Meet Our Authors: Barsrsind

Marika Belous, otherwise known as barsrsind on Envato Elements, is a talented graphic designer, illustrator, and all-round creative.

She is the second-place winner of our 16th Birthday Competition, where she created a quirky video explaining all of the amazing things that she has been able to achieve whilst working with Envato.

We chatted with barsrsind to find out about her journey to becoming a graphic designer and illustrator, her achievements since working with Envato, and her top tips for inspiring other designers… 

What’s your artistic background and how did you get into graphic design and illustration? 

I always drew as a child and went to art school for five years, where they taught me to draw still life and landscapes with a variety of materials (watercolor, pastel, gouache, pencils, ink). However, I was also interested in science and technology so I went to study at the faculty of technology and worked in this field for a couple of years.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down the creative or tech path, so I attended a student fair that was offering free coaching for graduate students. They helped me to decide what I wanted to do with my future and that was to become a designer and illustrator instead of a programmer or analyst. 

My husband (a cool musician at Envato) told me about Envato and that I could sell my digital products, so I started learning about design and illustration, working with customers, and selling my illustrations on digital marketplaces.

We loved your creative submission to our 16th Birthday Competition. Talk us through the thinking behind your entry…

The main inspiration behind my entry was the life I was able to create on my own and give to my family thanks to working with Envato.

I am an achiever by nature, so each year I tried to achieve more to make my family’s life better and I showcased this in my video.

First, I focused on my health. Medicine is quite expensive, so without Envato, I could not have helped myself. I also completed the family home and fulfilled my dream of planting and growing my garden. 

We went on our first trip abroad. I bought my first car. We saved my mom from lung cancer, as the surgery with the best oncologist in the country was very expensive.

The income from Envato was very helpful but having the freedom to work anytime, anywhere really helped to solve all of these issues as I didn’t need to take sick leave and could still work.

What main programs, tools or techniques do you use to create your work?

I use the Adobe package (Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, etc.) Sometimes I try to learn how to draw on my iPad. My main tools are shapes, pens, and brushes. I draw in so many styles and techniques such as cartoon, flat, outline, gradient, mesh, etc. 

I also use Trello and paper notebooks as well as wall calendars to organize my projects. 

How has Envato Elements helped you grow your career as an Illustrator?

When Envato invited me to Elements in 2016, it gave me a major boost in my development. It was the end of the summer when I received the invitation by email. I ran out into the yard and started jumping for joy with my dog.  

I was 90% done with freelancing and went into a full-time contribution to Envato Elements for 5 years. Often potential clients messaged me themselves after seeing my page on Envato Elements, finding me by my nickname @barsrsind on Instagram or other social media channels.

You have to make more and create better digital products to make your sales increase. That’s what I’ve enjoyed doing so far.

Which other Envato Elements Authors do you admire and why?

I really like rwgusev‘s portfolio, it’s very stylish and BoykoPictures, alongside upnowgraphic are cool as they feature strong shapes and good colors.

I also really like moonery and catalyststuff as their illustrations are so cute!

What’s the best thing about Envato for freelancers?

For me personally, it’s not having to look for orders or customers at all. This saves a huge amount of time, effort, and resources. 

Envato’s clients see the product they like, they know that the creator of this graphic draws in this particular style or on a particular subject. And when the client decides to contact the author, the conversation is more effective due to a clear understanding of what style of graphics is needed. In other words, it’s not the freelancer who adjusts to the style, but the client comes to the artist for their particular style.

This is a huge plus for having an Envato Elements portfolio.

The main trends of 2022 that I like a lot are neon gradients, colorful minimalism, and thin lines.

The last couple of trends inspired me so much that I created a few illustrations influenced by my favorite theme of technology and holidays in a new style. I love this metaverse illustration and USA Independence day graphic.

What’s one thing Envato has enabled you to achieve that you might not otherwise have had the chance to do?

Financial well-being and better mental health.

I worked in an office for 3 years before Envato in a job I loved with great people and interesting projects. The schedule was 3 days a week because of grad school. I biked 9 km one way and 9 km back to work because I felt really bad on public transportation in the morning traffic. I couldn’t move closer because I could only afford to live in a dormitory.

Even though I loved my job and had a three-day work schedule, I couldn’t cope and I was very tired. The fact that I am disabled (neurological disease and partial deafness), and I could not cope with such a load: 3 days of work, 3 days of biking for 18 km, and 2 days of studying plus freelance and postgraduate tasks.

One day total burnout happened. I almost ended up in the hospital. My mom also needed my help, and I decided to move in with her to another city. I left an interesting graduate school and a beloved job.

 Envato has enabled me to achieve good mental health.

It took me quite a long time to recover. Envato Elements came into my life and I could work at any time and set my own workload. I had no more breakdowns and burnout, and I could live happily with my family in any city and not depend on the job market.

What do you love about your work as an Illustrator and why?

I love creating cool, stylish graphics that help clients solve different problems. I’m very happy when I see a beautiful quality product advertisement, an interesting article, or a soulful postcard using my design elements. 

Beauty really saves the world, I participate in shaping people’s tastes and styles, and Envato helps to make that more accessible.

I also love that Envato makes me feel like a cool, strong creative despite my disability and that I’m doing what I love for a decent paycheck.

What’s your advice for other graphic designers who are just starting out?

Focus on quality. Quality comes first. Maintain a balance between work and leisure and make sure you do what you love to do. 

Set clear, attainable goals. Optimize your work processes as much as possible. Build a competent system of folders, and file names, prepare templates for assets, write or order the necessary scripts, and so on.

Periodically update your skills, and try new styles and themes. Most importantly always analyze the market and customer trends.

Feeling inspired by illustrator and graphic designer, barsrsind? Head over to Envato Elements and start creating today! Or, for more creative inspiration, check out some of our other Q&As with talented designer M-e-f and video whizz FrameStock.

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