Interview With

Nikita Solovyov

Hi Nikita and welcome to TWTP. I would like to thank you for doing this interview, let’s start by telling us a little about your background and how you got started in the industry?

Hi and thank you for the interest in my work! I was born in Sevastopol, the Ukrainian town in Crimea, two years ago annexed by Russia (I hope temporary). Because of the annexation I moved to capital of Ukraine - Kyiv.

I always loved drawing, that’s I why I went to art school and then to art college, which I graduated with honors. In college I was major in graphic design, but I always wanted to draw, not to do web design or UI design, so I decided to become an illustrator. It was the closest to what I wanted to do in my life and it could yield a profit. It was a conscious choice.

What would you say are the most important lessons you’ve learned that made you a better illustrator?

What I've learned is that the main point of illustration is communication with the viewer. My job is to tell him a story which would not leave him cold. This is really challenging, because I have no sequence of words, like in texts, or sequence of frames, like in animation, in my toolbox. I must place whole story in one picture, using visual language. I believe that mastering this language is a key to success in illustration.

Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a new piece.

It starts from the story. I need to think through what’s happening on the picture; who is it happening with; why he or she looks certain way. In fine, a bunch of questions must be asked and answered. The rest is easy - just draw :) I have a quite conventional approach: first, I do a composition sketch; then I consider lighting; and finally work with color and shade. That's it!

How do you describe your daily routine?

I wake up at 7 a.m. After workout and breakfast I start working. By work I mean not only drawing, but emailing with clients. My work time is blocked: 50 minutes working and 10 minutes break. I just ask Siri: ‘set a timer for 50 minutes’, or ‘set a timer for 10 minutes’. It looks a bit bizarre, but it helps me to keep focused. After 8-9 working hours (with lunch break, of course) I do my english for one hour. Then I have my spare time, which I can spend walking or watching Game of Thrones episode :) At 10 p.m. I go to sleep. If I have no urgent projects, my weekends are less loaded, but I still try to draw a bit. Being a freelancer implies effective time-management.

As an illustrator in todays age, what are your goto tools digital and physical?

I love modern technologies! I rarely draw on paper, only if I’m really tired of the screen. I work on Wacom Cintiq in Adobe Photoshop. What I like about a digital painting is that I am not restricted neither in work flexibility nor in color palette nor in anything else. The feeling of making something people do like, from nothing (in fact from zeros and ones) is fantastic, especially if they are willing to pay money for it :) This is what I call ‘to place pixels in right order’ :)

Thanks for joining us, do you have any final words for our readers?

Thank you for having me! I just want to wish everyone to do what they love most, and to succeed in it!

To check out more of Nikita's work head over to his website at