Our newest artist interview is with freelance graphic designer and lettering artist Andrea Stan from Romania, who we are proud to announce is one of the winners from our recent T-shirt contest which we ran with the global creative platform 99designs!

Andrea's artwork really stood out to the team. She managed to perfectly translate our written brief into an outstanding illustration. She is great at digital hand-lettering and has a strong sense for composition and colours. We are very happy with the final artwork and it was a pleasure working with her.  Today we are excited to also have her on our blog and find out a little bit more on her creative process.

Winning Design for our T-Shirt Design contest

How long have you been using 99designs? and how has your experience been so far?

I first signed up in 2011 but didn't use it until my first year of uni in 2013, when I only entered a few contests and immediately gave up because I was awful at it. Then, around 2016, I started entering contests again,
I started getting positive feedback and, to my surprise, even winning a few of them!

I enjoyed doing the contests because I felt like I was learning and growing so much with each one, even if
I didn’t win. I learned how to talk to clients, how to say no to them, how to interpret a brief and how to manage my time properly. Having such a supportive community played a huge role as well in my relationship with 99designs. Both the staff and the other designers were always so helpful, uplifting and encouraging...almost like a family.

"I have a little 

over 500 entered contests and

21 wins"

What tips and advice will you give to anyone thinking of entering design contest?

First, accept the fact that you are going to fail and it will take a loooong time to get to where you want to be. Up to today, I have a little over 500 entered contests and 21 wins. Second, not winning doesn’t reflect your skills or your ability to work with clients. It just means you didn't find the right client for you. And third, to be completely honest, entering contests is a lot like playing the lottery - you can never be sure if you're going to win or no. But knowing this will make not winning easier to accept.

We love your hand-lettering style, can you walk us through your process?

I usually start by sketching ideas, compositions and random doodles even. At this stage I am pretty messy and I don’t make much sense. In this case, I started sketching different layouts for the phrase ‘Spark Your Creativity’ and tried adding some illustration as well, like lightbulbs, matches or campfires.

After finding one composition that I think will work best, I take my sketch to the digital world and I move on to sketching the actual lettering styles. I slowly polish the piece and start adding dimension, details and decorative elements.

Once I have everything in place I move on to adding color. Here I don’t really have a technique I use, I mostly play with them and try different palettes until something makes sense to me.

The most important part of the process is definitely having fun with it!

Do you want to learn about Graphic Design and Illustration? check out the below video to learn more on how we reviewed some of our favourite T-shirt contest on 99designs. 

Thank you so much for speaking with us, Andrea. And thank you for creating such a lovely T-shirt Illustration. You can check out more of Andrea work on 99designs, Instagram and Behance


Artist Interview with Elmer Tranquilino Jr

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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