Illustrations can capture reality and transport you to another world. Mixing interesting topics with cool characters, Kit8 has created their own reality based on attractive scenes and colorful illustrations. We spoke with Kit8’s Art Director Dmitry to find out more about the agency’s poppy images.
Fotolia: Tell us a little about your team/agency, what you do and how you came to start contributing to stock?
Dmitry: Hi, my name is Dmitry Kalabin. I am an Art Director at Kit8, which consists of myself, Anton Fritsler and Anastasia Orshanskaya.
The first addition to the Kit8 team was Anton Frtsler. He’s a very talented Illustrator, whom I met long before we worked on stock. Anton has great experience in related industries such as 3D design and animation, print production, and web design. Anastasia Orshanskaya joined our team relatively recently. She is a young, recently graduated specialist, with a very specific taste in art and a great desire to draw.
Creating stock illustrations is one of our main activities at the moment. We also do commissions, contracting other illustrators and designers, offering a range of services expanding to icon design and animation. The journey with photo stocks began with my personal experience in 2008. It was a magical time of various attempts and failures. However, for the past two years, stock has become a full time occupation.
Fotolia: Your team have a very authentic style of illustration, what draws you into this style over others?
DK: In our portfolio there are several styles that characterize each team member. There are always modern features that attract an audience, which we observe and develop on. I would say that with each illustration, we are trying to create something beautiful that we ourselves really like and that gives us an incentive to work.
Fotolia: Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you decide what you will illustrate or design?
DK: Usually I come up with the concepts of what to draw; however my colleagues often illustrate them. If an Illustrator already has some, even a vague idea, it is easier to dive into the process. Sometimes the task can be written in more detail, with nuances, examples, with a clear concept of what needs to be conveyed the illustration. Inspiration can come from surfing the web, or reading the news. We constantly record ideas, even when we’re not at work. Life has a lot of aspects, we try not to repeat themes.
Fotolia: Can you explain a bit about your technical and creative process?
DK: Anton and I work in Tomsk, Russia, and Anastasia works in Moscow. The entire process takes place remotely. Each Illustrator doesn’t draw alone, we consult, and we discuss every job at any stage of production. Anton draws directly in the vector editor, skipping the sketching phase, whereas Anastasia and I usually start our drawings from a sketch on a graphic tablet. Each illustration is polished and adjusted with details that emphasize style, according to the direction we trying to achieve at the moment. Teamwork is crucial because you always get a fresh opinion from someone who has not worked on the illustration for several hours.
AS: Can you briefly explain the story behind these three images?
DK: This one is by Anton. The idea is simple enough – a young girl with a skateboard. The main feature of the illustration should be the character it self, in this case with a love for long-boards and hot summers. It should be noted that the choice of color greatly affects the perception of the illustration and often is a significant portion of the work process.
DK: I designed this illustration. The purpose of the drawing is to show a sequential process run. The weirder the stages of this process, the better it looks. I tried to not to change the thickness of lines and try a visual balance between the richness of detail in different parts of the illustration.
DK: This illustration is from a series of works made by Anastasia. Such background can be used for website headers or something like that. The canvas is divided into several blocks, each of which we can correlate to another block. The color palette contains 4 colors, which is applied to each illustration block.
Fotolia: Can you share with us some of your favorite images from your portfolio?
Fotolia: What tips would you give to someone wanting to try his or her hand at this type of illustration / design?
DK: Don’t be afraid to imitate your idols or even copy their style. Individual determination and development will inevitably lead you to your unique style. We are not in a vacuum; we all affect each other – this is the process of evolution.