Inspired by her kids, artist brings their imagination to life

It’s always great to see new and varying styles of Photoshop editing and composites on Instagram, it keeps the platform fresh and keeps digital artists like myself, engaged and coming back for more.

Vanessa (@the_life_of_aivax) has an absolutely unique and playful gallery, that to me, captures what being a kid is supposed to be like, its fun, carefree and imaginative. Everyone that we feature on ‘The Creative Ones’ must have a unique and inspiring Instagram gallery and @the_life_of_aivax has definitely achieved that.

Take notes and follow along as we dig into the creative mind of this amazingly talented Digital Artist who is (@the_life_of_aivax)

How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop to edit?

I started using photoshop in October 2017, so just over a year.

How did you get into digital arts?

A: I began by taking lifestyle photos of my children and sharing them on Instagram. Then I started to get creative ideas that I wanted to try out like adding butterfly’s or making the kids fly and do whimsy little poses, and so I began to experiment with Photoshop and eventually fell in love with digital art.

Q: What inspires you to create?

A: My children! I love creating mini worlds around them and bringing their imagination to life! love the idea of making people smile through our art so I love creating fun happy photos that will brighten someones day by sharing pieces of our daily life in a creative way.

Q: Who are some of the creative artists on Instagram that inspires you?

A: Joel Robinson is one of the first digital artists I discovered and has been a huge source of inspiration for me. Others are Georgia Hardy and Erik Joh

Q: With Instagram being so saturated with talent right now, how are you able to stay unique and fresh?

A: There are a few things we practice to stand out. The biggest is looking at a niche audience and trying to add something different to it. For example, at the beginning of our Instagram career, we found that lifestyle parenting was a major trend, so we got creative with it and added a whimsical touch to this form of photography. Right now, we’re working on adding our own touch to the travel photography world.

Q: How do you educate yourself and keep learning?

A: Every day we spend time learning, observing, and researching this industry. It’s all about practice and putting in the time to learn something new every day. For me, I watch tutorials from people in this industry on how to improve my editing skills and photography skills.

Q: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started editing using Photoshop?

A: Wish I had known that less is more. I used to think that the more I used Photoshop in an image the better it would be, but I’ve actually learned over time that the less post-edit you do the more realistic your image will be. Sometimes I would overdo it with images by adding too much stuff going on, now I just focus on using Photoshop to enhance props and my subjects and adding special effects to bring the overall image together.

Q: Do you use Adobe Lightroom? If so for what specific purpose?

A: Recently, I started playing with Lightroom. I had no idea how much it had to offer and now I use it for every image. I love using it to adjust colors and making highlights pop for a more dramatic and defined effect.

Q: Take us through your workflow from beginning a project to posting it on Instagram?

A: The first part is brainstorming ideas as a team. We listen to each other’s ideas including our daughter’s until we come up with a sketch that we all feel excited about. We begin to gather everything we’ll need for the photo from props, costume, background and yes even stock images which usually takes a day. After that, we do a photoshoot which usually takes a few hours since we’re working with kids. Then we bring it into Photoshop where we do a quick draft to see if the composition is going to work. If there is no need to reshoot, we move on to editing. This process usually takes us anywhere from 8-12 hours on average. If we don’t run into any problems with the editing we finish the edit in Photoshop then bring it into Lightroom. Once the image is complete, we plan out our caption. We try really hard to tell a story with every image and we feel the caption is the heart of that. Once we have our caption its post time. We usually spend the first hour after posting on commenting. Once that is done, we get back to work on our next project.

Q: What do you hope to achieve from posting on Instagram? Are you just posting for the fun of editing or are you hoping to use your Instagram gallery as a portfolio for bigger opportunities?

A: At first it was just for fun and then we began to get e-mails with collaboration offers. It eventually snowballed into our new family business. It has been completely life changing for our family and has given us so many opportunities to work with dream brands, travel, and work as a family. I hope to continue growing our account and creating images that will bring a smile to people all over the world.

Q: I know from experience that photoshop files many layers can take up lots of space on a computers hard drive, How do you back up your original work?

A: When I first began editing I honestly just deleted the entire PSD once it was posted because I had no idea how to back up my work and store it without using up too much hard drive. I obviously learned this was a huge mistake and now I have several different forms of backing up my original PSD’s. We use google drive and several different external hard drives.

Q: How important is getting likes and comments vs just posting as an artistic expression?

A: When I first started, it was all about artistic expression, but now that it is our family business, the likes and comments have become much more important. It’s hard because number’s shouldn’t matter in art, but when your life sort of depends on it it’s hard not to focus on it. But this also takes practice. For example, I know sponsored work, no matter how good the image is, will usually perform lower so I try to just accept that from the beginning. Personal posts are just a coin toss. Sometimes they’ll do good and other times they won’t, but whatever happens, it’s just important to remind ourselves that it’s our artwork and we created it for ourselves and no one else.

Q: If there wasn’t an Instagram, where would you showcase your work?

A: If there wasn’t an Instagram I don’t think I would be in this industry. I actually earned my degree in teaching and had every intention of pursuing that until a year ago. This turned out to be an opportunity and I took it, having no idea it would take me to create images like this for my family and to share with people all over the world. I had no idea I had this talent.

Q: Have you gotten any financial opportunities because of Instagram?

A: Yes! It has been a total life changer for us. I think the biggest financial benefit has been the ability to have my husband quit his 9-5 job and work on this as a team with me. It’s a lot of hard work and we often joke that he quit his 9-5 to work a 24-7 but it’s been amazing to achieve such a major dream and travel the world with our little ones all because of Instagram.

Q: Do you think that Instagram has helped or hurt digital artists?

A: I’m not really sure how the digital art world was before Instagram, but I could assume that it has helped them create an audience behind their name. It has helped open doors for so many as well as inspire people to become digital artists like in my case. It’s helped digital artist sell their prints and work with brands so personally I think it has been great for the digital artist.

Q: What State/Country do you live in?

A: We live in Southern California United States.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like your followers to know about you?

A: We love you all and thank you endlessly for all your support on our AIVAX creative journey!