Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Living in Italy, visiting Japan, passion for design software, and getting inspiration from everywhere. This week we meet Andrea Balzano (Andre28) from GraphicRiver.
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Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
Hi everyone! My name is Andrea. I will be 25 years old on June 28th, and at the moment I live in Italy, in Milano (the black and blue “side” ahah). I said “at the moment” because my wish is to work abroad, as far as I can from Italy.
I’ve studied for almost five… cough, cough… six years (damn thesis project), studying Industrial Design here in my home city, except for six months spent in Fukuoka, Japan, where I fell in love with the oriental cultures. My goal is to find a job as product designer as soon as I can, and start my professional life.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
You can find my templates at graphicriver.net/user/andre28. I work almost exclusively on print templates. It is what I can do best here, since I’m not really into web design.
I don’t have much knowledge about other areas, so I concentrate my effort in what I can do in total confidence. This makes it easy to deliver to potential buyers and provide 100% support if needed.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
I have to say a big big big “Thanks” to one of my closest friends, a great author on GraphicRiver: Giallo. He told me about this marketplace several times, but I only became more interested in it after he showed to me his portfolio and increased earnings.
I have to admit, this is not really my field of work, and I wasn’t so interested in it. But since I was free from university work, I just tried to see if I could do something. My “training” was just university classes, and passion for design software.
Describe your home workspace.
Well, my workspace is simply a desk in my room and my (new) laptop, a Sony Vaio VPCF12S1E with 6 GB of RAM and other sweet stuff, like the Vaio Display Premium with multiple lamps and 100% Adobe RGB color reproduction.
When I need to backup my files I have two different external hard disks, one of 500 GB and the other, smaller but transportable with 320 GB. That’s all!
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I have to say i don’t have a real creative process: inspiration comes from everywhere. It can be a picture, a video from Vimeo, a new item from the markeplace. I love watching a lot of items on DeviantART from different people, because really everything can give me “something” and get my mind started on an idea.
I collect lots of images that I consider inspirational, then I make some groups and decide what to use for my new project, the layout and so on. When I start a new project I usually work for few hours then stop, and continue over the next days until I get a nice result.
Sometimes my ideas come together perfectly in 2-3 hours, and sometimes they don’t. Then sometimes the next day I start working on something I don’t consider useful, and throw it away or give it for free somewhere.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
I don’t know if my portfolio can be considered successful. The only thing I can say is to do what you believe you’re good at, and start learning from the best here or somewhere else on the web. I have to say in just 3-4 months my sensibility and aesthetic has improved a lot.
What do you do to market your files?
It’s a business. It’s me against the world, ahah! So I try to share my work only where I can find potential buyers, not potential competitors, “authors”. At the moment I show my work on DeviantART, Adobe Exchange, Flickr, and when I’m lucky, Creattica.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
This layout is one of my favourite: A4 Catalogue / Portfolio. It’s clean and elegant, with emphasis on the images and the text.
The second one is the Photography Portfolio. Also in this one, images are most important, and it gives me a sense of poetry with the quotes that someone can insert.
Finally, 5 Different Products Showcase Layouts. I sincerly expected to sell a lot of this one. I thought it was something that no one in the market has done before. Again it’s something really elegant and clean, easy to use and with lots of potential uses, but… I hope buyers will understand the value of it.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
Well there are so many great artist here, is difficult to say only one name. I really admire those who can make lot of sales with few items, like my friend Giallo and his amazing portfolio.
What do you do in your spare time?
As you can see from the pictures of my workspace, I really love modelling and cars. After my experience in Japan, I’m also into anime and the Japanese language.
I play with GT5 – my one and only PS3 game. I love to go out with friends, but especially I love to travel and take photos. I don’t want to settle, i always want to be in motion! \(^_^)/