Love vector illustration? How about communicative and cute vector icons? Welcome back to our Discover Interview Series here at Envato Tuts+, where we sit down with creative professionals and ask them about their work, their experience, and their insights! Today, we’ll take a look at the colorful artwork of moonery.
I had the pleasure of asking moonery some questions about her work and the wisdom she’s acquired through years of creative practice. Her portfolio is filled with beautiful, colorful illustrations—there’s a lot of tasty treats and festive imagery to enjoy.
One thing that really struck me about her work is that she channels the things that she loves. For example, she noted her enjoyment of trying cuisine from different cultures, and then this is channeled into her work. There’s definitely a certain joy and fulfillment in pulling from life’s pleasures and the things we enjoy most when doing creative work, isn’t there?
So pull up a chair and join me as we check out moonery’s lovely illustrations, her thoughts, and her reflections on vector illustration.
Please tell us about yourself and your work.
Hello, I’m Volha also known as Moonery. I’m a freelance illustrator and have been working with Envato for several years now.
For many years my main focus was creating collections of images on some topics: foods, holidays, places.
Few years back my focus shifted towards illustration. I have more interest in representing a story with my drawings at the moment. Therefore I study all the time and always try something new. Some things stick with me, others don’t.
How did you get started in Vector Illustration and Icon Design?
I enjoyed drawing since I was a child. But I never thought that illustration could be my profession. That’s why I got education in another field. By the time I graduated my views changed, I already knew there were ways to live being an illustrator. So I got education in art and focused on freelance illustration career.
It took some time to make everything work, but eventually it did.
What do you enjoy about creating Vector Icons and Illustrations?
I really enjoy seeing final products with my illustrations. Posters, mobile games, books. I like it when my works help someone to deliver their message.
It’s also nice to know that there are people who look at your works and it inspires them to do something of their own.
If we talk about creative process I enjoy inventing and solving the visual problem the work poses. Each new work is a new task. You always face frames and limitations and each of your steps creates new ones. In the end you don’t even always get what you first had in mind.
What are some valuable things you’ve learned along the way, as an artist and designer?
The rule that I keep up to every day is to start with a complex task. I also have a routine that sets me up to work. I make myself a cup of coffee, check my mail and determine the main goals for the day. After that, I am ready to begin.
A good sketch is the foundation of a good work. Do not stop the sketch halfway, thinking that you are doing well. You should answer most of the questions at this stage. If there is no thorough sketch – there will be no good work.
A good reference is everything. You should understand what you draw, how it works and where it will be used – the understanding of this gives you answers to questions of how and what should be present in your work.
At the same time, do not regret throwing pieces out. Sometimes you get carried away and come up with lots of solutions for your work, but it is important to be able to stop yourself and understand whether you really need them or the work will be better without.
Sometimes, when you can’t get something done, it’s better to go for a walk, have some sleep or get distracted. No need to just sit and struggle. The solution comes when the brain is distracted from the task.
Here is another important thing that I try to always remember. You should draw as if no one is watching. It is very important to be able to turn off your inner critic. Especially in the initial stages. When you come up with ideas, when you try something new, it is important to give your imagination green light and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Afterwards you will evaluate these ideas from the point of rationality, usefulness. You will analyze what you created. Unsuitable ideas will be transformed into something useful, some nonsense ideas will be cut out. But if you haven’t even written them down, you will be sitting with an empty sketchbook.
What are some of your inspirations, when it comes to your Vector Illustration?
Very often I get inspired by other artists. I enjoy watching the works I like and trying to figure out how they were created, where their inspiration could come from. Of cause it’s not always possible. Often artists get inspired by their surroundings which I can’t be aware of. But sometimes it is a cultural reference or some national feature and I feel a joy of solving a hidden puzzle when I can see where the idea came from.
My personal inspirations can be anywhere. Sometimes a movie, article, something your friends say or something you see resonates with you and gives you an idea.
What are some of your favorite subjects or creations that you’ve made?
The things that are my favourite are always personal ones. Those that trigger some memories and remind me of people I love. I made t-shirts for my friends, drew cards for my family, created illustrated poster for my sister’s wedding.
I also enjoy illustrating cuisines of various countries. It always fascinates me how different we are and how much food reflects our culture.
Could you tell us about your creative process?
When I choose a theme for drawing, almost always I dig into research on the topic. Sometimes my search bring me to scanned versions of rear encyclopedias (I was looking for a description of the Slavic god of winter), or to small forums of gardeners (my research on varieties of kinds of apples). When I was making Dia de los Muertos image, I plunged into the history of Mexico, made sure how the original Catrina de Calavera looked like.
And when I was making set of Santa Claus cards, I dived into the history of Christmas traditions from different countries. I always study the topic before starting to sketch.
What advice would you give new artists or designers who want to actively pursue their craft professionally or commercially?
Focus on what you like at the moment, what is close to you, what carries you away, or what you want to understand better. Like any work at times drawing requires motivation and persistence. And diving in the topic that inspires you is a very good start. You don’t need extra energy for that.
You need to devote more time to what you are doing. Study the works of other illustrators. Ask yourself, how would your favourite artist do it?
If you feel you stuck, take a pause.
Write down your ideas. They can come anywhere and anytime. Not all of them are useful, many of them will be thrown away forever. But when you don’t know what to do you can go over your own thoughts and find something useful or something that will prompt your work further.
What are some of the best ways, in your opinion, to get your work out there and in front of an audience?
Creating quality content is a good start. First of all, you always need to think about how to do a good job. And the tools for promotion are pretty much the same – Instagram, Behance, Dribble, [a] personal website.
I believe that any illustrator can find a buyer. Any genre and work style is for sale. If you are running all the time trying to catch [a] trend, you may not be in time. It’s better to become a professional in what you really like and you yourself might become a trend one day.
Do you have any final insights or words of wisdom you’d like to share with the other creatives out there, today?
Never forget about your goal and remember that illustration, like any other craft or profession requires time and effort. First you make an effort – then you get results. People tend to forget about it and wait for the results right away. But that’s rare. Always look at the bigger picture. Good luck.
Thank you so much, Volha, for sharing your work with us today—I really enjoying listening in on your inspiring thoughts and insights. Your illustrations and icons are so charming, as is your dedication to your craft and pursuing content that you love.
You can check out more work from Volha (moonery) here:
Before we go, let’s take a look at some more work from the wonderful moonery—these are professionally designed assets that are all ready to go and use in your design project! Whether you’re looking for charming assets, playful icons, or just a little something sweet to push your project further, these are worth a look. Please do consider supporting Volha and her wonderful work!
Check out these warm, colorful, farm-themed illustrations by moonery! Perfect for products, packaging, and food-related design work, these assets could also work well for scrapbooking projects!
These herb illustrations could be a great addition to a cookbook, packaging, invitations, or even as stickers in your bullet journal! Which would you use to season your favorite dish?
I love these colorful, cut-out letters from moonery! Mix and match them for type that really stands out in your composition. These could work great for any design that relies on a collage aesthetic. Or use them in your digital scrapbooking project!
This illustration collection contains 58 different trees to choose from! Consider pairing them together, or use them individually. These could work as assets in your mobile game, accents in your children’s book, and much, much more!
Moonery’s already told us about her love of international foods—take a look at this collection of dishes from all around the world! This is just a preview; there are 25 illustrations included in this collection!
These Valentine’s Day assets are so much fun! You get not only a colorful collection of sweets and treats, but also two different patterns to work with! How cute would this be on wrapping paper or your holiday card?
Check out this fun and playful take on some of the most commonly used emoji! There are 48 to choose from, and you get not only vector files included, but PNGs too, for your convenience!
Or how about printing custom Valentine’s Day cards this year? These could also work really well as gift tags and accents to your favorite photos!
60 cookies is a lot of cookies—and that’s how many you get in this tasty collection! Not only that, but it’s a collection of sweets from different parts of the world. Take a peek at all the different cookies!
Working on a medical or health-related project? Check out these anatomy illustrations. They’re moonery’s colorful style, but applied to different parts of the human body.
Enjoyed this interview? Love vector illustration, icons, and more? Check out these articles and tutorials from Envato Tuts+ for more inspiration and insight!