Design Interview: Vladimir Tomin
Born in Russia, Vladimir Tomin is the true definition of a graphic illustrator and designer. He has worked professionally with the likes of MTV Worldwide, Reebok, and Adidas, to name a few. From motion graphics to digital art, he does it all! We have already featured him here on Abduzeedo and now we bring to you an amazing interview with the Vladimir, enjoy!
Hello Vladimir, it’s always to speak with you; I’m particularly excited for this interview! Here at Abduzeedo, you’ve released exclusive fonts, but what most people don’t realize is you’re also a stunning graphic artist, with a resume including numerous awards and well-known clients. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Vladimir: Hi Andrew! Thanks for inviting me to this interview; it is very exciting for me as well! Not much to tell about myself, I love cats, ice cream, and not too long ago I discovered coffee. For a man with constant headaches, coffee is an essential tool of creation. When I’m feeling fine, I can do literally anything. Coffee makes me feel great, at least for 1-2 hours that is. I also love my girlfriend; she inspires me more than anything on this planet.
Let’s get right into it. What was it that started your art career, sparked your imagination, and developed into a passion for a variety of mediums, which you work with today?
Vladimir: Well, university started my career. I clearly remember that day, after 5 years of pure hell: standing in front of my professor and him handing me my diploma. That day I decided that I would never be a programmer or an engineer; I had already had enough... So I tried to go into art and design-related work. I went to a local television station and told them I knew nothing about graphic design but I was ready to work and learn. I was very bad at first, but in a year I steadily improved and became head designer of the entire channel! In 2007, I met Photoshop and Graphic Exchange. It changed the way I looked at things. You see, before that time, I was creating motion artwork only. I was always pressured by deadline and couldn’t work on my projects long enough to make them as good as I wanted them to be.
Thanks to works on Graphic Exchange, I realized that creating artwork opens two new opportunities: first, you can make it as perfect as you like and constantly improve it, and you actually don’t feel distressed by any deadline. This was a great discovery and impacted my life. It has made me who I am.
I’ve seen your digital artwork, illustrations, and motion artwork, to name a few, but it is this variance that so intrigues me. What sort of time goes into your artwork, specifically your submission for Desktopography 2009, a favorite piece of mine, as well as “Dinner at Sunrise”?
Vladimir: “Fight for Alpha”, a wallpaper for Desktopography 2009, was created in 3 evenings. But, you should know, I work very fast. I already knew what style I wanted it to be, so I spent no time on experiments. The hardest part was to recreate animals as illustrations. It took some time, but turned out great in my opinion!
“Dinner at Sunrise” took 3 weeks to create. It contains an inhuman amount of illustration, keyed stop-motion work, 3D work, manual animation, and more. This was really a hard-to-create project, too bad it turned out not as great as I was expecting, judging on its relative unpopularity on the internet. Still, I think it was worth the time spent and I will definitely include a big part of this clip in my yearly reel.
Are there any underlying themes that you feel are universal in all of your pieces, or do you try to vary your style?
Vladimir:I’m not that good at making things mathematically perfect. That’s why I’m not even trying to master anything. For me it’s much easier and more interesting to try new things often. But, what I developed in the “Versus” piece for slashTHREE, I had already used 3 times: in “Fight for Alpha”, a private work for Digital Flow, and the exclusive material you’ll get to see at the end of the interview! Well, maybe this is my underlying theme you’re talking about, in visual language terms of course.
You’re obviously skilled in many programs, which ones do you excel in or use most frequently, and how have they helped you to revolutionize the way of art as we know it?
Vladimir: After Effects, enough said. This is my main tool for my line of work, and I’m spending around 10 hours a day in this program. Not every day of course. I’m also knowledgeable in Photoshop. What I’ve learned during my short yet rich life as an artist is: it’s not about the programs; it’s about the people you meet and connect with. It’s always about the people.
Professionally, you’ve worked with the likes of MTV Worldwide Productions, Toyota, Adidas, and Reebok, to name a few. What is it like being commissioned on behalf of such well-renowned companies?
Vladimir: Toyota, Adidas, and Reebok were just local representatives, but I did work with some big brands. To answer your question, I will try to describe the difference between big companies and small ones.
Big companies know exactly what they want. Big companies are ready to pay for your work, and are well-aware of what makes a fair price. Big companies are skilled in communication. Big companies brand names will influence you more than you influence their company. I don’t know, maybe I was just lucky enough to work with recognized and positive companies, but so far I have noticed this linear dependence: less money your client has, more screwed your brain will be.
That’s interesting, truly eye-opening to the way large companies will view your work! An artist must always have inspiration, have there been any artists or pieces of art that inspire you?
Vladimir:Bosch and Dalí are two of my favorites. To go into more detail, Hieronymus Bosch was a Netherlands painter known for his use of imagery in his pieces. Salvador Dalí was a Spanish painter whose imaginative work was quite eccentric.
I’m sure you’re an inspiration to our readers as well! Looking ahead, what are your goals for the future?
Vladimir:I would like to become a part of large art-related agency to have better chances of working with big brands in the near future. But, my ultimate goal is to travel the world for inspiration. I’m going to start this weekend, and my first stop is Hong Kong.
I will also be contributing to my beloved slashTHREE, but with current pack theme it is tough, but I’ll find a way through it. Personal incompatibility you know.
I can’t wait to see your future work! Now, I hear that you have some Abduzeedo interview-exclusive material, what’s that about?
Vladimir: This is the CD cover work for the great band, Injunity. Why exclusive? Abduzeedo helps many beginning artists learn; I want to inspire artists, instill creative roots, so that is why Abduzeedo is the first and only place where you can see this artwork. Later, maybe in a month or so, this work will be posted on my portfolio, but until that time, you can only find it here! Same exclusive rights go with my latest video work for MTV, “Physics of Unreal”. Enjoy!
Wow, that’s great, the motion artwork is fantastic! Thanks for sharing those exclusively for this interview. I know the readers will enjoy it!
Vladimir: Don’t mention it; I’m happy to provide something exclusive for this wonderful site!
Well, this has sure been an eye-opening interview into the artwork of Vladimir Tomin, any last words for your readers?
Vladimir: I will repeat myself once again: if you don’t love what you’re doing, do something else. It worked for me very well.
Thanks for your time Vladimir!
Vladimir: Thank you so much for invitation, I had great time here and I’m really proud to see my works on this site. Oh, by the way, I’m planning on making two new font packs in early 2010, and I would love to make those Abduzeedo-exclusives as well, so be prepared. Hope to see you guys in the near future, thanks for reading!