Kit#17 Aurelija Norkunaite

First name:Aurelija
Last name:Norkunaite
Country:Lithuania (based in Denmark)
Occupation:Creative director

Aurelija, what do you do?

I am an entrepreneur and my professional title is graphic designer and illustrator. I’m specialized in illustrations, graphics and clothing design, trend forecasting and styling. I’m also a drawing teacher for fashion students.

What is your background?

I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I’m currently involved in two companies, a fashion design startup and a graphic design/illustration startup.

But my main passion has always been illustration and drawing. Drawing often keeps me up all night :)

I consider myself a creative generalist. I recently graduated as a fashion designer. Before that, I attended an art school and before the art school I just kept drawing and drawing and day-dreaming all day long.

Today I believe that there’s a big need of technology-driven, skillful and visually communicative people who are oriented towards sustainability goals.

So I’m trying to become one of them and I still spend a lot of time learning all I can learn in the realm of digital arts, illustration and 3D.

Your favorite tools to help you with your work?

I use YouTube to learn many different things. Two categories of videos that I find very helpful are design and stretching tutorials. If you sit in front of a computer for long hours every day, you should definitely do some stretching exercise every now and then. So stretch for free with YouTube videos.

Twitch is a platform for live streaming. It’s popular for live gaming, but I use it mostly to watch other creatives’ streams. I have learned so much watching other digital artists working on their projects, openly sharing real-life stories, about their work, copyright issues or just joking around. I love to sit at my desk doing my own work with some live stream on the side. It feels like I am working with a bunch of friends and you can always ask “hey, how did you do that!?” which can be very helpful sometimes!

I use Patreon to support other artists and to benefit from their knowledge. You can support an artist paying €5 per month and get access to what this artist is sharing, which can be so many different things. For example, I support Syd Weiler and I get new Adobe brushes from her every month. If you’re an artist/creator and you constantly share content and you have something like 200 people that sponsor you, Patreon can become a nice source of income. And in any case “sharing is caring”!

If you want to draw and edit quickly, sketch wherever you go without having to carry pencils, sketchbooks or huge pencil cases… If you wish to present your ideas beautifully and save time in meetings to showcase your work… Get an iPad Pro and install procreate. Do it. It pays off as soon as you start using it. After that get Adobe Draw, Adobe Sketch and Adobe Capture. Now you are all set and well ahead of time compared to all those “pencil-case carriers” you see around. Awesome!

I think that subscribing to the Creative Cloud is like getting a one way ticket to a magic world. If you ask me, it’s a necessary step for every creative designer. But if you’re still asking yourself if the monthly cost is worth it, I can assure you that it’s more than worth it. You just have to explore it.

In some cases, it just makes graphic design work way faster. You won’t waste any time looking for a photographer or organizing a photo-shoot. And if you’re able to finish a job ahead of time, you can quickly move on to the next one, which allows you to generate more income.

I use it to quickly and easily create some color cards for my design works. It can be anything, a poster or a web page, Adobe Color always helps.

Your favorite tools on a personal level?

I recently started playing with “Magic Puzzles” on my iPad :) It’s a Jig Saw Puzzle game and it turned out to be very useful for me. First of all I love playing it, but it also trains my eyes to stay visually perceptive to small details, color differences and patterns. For example, trying to puzzle together 500 different pieces of a big waterfall, with different shapes and tones, makes you think in a different way and forces you to develop the ability to group details together based on common elements. It works for me, it makes me pay more attention to details and colors.

SketchUp is my go to platform for 3D modeling. I’m still learning but I have already spent several hours collaborating with a friend (working on a mutual project) and watching her using the software, so I picked up a lot of techniques along the way. To me 3D modeling is one of the most valuable skills to have, when it comes to digital visualization, and SketchUp is the perfect place to start building it.

Your absolute favorite tool in one sentence?

I’d rather say no to all the sweets in the world than give up my Creative Cloud.