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Inspiration: Vitaly Alexius

We've already featured some artists from DeviantArt, great ones... and it's always good to find more great artists, like Vitaly Alexius, who makes a kind of post apocalyptic art. I've seen only a few artists making this kind of art. It's really dark, yet, very beautiful. Alexius is a true master of digital painting. We'd love to hear from him about his techniques someday. Thanks to our reader, Pawel who sent us the link to Alexius work.

How to Make Good Design Decisions

When it comes to design, working a piece itself is not the complete process. There are lots of planning, researching and a little bit more planning. And it's always good to know what other people say about that process. Dan Saffer found a good way to go. About a year and a half ago, when I first started thinking about the material that would eventually become UX Intensive: Interaction Design, I wondered what it was that helped designers make those leaps of faith, the great guesses, that we have to make on projects. So I came up with this talk, How to Make Good Design Decisions. -Dan Saffer | View | Upload your own

Inspiration: Emeric Trahand

It's great to see some surreal design on the web. Emeric Trahand is a French designer who's been doing some really nice surreal work. But he's a multi-talented artist and also has other great works! Here are some of his pieces... I bet you guys have already seen some of these around the web. Anyways, it's always good to remind how good a designer is! Don't forget to visit his website at Still on the run. Hope you like it!


Yes, the brazilian both designer and illustrator Doug Alves from Nacionale hasn't updated his site for awhile. But if you don't know his works already, please check cause it's awesome!

MTV Engine Room for digital artists

This morning I've received an email talking about a new sort of reality show created by MTV and HP, it's called Engine Room. What's cool about this new show is that it's for digital artists from all around the world. So if you are a digital artist you definitely have to check it out, it's a great opportunity to show the world how talented you are . Besides, you will have the chance to become famous and have lots of fans. "Engine Room" is a new MTV series which will be seen around the world. Once selected, 16 people will be flown to New York City commencing on or about July 18, 2008 through on or about August 16, 2008 (collectively, the "Filming Dates"). They will compete in teams of 4 participants each for prizes by creating animations, websites, short films, sound mixes and more in the "Engine Room". For more information visit the Engine Room website at

A Design is Finished when... 23 Pro Designers' Opinions

One of the most important and hardest things to overcome when designing is to understand when the piece you are designing on is actually finished. while creativity is sometime boundless the end result should always be the result of a clear objective, the end result. I often get caught between creativity and completion and from the emails I've received, I have discovered im not alone .So we asked the experts. Before the answers I’d like to thank all designers that answered this question. And a special thanks to Justin Maller for the great help. Also we'd love to know your opinion, so leave a question telling us when do you think a design is finished. Chuck Anderson - When any more would be too much and any less would be too little. Knowing when something is finished comes down to an eye for composition and detail, in my opinion. If I can look at the image and it has good balance and just "feels" right. It's hard to explain, you just kind of know when it's time to stop. Of course, if you're working for a client, it's time to stop when they say it's time to stop! James White - I see my artwork as one big organic process. If I like elements and methods I developed in previous pieces, I am prone to re-use them again in a different way for a new work. Art is constant exploration, so in a way I am never finished my work. However, when I feel an individual design is going well the best thing to do is close it and step away for a while. I let my eyes rest for an hour or so. When I return to look at it again errors and inconsistancies tend to be very obvious. In the end, if I can look at a piece of my art the next day and it still looks okay, then I'm on the right track. Everyone has to think about their personal workflow to find the proper balance of achieving your goal with a given idea, while not overworking it at the same time. Justin Maller - I know a piece is finished when I set it as my wallpaper and don't notice any flaws. Guilherme Marconi - I always ask myself the same thing, like if it has met my expectations. It's done when I let my feelings tell me if everything is OK. I use the same thing to choose colors, where to add shadows, and the most important, if the process to get to that point was pleasant and satisfactory. That for me is more important than the end result, and for me, it's done. Then it's just save it and show to my fiance, my main critics. Collis Ta’eed -, "I know a design is finished when every time I add something or adjust something it seems to get worse. I often create a set of history snapshots of the design trying different things - additions or small alterations - and then show them to my wife - who is also a designer. When we both agree that the original is already complete then I delete the snapshots and stop there. Of course sometimes adding one more element can lead you down a whole other path of design, and I have wound up totally reworking a look. But that's the joy of design, there are always many solutions to a problem!" Alberto Seveso - well.. i don't know! I'm never sure when a piece is ended or it seems good, I try and risk, but I have a small secret to say, I never look the illustration of forehead when I believe is ready, I tilt my head of 45° on my left side and I look the monitor, if I like from this position I consider done. Jeremie Werner - When I think my artwork is finished, I usually put it in an another place for one week. It's important to think to other things, then to look back to your artwork. You may see details you haven't seen before. You may also look at it very close, then very far to see if composition is really working. Another good trick to find composition problems is to flip your image vertical. When flipped, the artwork tends to show easily his problems. I may also get feedback from other designers friends, but most the time the artwork is something personnal that only you can feel. Sean Hodge - A design is finished once it has accomplished the project goals. What those goals are varies depending on the nature of the design project, whether it's client work or personal work, the audience you're targeting, and others. Every project should have criteria that need to be met. Throughout the process you work to meet those criteria. Once they are met, you're done. You need to build in stages into your design process where you are the critic. If you're a constant skeptic you can't create, but you need to build in time to analyze your design. Ask yourself questions. Is the design interesting? Does it communicate what we're after here? Is the typography legible? Does it meet our goals? Run through a checklist in your head. A good designer is their own worst critic. Keep in mind though that you need to set reasonable limits on this process based on the end audience, deadline, and project scope. If you're refining details that the audience won't notice, then your pushing unnecessary pixels, and your hindering both your business and your clients. Bruno Borges - I think every design when reviewed has some room for improvement. Actually it's true because we can always make it better. When it's possible I review my designs a couple of times to sort of work more on the details, small things that only are revealed when you stop working on that piece for a bit and then get back. So, when the design is literally done is when it meets the client's needs. Chris Haines - I think a design is finished - it doesn't mean I am always right - when everything works cohesively and the details hold up from far away, without looking cluttered. Jeff Huang - You just know it. You are the artist, so nobody else but you have the right to say that it's finished. I work on my own artwork until I'm 100% satisfied, so I guess I know my piece is finished when I am fully satisfied. Kai Isselhorst - I normally throw alot more in my illus then neccessary. After a day or two I start to remove every weak element to give it a perfect look. Its finished when I know that the viewers cant be overexerted by the composition. Max Spencer - I'm never 100% happy with any piece I've made, so in my eyes, no piece I have ever made has been finished. There is always more I feel I could do to the design when I look back after a week or two. Perttu Murto - It's hard to tell when the piece is really finished, because you could fix and fix it forever.. When it looks good and everything is nicely together, you should save it and check it next day. That's how you will notice if there's something still what needs to be fixed. Joshua Smith I am finished with a piece when nothing else I add looks good. To me this means the piece isn't finished, it's simply reached my creative limitations. Nick Delaney - I never really feel finished with an art piece. In my opinion all my artwork is an ongoing artwork, and I always seem to refer to my old ones to create another one. Essentially all my art work is one big one, because they all relate to each other one way or another. Alexander Radsby - I always overdo my work and usually resort to going back and erase most of it. If I'm still happy with the work the next day then I'll say it's finished, but it could really go on forever. Bart van Leeuwen - A design is finished when satisfied at the moment in doubt what to add next. Jonathan Wong - A design is finished when it communicates your message clearly and concisely. Kervin Brisseaux - I'm never sure if a design is done unless i take a break from it and don't bother looking at it until the next morning. If what I see the next day puts a smile on my face, then it's done. Phil Dunne - As Andy Warhol once said about art, 'If you don't think about it, it's right.' When I start to get goosebumps while I'm working on an illustration, it feels right. That's when I know it's time to stop. Erik Finsrud - My work is normally never finalized till I've received feedback from my peers, they will always see something in a way I haven't. I enjoy involving others in my process. James Wignall - When the deadline is met.

Interview: Cristiano Siqueira

He's also known as Cris Vector, his illustrations are superb and we had the pleasure to have him interviewed so we could get to know a little bit more about this work process and the source of such great inspiration. To get to know more about his work, visit or at DeviantArt 1- Cris, welcome to Abduzeedo! Tell us a little bit about you, where you from and who you began working with illustrations. Hi, Fabiano. Thanks for the opportunity... about me: I'm from São Paulo, I'm 28 years old. I've worked for 6 years as a graphic designer for projects such as CD covers, books, magazines, food and toy packs. Today I don't work any more with graphic design, I've accumulated all the experience I've earned during this period (working with clients, using softwares, getting to know the process of industrial printing...) and decided to satisfy an old desire of working full time with illustrations. Before, I did make some works of illustration, but it was all connected to the graphic design I used to produce. Actually, all my development was pointed for me to become an illustrator. In 99 I finished a technical study of comunication drawing, where I've learned and could develop many painting and composition techniques, besides getting to know lots of theory studying history of art, esthetics and photography. Before finishing this study I've came to work as a scenographer and with cartoons, but these were frustrating experiences to me. Finishing the study I've managed to work in a graphic design studio as a trainee, but it turned out as a full time job and a second study. It was there were I've came to learn who to use the softwares I use today, and I got to learn a lot about the printing processes and all the routines of a studio. In 2005 I thought that I had accumulated enough experience and decided to work with illustration. I already had a good illustration feedback from my clients (much more than my work as a graph designer) and that motivated me to try walking this path in a professional way. It worked out and I've came to this day working a lot. 2- Explain who your work technique works and who is it called. Does your drawings begin hand made or is it all done digitally? All my illustrations are done entirely digitally I usually use 3 basic techniques: digital composition, digital painting and vectorial illustration. These techniques blend with each other many times, I may use composition elements on a painting (pictures insertion, for exemple), using vectorial elements in a composition or using digital painting elements in a vector illustration. Nothing is too 'pure' as an oil painting, for exemple, where you begin and finish it in the canvas, usually my works migrate from support and softwares, and what determinates that is the final result I'm looking for. Some time ago I would start all my work by making pencil made sketches. These sketches were done in 2 steps: the first one was miniatures of illustration, something that I would do to introduce the elements and organize 'em in work space... it was only for me to have a full view of how I could compose the scene. The second step was making these sketches look better, making smoother lines and curves, when I would draw more detais, would define proportions and base lines, after that I would scan it, would send it for client approval and would finish it using these scanned images as base. Today, I don't sketch anymore, I do it all digitally with a tablet. At the beginning I thought it was really weird, but now I already have enough experience to make all my sketches digitally. The whole process got a lot faster and a step was eliminated, because I can use zoom to make my miniatures and make the sketch itself look better. As soons as it gets ready, I already have a digital file to send to the client, with the need to use a scanner... and when the sketch it approved I use the same file to finish the illustration. 3- Do you work in a office? What is your routine like? What are your reasearch resources? I work alone at home. Actually, my whole apartment is my office. Since I work most part of the time, wherever I am is the office itself... television, kitchen, bedrooms, are all secondary to me. I don't usually have a routine because each work is a new situation and a new problem to solve, but some kind of method is necessary, otherwise everything gets messy. Since I already told you guys how the illustration process is, I'm going to tell you how the work is ordered and sent. I have a few clients that already know me, so they call me and make the orders directly to me, but a few clients visit my site and send their requests by email. In both cases is the same thing: I ask for a detailed briefing about the project, something that will make me understand what the client is asking for, when possible I ask for references that might reinforce what the client wants from my work. I ask about the use of the piece, who's the final client (if an agency contacts me, the final client is the one they're working for) and for how long the client will use the illustration. With all these informations I have enough to make a budget and send it to the client along with how much time I need to do it. Once the client approves the budget and the time to do it, I start to produce. First I send the client a sketch, when approved, I begin finishing it. Once is finished I send another e-mail pro final approval, if approved, I send the final file and charge it. My research sources are many. Everything is going to be up to the piece I have to do and to the information I need to complement an idea. I ahve a big list of illustrators' works that I like and often visit, even if I don't have to make a research for a piece. There's no way to list all my references, but I'm going to tell you the ones I visit the most. • DeviantArt (, I have a DA account and I update it everytime I have a new piece... recently I've submitted 2 works done for depthCORE, which I'm a member of. I also like to check the works of other people, that they post in their galleries. DeviantArt got lots of people from all around the world, with many different cultures and different skill levels. It's really great to see so many works in just one place. Very inspirating as well. • depthCORE (, I'm a member of this it the digital art collective. From time to time, we launch work collections called "packs", with works done with the same theme, which is proposed and selected by all members. The main objective is nothing more than technical and creative exercise, along with co-working with other artists. • SIB - Brazilian Illustrators Society (, SIB is the place for Brazilian illustrators who want to become professionals, besides show casing the works of Brazilian illustration elite. They also share important documents that every illustrator must have, such as budget models, Creative Commons contract models, referencial costs lists... • Behance (, it's a social networking site, only for professionals from the fields of design, fashion, illustration, photography, advertising, etc. It's a great daily source of inspiration and professional contacts with people from the whole world. • Drawn (, it's a well known blog, I like to visit it and check out news about illustration, professional illustrators, cartoons, etc. There are other sites I like to visit, but as I said, they're too many to list here. 4- And what about your tools, what software do you use? Is there any special effect that you usually use or any tips you might wanna share? My "Harware" tools (besides my body and brain) are an i-mac 20'', mouse and tablet. The graphic softwares I use are Photoshop, Illustrator and Poser. There's no special or secret effect I usually use, something that I might call a rule... Usually I look for solutions in each case, depending on what I want my work to look like. I just wanna suggest the "blend" tool from Illustrator, which is really underestimated, but for me is of great use for creating textures and half-tones. 5- I've noticed that you got a great number of works in yout portfolio. Are they all done for clients or are some experimental? Everything I make I put in my portfolio, and I think that most of it are experimental, done to be sold as prints or just technical exercise. Not always clients accept some kinds of works, but I want so much to do it that I end up doing it to me. In general, people enjoy a lot my experimental works, and a great part of the popularity I've gained (at sites such as DeviantArt, for example) comes from the appreciation for my experimetal line of works. 6- Who are your clients, Cris? Are they all from Brazil or are working world wide? Who do you make your work known? Great part of my clients is from Brazil. Most works come from agencies... the ones I'm working for the most are Pande Design and Seragini Design. Through these agencies I could work to Del Valle, Perdigão, Jornal Estado de São Paulo, Mabel, Dona Benta, Penalty, and others. I also work for editorial market, in this case, I usually contacted directly by the client, and the main ones I work for are Editora Abril (Vip, Super Interessantes, Você S/A and Aventuras na História magazines) and Richmonde Publishing, represented by Editora moderna. I've already done and I'm still doing works for clients abroad, they're not too many because there are greater difficulties dealing with documentation, contracts, taxes.... all burocracy per say. I'm working this issue so I can wide my work in the international market, where curiously is where I have a bigger projection. Today, people end up telling each other about my work and that brings me clients. The ones that appreciate my work usually recommend me to other people and like that, things go on and on. So, when a client contacts me, he already knows what he's looking for. I also use the sites I'm a member of to stablish a good networks of professional relationships, people end up knowing my work and recommending me to other people. When I began as a illustrator, with few clients, I would do the basic system: make calls, schedule meetings, present portfolio. Today, I rarely do that. 7- We like to know what artist do in their spare time to get some fun. What do you do? Sports, television, movies? Any tip of things to do in your city? Actually I have very little spare time. But when I've got some, I tend hang out with my wife, talk a walk, go the movies, theater. I used to party, but now it isn't possible. I really like sports... I used to play voleyball and soccer, but I lack organization on my personal time to practice these sports once more, I miss it sometimes, but I end up not doing it. I don't like television that much, the only thing I watch are a few series or movies, sports and world news, and the rest for me is totally unnecessary. Here in São Paulo there are lots of things to do. Many good restaurants to go, many cinemas, theathers, parks, parties... my only tip is to go out and have fun. The São Paulo night is great, with many options in several neighborhoods. 8 – Thanks a lot for this interview. Do you have any tip for the people who might be starting to design now or anything you might wanna add? Thank you for this oportunity. My only tip for the people who are starting now is to be persistent and to get to know the area you want to work with. Many illustrators have began without too much of a notion of who to deal with clients, with more burocratic processes which are important for an illustrator's success. The majority of them can't wait to see their work published and that is a weakness which clients take advantage of. So, it is important to research, get to know the needs of the client that you wish to work for, understand what will be your use, come up with budgets that won't make you pay for your own work and to make you get your own money without messing with the market itself. You must know contracts, undestand and stay tunned about what they say about use licenses and get to know if the paid value by the client is right for the use he wants to make of your work.

Inspiration: Alberto Cerriteño

A few days ago I saw some designs from this Mexican illustrator and I was really impressed with his style and the excellent taste for color combination. Alberto Cerriteño is a Designer and Illustrator from Mexico City who likes animate as well and enjoy whatever looks good with the right colors. Currently working as Senior Art Director at marketing and design agency in Portland, OR and who also makes artwork that could be digital or painting on his "free-time". His work shows us a the attention to the details and dedication to create textures using collages with desaturated colors, sometimes with a sort of vintage look. You have probably seen his work on sites and magazines such as Juxtapoz, Create, Drawn!, The Little Chimp Society, Computer Arts e Communication Arts. I highly recommend you a visit to his webiste. below there are some examples of his amazing

Inspiration: Phirebrush

You think you are a great artist? You want to show your work online? Then submit it here. It is totaly worth itWhat is Phirebrush (pronounced: fire-brush)? Well, we in short, we are an online magazine (art group if you want) that displays user submissions in monthly issues. These submissions showcase visitor submitted artwork, photography, music, desktop wallpapers and writings of various styles. Unlike most art groups and e-zines, we let ANYONE submit, trying to showcase both the famous and beginners, giving everyone a voice and a chance in the spotlight. Along with each issue we release an interview as well. We try to spread the variety around, one month talking to an artist, another month with a photographer or maybe a band, spreading insight into their minds and styles. So, what is Phirebrush? Phirebrush is whatever you make it to be. Check out the Phirebrush website Here is a compilation of their latest exhibitions.

Inspiration: Evoke

When you work on a file and you just dont know how to go on Evoke is a great place to find inspiration. Lots of young designers produce breathtaking creations you have to see. Founded by Justin Bristow, Sean Graham and Ted Yavuzkurt in June of 2005, Evoke™ began as a boutique art community, home to a small group of young, exciting artists looking to establish themselves among the best in the digital art community. Following the release of Evoke's third exhibit, the future of the group began to look grim. However, with the arrival of some fresh talent and a rejuvenated administrative panel, the exhibits to follow proved a breakthrough for the group that hasn't looked back since. Check out the Evoke website Here is a compilation of their latest exhibitions.

Great Design Resources

When you have a poster, a flyer or even a website, the dimensions of those documents or the layouts are defined by the customer. So you just enter the sizes in your favorite software, and that's it, you're ready to design. However, there are some projects which are a bit more difficult to work on. Cds, Dvds, cd covers, lettres or postcards have particular standard sizes, even for the web, there are some sizes for banners, screen resolutions, font-sizes, form elements, and much more. Because of that, it's always good to know these standards, and the Designertoolbox is a great place to find them. In this website, you can download for free the templates you need to design all type of printed materials, of any sizes, and any shape. From CD labels, covers, to Foldings, all of them with templates to be downloaded. Now, if you are a web designer, there are very useful things on their site. You can downlad form elements of the major browsers in PSD. Also there are artilces like Standard Online Banner Sizes and Understanding Fonts on the Web. Designertoolbox is definitely a site to have in your bookmarks. Just download the template you've chosen, and begin to work.

Inspiration: depthCORE

Deviantart, Flickr, various portfolios... these are just some examples of places where you might find some superb art work. DepthCORE is one of these places. depthCORE is an international art collective focused on modern and abstract art, incorporating design, photography, animation and audio. Established by Justin Maller and Kevin Stacey in 2002, our membership is comprised of artists of all ages from all locations around the world and all walks of life, united by their love for art, and their passion for innovation. So go on and visit this awesome website, fulfilled with unique pieces of art. Here are some examples of what you will find over there. ;) Alejandro Javier Soto Martinessi Alejandro Javier Soto Martinessi Allan Tangedal Anneli Olander Chris Haines Craig Shields Pete Harrison Pete Harrison and Sheena Aw Erik Schumacher

The Coolest Font Ever

From time to time we run into cool fonts sites, some of these have become a reference to all of us, like dafont. You can see some cool font design there... but what if you find the coolest font in a personal site? This is the case of the "Beard Alphabet", by Tim Yarzhombeck. Trully creative and clever, this guys made a full doodle font, of bearded dudes. Unfortunatelly I didn't find a link to download this master piece, but if any of you find it, please leave a comment!

DesignFlavr - Inspirational Art and Design

There are some sites that are really worth the visit. One of those, is DesignFlavr, a cool site with lots of inspirational links. DesignFlavr is a breed of website that hopes to deliver the latest and freshest art and design straight to you with no frills and no hassle. The concept behind this website is to help support the vast and ever growing number of Designers and Artists that reside here on the World Wide Web.

New Design, lost in space!

After one year using that brownish layout the time for a change has come. Well, actually I’ve been working on this new design since last January, not exactly this one, because I did like 2 other versions before I thought it was ok.Among all these new features there’s the new design. Black, full of stars and lighting effects. We chose to follow the space theme, due to the relation the name has with it, and that subject gives us a lot of freedom to create crazy things.Anyways, we are still adjusting the new layout, so you may find some glitches. Feel free to report us about any problem you might have or if you have suggestions or critics as well. We’d love to hear from you.

Design Movements - Art Deco Inspiration

Art Deco is one of the greatest design movements of all time. It has been a refference of style for a long time, but most people don't realize that Art Deco can be found in most places. From Brazil do the Czech Republic, from Architecture to movies, it's found in places that you probably don't even imagine. When you were a kid, and use to watch those Disney cartoons, you were probably already being surrounded by it. When you walk down the streets of the capital of the world, NY, you are living and breathing true design history. That's how big Art Deco is. So, if you didn't know it yet, get in touch with it!! May this fantastic design movement inspire you as much as any other art. Hope you all like it. Architecture Mario Quintana's House of Culture - Porto Alegre / Brazil  Mario Quintana's House of Culture - Porto Alegre / Brazil Zoroastro Artiaga Museum - Goiânia / Brazil Goiânia / Brazil São Paulo / Brazil São Paulo / Brazil São Paulo / Brazil São Paulo / Brazil Prague / Czech Republic New Yorker Hotel - NY / USA Rockefeller Center - NY / USA Chrysler Building - NY / USA Breakwater Hotel - Miami / USA Catholic church - Marietta / USA Posters More references: Wikipedia article about Art Deco The Shadow (Movie, 2004) Octavine Illustration Author: Paulo Antunes | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]

Giving your design a retro style

My last Pixelmator tutorial was inspired by the DVNO clip, which was full of design inspiration from the 80’s. But where does this inspiration come from? How can you give your work that retro feeling? The first thing to do is finding references, images that represent those years. These images will give us an idea of the colors, the typography style, and the graphic elements that were mostly used in that period of time. In my case I chose the video-game influence in that decade. In the early 1980s, the first generation of computer graphics in arcade games produced the popular Space Invaders arcade game (first released in 1978), followed by Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Frogger. Towards the end of the decade, home video game consoles began to outstrip the arcade game. The Japanese Famicom was released to the American public as the Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the NES) in 1985 and renewed public interest in video games following a brief decline caused by the Video Game Crash of 1983. Wikipedia For my Pixelmator tutorial for example, I've used some of these ideas like the perspective grid and the color palette using red, green, and blue with a dark background. Besides that, it was inspired by the DVNO clip which is full of 80's design. Now if we take a look at the James White’s Atari design, we will see, again, where some of the elements came from and why his work gives us the feeling of the Atari’s era. So the question is where can we find these images and references? Fortunately for us we, there are such sites as Flickr, Youtube, Wikipedia, where we can learn more about that time in history and check some pictures of products, designs, and videos that were produced on those days. Below I list some images I used for reference to my Pixelmator tutorial. More References Colourlovers - 80's colors. Atari Game Manuals Atari Game Catalog, 1981 Old School Activision Video Game Cartridge Catalog Winter/Spring 1984