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Interview with Daria Pelekhay

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Articles / Interview/ Comments: 0

Our guest today is a great vector artist Daria Pelekhay. "The only thing I can say is that the opportunities that Adobe Illustrator provides are huge and you shouldn't be obsessed on only one thing. You should keep trying different methods and don't be afraid to experiment!” – she says. Learn more about Daria and her illustrations after the jump.

Hello Daria, Welcome to Vectorboom! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My motherland is Ukraine. I was born and raised in Kiev, where I continue to live till the present time. I've finished Kiev Technological Institute of Light Industry as a woman's clothing engineer-designer.

Does woman's clothing engineer-designer involve the ability to draw? Did you learn about the vector graphics when you were still at the institute?

 Yes, of course. The ability to draw is required if you are engaged into design. You don't only need to show beautiful lines on the sketch, but also you need to find them on the shape or a mannequin and later demonstrate it on your drawing. A lot depends on it.
Often in order to bring the desired spline many different shapes and patterns are used; this is very laborious process which not always leads to desired results. What I didn't like about this method is that it has too many points of conjunction. The purity of the line was lost.
Thus, the vector was exactly the tool which allowed solving the problem very easily. The process was so exciting that soon I began doing the technical sketches in the vector as well.

What vector editor do you work in?

I work in Adobe Illustrator. This program allows you to enjoy the process of drawing the most. In particular, I like very much how the work is implemented in this editor, especially brushes; and the gradient mesh is completely different story. The features of this tool are really great.

Is your today's work connected to vector graphics? If yes, then what orders do you do? What is your strongest point?

Iaroslav, I don't really know anymore how long I've been working in this field. At this stage, I make some illustrations for print, developing logos…. I'm also periodically involved in creation of objects and backgrounds for computer games.
What is my strongest point? Hmm… I think it is still the illustration of animalistic themes that I do the best. A variety of shapes, interesting nuances in the behavior is all very fascinating. I like to watch the world of animals and, in most cases I find the inspiration for my drawings there.

What attracts you in gradient mesh? It's quite often used for copying of the pictures. It is believed that it's killing the artist. Do you create yourself or do you copy?

This is exactly the case where you cannot appraise the situation only from one side. The features of this tool go beyond just the coping pictures.
The aim is important and the gradient mesh is only one of the ways in how to reach it. We might as well forbid the fire because it can kill as well. It is important not to carry to the point of absurdity. I am personally acting in accordance to the set task and copying blindly is just not interesting for me; even though it might turn out to be very useful in learning and understanding of some features of the tool.

Do you use the Mesh Tormentor plug-in when drawing? And in general, do you use the plug-ins while working in Illustrator? A lot of designers are proud, that they don't use any plug-ins at all (I find it strange).

I still didn't have an opportunity to appreciate fully the whole power of the Mesh Tormentor, but based on the introductory information provided by the creator of MeshTormentor Iaroslav Tabachkovsky, he has significantly expanded the field of use of the mesh, not to mention the convenience of all the other functions. It seems to me that this plug-in will be even more in demand in the nearest future and many other users will appreciate it.
I don't think that non-usage of plug-ins on purpose can be a source of pride, but everyone has its right to decide for them. For every particular problem the most appropriate solution is been chosen and if the usage of this or that plug-in allows us to save time and effort, then I don't see any reasons to refuse to use it. For example, you can spend hours on searching open paths in the artwork, or you can just simply use a plug-in.

You have great photo-realistic works and amusing illustrations. Do you have a favorite artwork? Do you ever get back to your works to improve them over time?

Every single work is been done in certain period of time and with a special mood and I find it hard to single out one. Some of the works are done in the burst of inspiration, others as laborious and sometimes very boring process. Surely, when I look now at some of my old works I realize that I would do something the other way. I need this type of analysis for myself. After all, many things can be understood only by implementing a couple of other variants and only then to realize the advantages of one method over the other.

What stages does your working process consist of and what is their sequence?

I usually do a couple of sketches in Photoshop. But sometimes I have my inspiration when I'm not anywhere near my computer, then my sketch can appear on any piece of paper or even on the napkin in the café. And by the way such spontaneous sketches are usually the most interesting. Then such a sketch is been scanned and all the other actions take place in Photoshop. There I define the light, color and all other additional details; only then I export file to Illustrator.
On my first stage I draw the characters, and this is my favorite piece of work, because exactly here the final laid of the "character” is made. Then I focus on the details and the background.

Do you have any favorite technique in Illustrator?

I like to experiment and open new borders of the vector for me, that's why it is difficult for me to define one specific technique that I like the most. The unifying link here would be only the beauty of the lines.
May be that's why ink drawings, engraving and lithographs are my fetish. I can stare the artworks of M. C. Escher, Katsushika Hokusai and Kanō Motonobu for hours and still every time find something new and wonder how I haven't noticed that before! What an amazing feeling it is!

What are your other interests in life beside the vector graphics? How do you spend your free time?

In my free time I like to wander through museums, different exhibitions, meet up with my friends or just simply spend some time with my family.

Thank you very much for the interview. Do you have any recommendations to those, who only make their first steps in the vector graphics?

Thank you Iaroslav very much as well; I was very pleased to talk to you and to look at some of the things at the other angle.
I don't consider myself a guru to give advice to somebody, the only thing I can say is that the opportunities that Adobe Illustrator provides are huge and you shouldn't be obsessed on only one thing. You should keep trying different methods and don't be afraid to experiment!

Daria Pelekhay on the Web:

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