I've been back at school for a month now (but it feels like a lot longer) and one of my first assignments was to interview my design hero. Sasha Prood's work came to mind. I first stumbled across her work on Behance and was immediately entranced. If you are not familiar with her work I highly recommend you check out her website. Her precision to detail and her typography with watercolor is absolutely stunning. I was so excited when she responded to my questions and am so excited to share them with you below! The second part of the assignment was to create a poster in the style of our hero for the presentation we will be giving to our class. This poster truly made me appreciate her abilities, because trying to control watercolor is not easy.
Interview with Sasha Prood:
1. In this digital era, how much time do you spend working off the computer vs. on the computer? Do you like to keep a balance? Which do you prefer and why?
I tend to work on and off the computer about 50/50—this balance works well for me. I like the combination of making things by hand and then using the computer to refining and arrange them. I don't prefer one medium over the other—for me, it is fun to mix them all up and work in a variety of different ways throughout each week.
My work is very personal to me, so I suspect that different aspects of my personality show through in each unique piece.
I like watercolor because it is applied to paper, you can create amazing colors and you can only control it so much. I love that unpredictable, organic aspect of painting with watercolor. Unlike many other mediums, watercolor, graphite and ink can be used in a 'messy' way or a clean way—I have always seen these mediums as having a good balance.
My initial passion for letterforms stems from my time at Carnegie Mellon's School of Design learning typography. My transition into illustration was through hand lettering and overtime has evolved to include non-type illustrations and patterns as well.
I promote my art in a variety of different ways including having a personal portfolio website, a Behance portfolio website and being a part of my representation's portfolio websites. I participate in interviews and features with books, magazines and blogs. Additionally, both my representation and I sends out promotional material.
My career path developed organically. I started off as a print designer doing marketing materials in-house for fashion retail brands. While doing this work I got back into drawing and painting, which is something that I have done all my life. These drawings and paintings began to work their way into my designs and eventually I transitioned to full-time freelance as an illustrator.
My advice to new graduates is to find your unique visual voice and apply it to everything that you do.