How the creative mind works. By makers of CreativeMindClass — #1 Platform for Creating and Selling Online Courses.
In this interview, the visual development artist Katerina Bogus shares her experiences as an artist and her approach to digital illustration.
She works mainly on her iPad using the Procreate app.
Katerina has created several series of illustrations, including the "Teriberka series," inspired by her travels to the Russian North, and the "Tiny Things series," which was created after she felt tired of city life and the pandemic.
She shares her thoughts on creativity, overcoming creative blocks, and how she manages her time. Throughout the interview, Katerina emphasizes the importance of finding what you enjoy and the power of letting your brain think in the background while working on a task.
I want my drawings to always evoke some very soulful feelings
...like coming to warm up by the fireplace after a day of skiing in the woods.
I enjoy the process of drawing. It has something in common with meditation. When I’m working, it may get dark outside, I’ll get hungry, but nothing really matters while I’m in the process.
Now I work in both the animation industry and illustration... And even for board games. I really love what I do.
I've always been drawing a lot. But it started to look better when I graduated. Because I began to decide what and how I draw.
My advice to doubtful visual artists
Think about what you like and enjoy it. Try to listen less to people if you don't really like what they do. Everything will work out! And there will be people who will love what you do.
I draw almost everything on my iPad in Procreate. Sometimes I finish something in Photoshop.
The iPad has really improved my life. Now I work in bed, in libraries, in cafes. I choose a place to work, I move around, I don't just sit in front of my computer. So the iPad is a treasure that combines classic drawing and computer drawing.
The iPad has great brushes. For example, I bought watercolor brushes from "The Watercolor MaxPack - Brushes for Procreate". I get excited every time I use them. They are as close to real watercolors as possible.
A few words about how I do my work
I try to make a rough outline of the objects. Because I find hard outlines harsh and cold.
Sometimes I make my shadows cold bluish with the multiply setting. Sometimes I use overlay. But I don't understand that much about it.
Procreate has some good blur settings, try them out! There are several kinds of them, and they're very good. But mostly I draw as I do it with classic materials on canvas or paper.
I'm still searching, still studying my subjects, and trying to get closer to the image I like by making personal projects.
About the Teriberka series
I did after traveling there (to Teriberka). Russian North, the Arctic. A town where people used to build ships and catch a lot of fish. Now it's kind of abandoned.
Google it, please! It is very beautiful.
I always like the North.
I like the people, the animals, the millions of shades of moss. Tiny berries contain loads of vitamins, more than tropical fruits. It's very impressive.
Northern cliffs look like the skin of giant elephants! These are the feelings that I tried to show in the pictures.
About the Tiny Things series
This project came into my mind when I was very tired of work, the pandemic, and the city.
I bought a macro lens and went into the forest. And how much incredible beauty was under my feet! Every inch of nature was beautiful. It gave me a lot of creative energy. That's how this project came about.
No matter what happens, there is a miracle right under the feet!
How I organize my work time
The hardest thing is to manage time and rest, to answer 'no' to offers that are not particularly suitable. Or to take on a lot of work and try to survive and not get tired of doing what you love. All this I am still learning.
About the creative blocks
The hard part is the process itself - sometimes it doesn't work out. I don't like the result. So you can suffer for eight hours, get frustrated. And then a couple of days later, you can redo it in an hour and everything looks good. What's that? Magic.
My little advice on how to overcome creative blocks
When there is some kind of task - do not sit down immediately to draw (if possible). Let your brain think in the background while you're busy doing other things. That's how I think the best solutions come.
How I view my work
If I were to grade my own work - I would never give myself an "excellent". It's very exhausting and I torture myself. But on the other hand, it drives me forward.
Drawing is like a great adventure!
You have tickets to a country, you already know something from Google, something will surprise you right on the spot. So far, it seems like a cool adventure to me.
Visual development artist
My name is Ekaterina Boguslavskaya. I grew up in Russia. I studied in Moscow, but I spent my summers in the countryside.
There was no hot water, the house was heated with a furnace, and the neighbors raised cows and goats. Wonderful times! Besides nature and bicycles, I was obsessed with cartoons. All my peers grew up and stopped liking cartoons, but I did the opposite! I realized it could become my favorite thing to do. That's how I got into film school in Moscow, Russia.
You can find more of Ekaterina's works on and keep an eye out for an expansion of the series shown here on Instagram , Artstation or Behance.