Role models' Guide
to the digital galaxy

Aleksandra Zhelyazkova

Aleksandra Zhelyazkova

Digital Artist - Illustration and Animation

The job

My work as a digital artist combines a big variety of professions in the field of arts such as digital illustration, animation, graphic design, environmental design, etc. Probably the most important one, at least for me, is the traditional art. In order to get better, as it is ongoing process always, I have to draw daily, get new information and details in different fields depending on my project topic.

Professional beliefs
What does it take to be successful?

- What is your work philosophy?
Just sit and work!

- What does it take to be successful?
It takes a lot of work and self-discipline.

- Does your job make you compromise with something or make sacrifices?
Well, for sure if I have a lot of work at some point, I won’t be able to go out or have fun as I’m a freelancer and I don’t have a working time. But other times when you have a lot of free time it repays those sacrifices.

- Professional / social network
The communication with other people from your field is important, also sharing ideas, asking others for advice. One should constantly follow what is going on online, events, exhibitions, community gatherings, etc. 

- Relationship with employees / colleagues / employer
In the arts field everyone is one big family.

-  How do you deal with mistakes in your work?
Just click ctrl + Z

Education

In the artist field, the diploma is not important. Usually people are just looking at your portfolio to hire you.

I have a diploma in Architecture and Design. After that I was struggling to find a good Masters in animation, because my bachelor was not compatible. I had to either study more, or pay too high fees. So instead of doing that I just decided to take a few courses. One was in Zbrush, then after my graduation I realised I wanted to do more anatomy studies so I went to maybe one of the coolest place I’ve seen so far – The Animation Workshop, where I spent around half year, drawing from life models. And currently I’m finishing another course in 2D animation with ToonBoom.

Skills

Knowledge and overall understanding is important in the field, doesn’t matter if you want to do illustrations, animations, 2D or 3D designs, concept art for games, movies. Each one has its own specifics that you need to know and skills that you need to develop or upgrade.

Outside work

Except my employment, I get to have some free time too, which I like spending by searching for other short-time freelance projects. I also like working on my own personal stuff, going to events around Europe where a lot of artists gather, sharing their way of working, the story behind them, just talk to them, get to know each other, get inspired or even work with them. The artist community is friendly and united.