Julia Dreams creates the stuff of dreams – hand-painted ocean elements, watercolor illustrations, and celestial prints – and her latest exclusive pack, Contemporary Art Deco, was no different. Channeling the magic and vibrancy of the Roaring 20s, Julia brought us something truly unique and experimental.

Over at Design Cuts, we had the chance to delve into her product creation process and understand how she brought this pack to life. To join us in learning about her inspiration and the challenges she faced along the way, make sure to keep reading!

Q: How long have you been creating design resources? 

J: I started creating illustrations as a teenager attending graphic design courses. My creative passion led me to get a degree in Industrial Design combined with Graphic Design. I know it sounds a little strange, but I had the opportunity to study two areas of design at once, for which I am very grateful since graphic design became something more for me. In my last year of university, I opened my own shop with illustrations.

I was trying to figure out how I could use my illustrations and sell them online and then I discovered the world of creating and selling graphic resources. At the moment, my store includes over 150 collections on various topics and using different techniques and styles. I continue to be inspired by design, even 7 years later.

Q: What made you decide to create this Art Deco product?

J: To be honest, that was Matt’s perfect idea! Usually, my illustrations are more relaxed and do not include a strict style. Previously, I did not create collections like this, and therefore it was something new for me. It raised me to a new level and expanded my skill set as a designer. I’m also a big fan of experiments. I like to experiment with techniques, styles, materials, and so I was inspired by this idea, and of course, was happy to work with Matt and the Design Cuts team again.

Q: What was your inspiration?

J: This style was influenced by the interior architecture and decorative arts of the 20s. The culmination of the development of the style was high-rise buildings; they are stylistically diverse, have straight and zigzag lines, ornaments, and various geometric shapes. Their majesty, severity, and uniqueness are very inspiring. While studying the basics of this style, we paid special attention to the architectural elements of buildings. After all, it was they who served as the main source of inspiration for us, since most often they include statues and elements of animals, such as lions, elephants, peacocks, and other birds.

Q: How long did it take you to put it together?

J: The whole process from start to finish took 2 months. It included searching for sources and creating a mood board, finding a style, creating illustrations, choosing a color palette, and making preview images. I started with a sketch of the animals, as it was decided that they would be the main subject of this collection. It took some time to find the shape and figure out what the animal symbols should be. Since the sketches of animals were created by hand and had a more illustrative style, it was necessary to process them and, based on the sketches, convert them into clear vector objects similar to architectural elements. It was the most crucial moment in the whole process, as it set the tone for the collection and decided whether the objects would look majestic and strict.

 

Q: What features do you think are unique about this pack?

J: Most of the existing Art Deco collections are based on geometry and gold & black color. It certainly looks nice and in line with the style, but we wanted to try to get away from it and bring something new that we hadn’t seen before. At first, we decided to take animal elements as the basis (previously there were no Art Deco collections that included animal elements) and add more color that matched this style. The pack’s uniqueness lies in the fact that with the help of the background colors and lines, you can change the mood of this collection. It also contains unique illustrations of animals, developed from the original symbols that were used in architecture during the Art Deco era.

Q: What was the hardest part of its creation process?

J: To strike a balance in the color palette and lines. We tried completely different color palette options. We started by adding color to the background only, such as blue and cream. Then it was decided to make it more colorful by adding a large palette of blue-green shades and colors. The more colors we added, the more difficult it was to find balance and keep the majestic style. The illustrations became more like children’s illustrations. Having understood this, we went back to the original version and added color only to the background and gold in the line. This whole process was quite complicated and long, but it was worth it because without it we would not have been able to come up with what we did.

Q: What general advice would you have for product creators?

J: Over the years of working on creating graphic assets and looking back to my first illustrations, I understand that practice, perseverance, and love for the job are the main ingredients for success. Now it seems to me that my first illustrations look a little funny, but without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It is also important to follow trends and at the same time follow your own style, analyze the market and not forget about experiments, they give us new discoveries and opportunities in our work.