Learning ActionScript and migrating to PHP, learning design by exploring themes on ThemeForest, having a workspace on wheels, and aiming to become financially independent through the marketplaces while still at university. This week we meet George Baker (ThemeProvince) from ThemeForest.
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Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
I’m George. I’m 18 years of age and based in the North of England, UK. I’m currently taking a gap year, making money to become financially independent at University.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I primarily sell WordPress themes on ThemeForest. Back in the day, I used to sell Flash templates on ActiveDen.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
I originally discovered the Envato marketplaces back when I was about 15, well there was not such thing as Envato back then just ActiveDen. I was looking for a way to make money and this was the way I wanted to go about doing that. I bought some flash templates on ActiveDen to see how they were put together. I started learning ActionScript and over about three months I finally had the skills to create my own templates.
After Flash started to die out I looked to ThemeForest. I started learning WordPress and was introduced to PHP, HTML and CSS. PHP was very similar to ActionScript so that was easy for me to learn. It took me about two months before I was creating fully functional WordPress themes.
Design was the problem for me. I had no experience and to be honest I had no chance of getting a theme accepted at that stage. So I looked at other themes on ThemeForest and CSS galleries then I started to decide in my head what looks good and what doesn’t. This maybe happened over a period of two months.
I created four themes that I thought were not good enough for ThemeForest, so I ended up scrapping them completely. My first theme Adventure was my first “good looking” creation so I decided to try get it on ThemeForest. I guess you just have to practice, it’s as simple as that. Never give up!
Describe your home workspace.
I hate having a static workspace so mine is designed to be as mobile as possible hence the wheels!
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I first find about 10 good stock photos and base the theme on them. I don’t use Photoshop unless I need it for patterns and textures. I design in the browser and the reason for that is it takes half the time. This is also because I can’t use Photoshop because I’m primarily a developer who has adapted to his surroundings in order to sell themes on ThemeForest.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
It’s quite simple really. The top authors work really hard and they get results. Oh and be ORIGINAL!
What do you do to market your files?
Nothing. I let Envato do that for me.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
Mike McAlister! He’s an amazing designer/developer. His designs amaze me unlike any other author. Go Mike!
What do you do in your spare time?
I play tennis, cricket and football. Travel the world. And treat myself once in a while.