Gadgets, break dancing, a Tuts+ education, and being a full-time Envato author. Today we meet Christopher Honninger (crozer) from GraphicRiver. And AudioJungle, ThemeForest and VideoHive.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
Hey there, thanks for having me here! Well, I am an 18-year-old computer enthusiast who has a lot of love for design, web development, visual effects and 3D graphics.
I was born in Cali, Colombia, but moved to Lima, Peru at the age of three. I always had this interest for technical stuff and sports. But since I grew up throughout an era of computer technology and gadgets, my mere ‘technical’ interest evolved into something much more computer-related. I was fascinated by programs and digital interfaces, although I had no idea what was really behind them.
I am now an (almost) full-time ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, AudioJungle and VideoHive author and a freelancer.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I started my Envato trip on GraphicRiver, but quickly stepped onto AudioJungle. I then released a VideoHive project (which I am not very proud of, as my skills have improved so much since then :P). And a few months back, I released my first ThemeForest item, which gave me a whole new perspective of what earnings and job opportunities Envato has to offer.
That said, I sell a wide variety of things, from business cards, flyers, actions and design templates, through cinematic audio tracks and motion projects, to HTML and WordPress themes.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
As a child, I started a free forum where I designed flyers, posters (etc.) for free to all sorts of users. Then, I realized I wanted to do more than just design, and started digging into customizing the forum itself. That’s when I knew I wanted to combine my design knowledge with the programming world.
Since then, I’ve always kept creating, developing and researching web- and design-related projects, to the point where I decided to make a living out of it.
As far as formal training goes, no, I have never attended any sorts of academies or schools for what I do. The Tuts+ network alone has offered me a lot of valuable material to learn from. The Internet itself is filled with great articles, tutorials and inspiration. Nonetheless, I will start my ‘official’ studies this winter in Germany, and I sure expect them to cope with Jeffrey Way’s or any other author’s great articles!
Describe your home workspace.
Sadly, it’s nothing too fancy. My home workspace is somewhat divided into two areas. It used to be only one, where I had a simple desk surrounded by speakers, my desktop and screen. A year ago I bought a Toshiba laptop, and for the sake of portability, moved it into my room. (I am no computer-addict, I swear!) Now I have almost left my desktop alone and sometimes rely on it as a server.
However, my room is quite comfortable. A wide window on the right side brings all the light and wind into the room, and can help me relax.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
There are times when I do not follow any sort of ‘creative protocol’. I am just so filled with inspiration and desire to create new things, that I skip the whole planning process.
And there are other times, where I can be a bit over-saturated from work and would rather leave everything behind. It’s then when I try get inspiration from anything I see on the Internet. Then, depending on the complexity of the file, I write the main aspects/features down and start with the creative side of the process, which is designing.
As I design I begin to imagine how certain elements of the site would function on a live website (for ThemeForest), how the design template would fit different uses (for GraphicRiver), how my video project can enforce a message and spread it around (for VideoHive) or how my audio track would be heard in the cinema for a movie intro.
In short, I try to link what I am working on with what the final result can/will be used for. Once I have a solid connection between those elements, I simply workout the details and try to offer the best that I can to the buyers.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Focus on what is original, on what can be used with a greater purpose. (This means that even if your item was not created for the masses, make it great for the smaller groups that will use it.) Take something unique from your surroundings (your culture, country, society) and implement it into your files.
And for all the ambitious authors out there, keep up to all the current trends and take advantage of the marketplace areas (item requests on the forums, popular files, etc.).
What do you do to market your files?
I market my files through well-known platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. And I also tend to upload ‘teasers’ for my upcoming projects on any social-network I belong to, from YouTube to LoveDsgn, from DeviantArt to Dribbble, and so on.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
I really like my PRO Actions Items because they have been very, very useful to me.
I am also very proud of my Explicita Landing Page, because of its features and its style.
Finally, my Christmas Flyer which I sadly submitted a bit too late. I still consider it to be a great project; I learned a lot from it, it has so many details and there’s something about the combination of elements (sky, snow, wood, etc.) that I love.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
It’s hard to name only one author, especially when you belong to several marketplaces. Hence, I’ll go ahead and name the author that has helped me a lot and is always ready to support: mordauk.
What do you do in your spare time?
My second hobby and passion is break dance. I started practicing this urban sport three years ago, although since I was a child I wanted to learn how to do those tricks. Now that I know, I have to say it’s a great way of unleashing anger, stress, frustration and even mental tiredness. It’s just fantastic to express yourself through music and dance.
In fact, the photo I attached depicts how ‘destroyed’ I was after four-or-so hours of break-dancing.