Meet shewa™ – a member of the design community since 2009, who went from drawing characters on paper to winning 82 contests!


Name: Dušan Ševarika
Location: Serbia
99designs handle: sheva™

How did you get started in design?

In my childhood I loved watching cartoons so I first started to draw characters. Most of them were funny because I didn’t know how to draw what I imagined in my mind. After some time I received a drawing board and started practicing and improving my skills everyday. In high school I decided to set my characters aside and moved toward technical drawings of machines (in programs like Autocad and SolidWorks).

I also loved working in photoshop but didn’t have experience with vector-based programs. I was very curious to learn and started watching tutorials, lessons, and reading couple books about it. Eventually I learned enough basics to start drawing in CorelDraw and enjoyed it so much, I decided to study Computer Graphics and Design – I graduated in 2008.

At that point I did not have any real life experience with clients, just lots of Corel drawings on my PC. I didn’t know how or where to begin to build my portfolio so I searched online and joined a couple of social sites about graphic design and things started to move along. Now I’m successfully working at a couple marketing agencies, mostly on logo designs, where I can express my creativity and skills.


Brand identity: Pixel in Love

How do you get your design inspiration?

Well, like most designers I get inspired from everything – movies, nature, but mostly from music. I can’t start drawing something if my music player is turned off.

I read the creative brief a couple of times to understand all the design goals I need to achieve. If I don’t have any instant inspiration I just let everything sit for a bit. I tend not to force it – ideas will come to me if I am patient. There are no rules about when ideas come – it can be anytime, anywhere; in a middle of a night while I m trying to sleep, or watching tv, or eating or playing football with my friends. I make sure to always put it on paper .

After I get the idea… the process I go through is always the same. Start the CorelDraw program, using the pen tool and play with it – explore shapes and lines, merge them, edit it over and over again. After I’m satisfied with the basic concept, I refine it by adding colors, effects, etc., in Adobe Illustrator and finally present the final layout in Photoshop.


Brand identity: Volland

What led you to start using

Actually I found this community accidentally. I was browsing through some logo designs and one designer who was giving me some advice recommended I check it out.

At first I just browsed the site; but later I found out that it was really interesting and fun for me to compete with other designers on the same project. We could share and gather knowledge, and I could start to build up my portfolio. After I won my first contest I received incredible boost and became addicted to 99designs.

As time progressed, my skills kept improving and I started to win more contests. Clients started to ask me personally to work on some other projects with them, which helped me begin to establish connections outside 99designs. Basically, 99designs launched me into the real world of design.


Brand identity: Snaphood

What can designers do to have success at 99designs?

  1. Always read the brief thoroughly
  2. Design entries with your own style
  3. Present only your best designs and don’t submit any unfinished ideas – presentation matters!
  4. Be polite and professional in your communication with the CH and other designers. That way you will earn respect. If you have some issues -deal with it via private messages if possible.
  5. Work hard
  6. Only choose contests that really interest you
  7. Always explain the ideas behind your design.

What do you love most about being a designer?

I love being a designer because I am constantly learning and developing my skills and ideas in different directions. I enjoy expressing myself through design while simultaneously being inspired by and inspiring my fellow designers.

Don’t keep your creativity for yourself, share it to the world and you will be appreciated!