the focus internally, to the Fotolia design team. Based between Paris, Berlin and Calgary the team of five works across a diverse range of online and offline projects. A recent addition to the team was Johanna, an intern who we set a open task – to create a composition to use in Facebook adverts. Under the guidance of  senior designer Tien and designer Fanny she created a beautiful image using a selection of Fotolia images.


Above from left: Johanna, Fanny, Tien

We asked them how they worked together to create the stunning conceptual image ‘Turtle Island’:

This image is inspired by the turtle island featured in the video game “Zelda Majora’s Mask” and by artist Dmitry Sladkov’s work.
To create this composition, I simply combined several images found on Fotolia.
I then worked on the integration of the turtle in the scenery and on its shell to tend to a realistic composition.
The final step consisted in refining the lights and shadows. I got to a harmonious result thanks to my colleagues advice.

I suggested Johanna refine the texture and composition of the grass on the turtle’s shell. Her first draft lacked depth and the grass zone was too “clean”. She restructured this part, adding some rocks and vegetation. She also used a brush to smooth the junctions between grass and sky and other elements of this turtle island.

The idea of this turtle island is awesome! As for me, I advised Johanna to redraft the shell’s shape, so that the rocks, the grass and the village merge with the turtle. To do that, she had to work on the insertions and on the global shape of the composition.

Below are the images used to create the composition

Turtle walking

Hintergrund am Wasser

Magnifique village en France

Rough seas and blue sky

island piece of land or island floating in the air on sky backgr

Rocky ground