ILLUSTRATOR ALJA HORVAT
Living Ljubljana, Slovenia
Studied Graphic Design
Interests People, Flowers and psychedelic music
Alja Horvat portraits show a love for the everyday, and embody the shapes and style of the 70’s, an essence of Celia Birtwell with a cocktail twist, they’re what dream dresses are made of .
Those hot pinks and sultry oranges are placed upon, great shapes, with emphasis on personality and style. Eyebrows with attitude and a wardrobe to swoon over.
Incorporating her personal life into the mix with botanicals and pooches, whats not to love.
From tips over on her blog, to asking her followers what they’d like to see, its clear it matters what other people want, supporting and inspiring other illustrators is definitely part of her creative process.
We chatted with Alja about reaching that 10k following and creating something full of texture and personality.
what are the ideas and inspiration behind your work?
I mostly draw women, flowers and animals, because this is what I am the best at. But I should challenge myself more.
I use pinterest a lot - this is where I get most of my inspiration from. I often take photos with my iPhone, if I like something and I love to save photos on Instagram. When I start working on a piece I always go through all these saved photos, and see what could I use. Sometimes I save someone’s photo only because I like their boots and can't wait to use them in my painting.
But I also love to look at others creatives instagram profiles.
My faves are Isabelle Feliu, Cocorrina, Ines Longevial, Ana Levy and Amber Vittoria.
I have some hashtags followed on instagram, like #surfacepatterndesign, #jungalowstyle, #plantgoals, #lifeofanartist , #dscolor - these are my faves
How do you create such vibrant, layered pieces?
I love working with my graphic tables, Wacom Intous Pro M - but I am planning on buying iPad Pro + apple pencil, and use Procreate.
A lot of artists are using procreate right now and killing it. But I also use gouache and acrylics.
Woooo to 10k on Instagram, and wooo to the swipe up story button How was it getting there?
Well, it took so long to reach 6,7k followers, but when you have 7k or more, there is a constant flow of followers daily. And we're talking all from 50-150 a day, depending. It took me a year and half to get to 8k, and month and a half to get to 10,5k.
You know, I learnt not to worry and think about the engagement anymore. It really depends on when you're posting and what you're posting(!!). For example, if there is a big event , like the football world cup, you can expect less engagement then you would normally receive.
Would you mind sharing with us any tips you’ve learnt on how you sell artwork?
First you need to learn how to be patient, because success doesn't come overnight. This is the first and most important thing. I don't use any money on advertising but I really should.
I mostly "sell" my stuff on Instagram, but you need to realise that you're not selling your clothes, notebooks, art prints,.. but you're in fact selling yourself and your story. This is the same thing why we buy from big brands.
Make the most of the social media, for example use stories on Instagram, remind people that you're having a sale every day. I am also using Facebook and twitter, but not as much as instagram, because my target market is mostly on Instagram. You need to know where your target market is hanging and be active there.
great advice over on aljas blog (here)