The recent shifts that have taken place in the world as of late, have inspired us at Xquissive to take on a more fun and interesting approach to the content we provide for our visitors. We aspire to foster an environment that promotes a sense of community and togetherness as we work to connect designers and creatives.
We have decided to incorporate an interview feature, called Meet the Artist, in which we find out more about the creatives themselves. In this segment we will delve into topics surrounding the artist’s work, their creative processes and the tools that they use.
Interview with Valeria Susik from Susik Store
Meet Valeria Susik, our first interviewee here on Xquissive! Valeria is a talented illustrator who focuses predominantly on animal illustrations to sell as images for other creatives to use.
Hi Valeria, it’s so nice to meet you! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi there! My name is Valeria, but I often go by the nickname ‘Susik’. I was born in Russia and am currently still living here. I studied at the University of Specialty Graphic Design but I have been drawing all my life.
I have always had a love for watercolor, so one day I decided to begin creating some watercolor illustrations. In fact, it was my lovely golden Labrador that inspired me to begin animal illustrations. I am so happy to know that my paintings are loved and enjoyed by so many people. Essentially, it is my followers that inspire me to not only continue illustrating but also to improve my skills.
Where did you find inspiration for your style of illustration?
I developed my style by myself. In the beginning, I mainly illustrated for myself and posted the pictures on Instagram. After gaining a lot of followers, I began to receive orders for illustrations. My inspiration is mainly derived from funny pictures of animals and a big love for my dog.
My work is my hobby
Are these illustrations a hobby, side project or part of your full time job?
A few years ago I was working in an office as a designer, but now I work as a freelance illustrator. I have managed to merge illustration into both my job and my hobby!
What tools do you use when you create your illustrations? Do you work with physical mediums like paint, pencil or pen, or do you use digital computer programs?
I paint using watercolors. Specifically, I use watercolor paper and St. Petersburg White Nights Watercolours which are extra-fine, famous Russian watercolour paints. These particular paints are well known around the world! The next step in my process is to scan my illustrations and process the file in Adobe Photoshop.
Do you use any special drawing equipment? Like a Wacom drawing tablet for example?
No I don’t, I have a love for traditional materials and techniques. However, in future I’d like to start working in a digital format.
Could you tell us more about how you started selling your art online as Susik Store?
I have only been working on my store for less than a year now. This type of platform itself seemed interesting to me, but I’m sure there are many others that I am yet to discover!
Have you tried any other platforms aside from designbundles? Is there anything in particular that you liked or didn’t like?
Yes, I’ve tried a few other platforms actually! I have used thehungryjpeg, which is almost identical to my designbundle store. Also, my illustrations were on the shutterstock for some time, but I had to leave that platform because of their policies. Recently, I have started working with stock.adobe.com.
Do you have any favorite designers?
Unfortunately I don’t follow other stores on designbundles, I mostly follow illustrators on platforms like Behance or Instagram.
Do you have any long term dreams or aspirations in relation to your illustrations? For example, to illustrate a children’s book – your art would be perfect for that!
I have actually already illustrated books for some Russian publications! I have also illustrated a children’s book in a foreign language, ‘The Mother Tree’ – I am currently waiting for it to be published. I suppose my dream would be to illustrate more books in foreign languages.
Do you have any new designs planned?
Yes of course! I am constantly conjuring up new plans and ideas. In fact, in designbundles I have 9 draft projects that are waiting to be published. Three of the nine drafts are autumn projects!
We can’t wait for those to be publicized! Before we end this interview, do you have any tips or words of wisdom for people that want to start designing?
Don’t be afraid, do it!
On that note, we wrap up this first interview. Make sure that you visit Valeria’s store and take a look at her work. If you liked this article, feel free to share it. Subscribe to our newsletter in order to be notified when we publish a new interview on Xquissive. Leave a comment to show some love!
Some more of her works: