He lives in the city of joy, plays keyboard and bass, loves his Wacom Inuos4, and believes that Apple products can make the ugliest workspace look good. This week we meet Sherman Jackson (ShermanJackson) from GraphicRiver.
If you’re an Envato marketplace author and would like to be interviewed for the blog, head over to this form. We’d love to hear from you.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
I’ve been designing professionally for four years. I am from Calcutta (the city of joy), India.
On seeing how successful an author can be here on the Envato marketplace, I have decided to quit my 9-5 job and dedicate most of my time to work on/for GraphicRiver. I love the amount of creative scope and freedom which we are allowed to put into our work.
I run my own creative design startup company called WiderPurpose, where we design and create Christian products, promotional material, and take on commercial projects.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I belong to GraphicRiver. I prefer not sticking to selling “particular file types”. I sell files ranging from flyers, business cards, DVD covers, wedding invitations, certificates and photo templates. I am pushing myself to write a tutorial on Psdtuts+.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
I am an observer. I have always been intrigued by how different elements could be put together to form a design or graphic, which is what lead me to Photoshop.
I have not had formal training in design. Most of what I know is courtesy of great training material at Lynda.com and YouTube (to a certain extent).
Describe your home workspace.
- A decent-looking wooden desk.
- 2 computers – an iMac (21.5″), a Dell PC.
- 2 external hard drives for all my backups.
Apple products will make an ugly setup or workspace look good.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I need to be inspired before I start to design. Having inspiration adds value to your file/design.
Technically, my first step in creating my files is converting the color space to CMYK (you’ll regret if you don’t), setting the bleeds, establishing a good color palette, thinking about the typography and the overall balance and flow of the design.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
“Sow a seed” in more than one category. Don’t be known as the guy who only designs brochures, or Facebook timeline covers. That’s my opinion even though there are authors who excel in one category.
Don’t design for the $$$, design because you feel the community is missing something awesome. . If money is your priority, you will tend to design more items of lesser quality in hope for quick sales.
Lastly, look through files and get a feel of what sells and why it sells. Our reviewers couldn’t express this phrase better.
What do you do to market your files?
I use Dribbble, Twitter, DeviantArt, Shadowness and Pinterest to market my files. Facebook doesn’t really help unless you have good fan page. I start marketing my files the moment they’re approved.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
The Artist Series . I enjoy designing something that doesn’t require much structure, giving me freedom to create. I was not bound by bleeds or grid lines. Ever since I bought the Wacom Intuos4 the canvas was my playground.
Club and Design Flyer Templates. Flyers are a huge part of GraphicRiver’s success. There a thousands (if not more) of flyers on GraphicRiver, which is why it’s challenging to come up with a design that is set apart from the rest. I like challenges!
I also like my flyers because they don’t use champagne bottles. That’s a little joke we authors have had on the forums with regards to champagne bottle, speaker sets etc….
Photo-Fx-Auto Mask – Premium Bundle. I love creating artistic effects.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
Oooo… That’s a tough one. GraphicRiver houses the finest designers in the world.
But, if I were to pick one that would be Charles Brown, better known as Mr. Charles Brown on GraphicRiver. He is an all-rounder, from killer Photoshop actions, sleek magazine cover templates, mockups, the occasional flyer, he does it all… and each of his items are unique. It’s refreshing to see what he does as it’s always different. Go Charles!
What do you do in your spare time?
I am a professional keyboardist and bassist. Music and design go hand in hand. Both require “feel” and both can take you to a special place.