Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is 'Sveva'?
Sveva is just a screen name I had when I played Everquest, spent a lot of years in that game, but I play WoW now where I met my husband Andrew (zzyzzx), and we still to this day play WoW when we can. I am a digital artist, started in traditional mediums like painting and sculpture, went to college for a few years and managed an art sales company, as well as worked at an art gallery. I am a stay at home mom to 3 kids: 17, 8, and 2. My 8 year old is Autistic, with ADHD & Tourrette’s Syndrome.
How long have you been involved in digital art?
At least 10 years, I think a bit more now.
Can you give us some hints on what you may be currently working on?
Right at this very moment? I am finishing a clothing add-on for an outfit that is not out yet, working on base textures for another outfit not yet released, and I just finished a hair add-on (this was just all today lol), and I have a couple sets of backgrounds that have not yet released. I always have a TON going on here and many people waiting on me!
What software is currently in your digital toolset and why?
Photoshop CS6 & Poser Pro 2012, honestly I have not gotten around to buying 2014 yet – not that I won’t, I just really haven’t had the time to stop and buy it, install it, and get my scripts to work with it. I will though when I get a break! I cannot live without PS and Poser, yes I have other utilities that help me, such as Blacksmith & Vue, but these are my main working programs. I can do textures and create images with these two favorites!
Could you list any current favorites among the products you've created and tell us a bit about their creation?
I love my tutorials! As long as it takes me to write and put them together they are still my favorites and worth every minute! People seem to LOVE them and that makes me happy. I also love the outfits I work on - the modelers make such pretty things and I just can’t wait to get my hands on them and texture them. When it comes to tutorials, I spend a good deal of time preparing, thinking about what I will write about, things I want to mention, I make notes on my iPhone and tablet about things I want to go over and I refer back to them so I don’t forget anything. I do take requests for tutorials. I cannot promise I will make one for the request, but I will certainly consider it.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
Coming up with new ideas. Even when you come up with a new idea, someone beats you to the punch, it’s just the way it goes, people in this business sometimes think alike, and that is ok. I just try to come up with something else, or put it on the back burner. Also, sometimes the challenge is right there in the creation of textures for clothing - you know WHAT you want to do, it is the execution to get your idea onto the canvas – so I try everything and eventually solve my problem, but one texture could take me an entire day!
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process, and are there any workflow tips you might wish to provide?
I try to plan out textures, at least 2-3 before I start, or at least have an idea. Once I get started they usually come pretty easy after that. I do take breaks and gather my thoughts and step away for a bit. When I come back I can most likely knock it out and finish it up. So, don’t forget to take a break, or even a day off (yes, I do take a day off now and again!).
Most everyone I know would love to work from home, but it does take a bit of self-motivation. What do you consider "best practices" in working from home in this particular field?
Self discipline. Yes, I want to play video games all day, but most of the time I can’t justify it, so I work. But in the evenings I take off and watch TV or hang out with my husband. I want to work, I want to do as well as I can, I want to be able to take my family out and pay the bills and make sure we have what we need, so I work, and I put play further down the list of things to do. You need to have discipline to get moving, sometimes the LAST thing I want is to work, but I do it anyway, and like I said, I do take days off and I do take vacations, but I keep myself motivated and I get my work done before I can relax. My kids come first, so I work to make sure all three have what they need, then we can play, and we do spend every day together, and I do make time for my “life,” my kids and my husband.
Do you have any other advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Find what you want to do, and do it. Learn everything you can. Read tutorials and try. If you don’t succeed, try again. There are plenty of things you can do in the digital world that do not require you to be a master painter or figure artist, there are texture add-ons, and hair, modeling, 2D, resources - lots of things to do. So, if you want to do it, you have to dedicate the time to learn it. There is a learning curve, and there will be set-backs, but do not give up!
How has this online Community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
I love Renderosity! I love the staff, I love the people! This is my second home! I have met some fabulous people and formed what I think will be very long friendships with some amazing people here that I work with and talk to on a daily basis. I adore the community (even though I don’t get much time to participate). I love seeing the art works people make with my products and resources.
Do you have any final words or advice for other digital artists?
Get creative, keep creating, and if you do not at first succeed, try and try again! You will get it! Learn all you can and do your very best! Be nice to other artists/vendors - as my mother always said, you catch more bees with honey or something... I may have said that last year, but it never hurts to say it again =)
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