Part 9 in our Creator Spotlight Series
Volta Voloshin-Smith started the blog Color Snack while she was in graduate school and working full time, and badly in need of a creative outlet. She started creating watercolor sketches. Once she realized how happy painting made her, she decided she needed to share that happiness with the world.
“The goal of all my tutorials is to make them quick and easy. I want to inspire people to pick up some art supplies and get to sketching,” Volta says.
Volta uses GIFs on her blog because of their value in breaking a task into distinct, visual steps. “ GIFs help me communicate my instructions better to my readers. It encapsulates a simple brush stroke or a movement that gives the reader an exact idea of how to recreate the art from the tutorial,” she says.
After being introduced to Gfycat by her husband, Volta began embedding Gfycat GIFs on her site. “I didn’t want to load up a bunch of giant .gif files onto my blog and slow down the load time, so I opted to host them on Gfycat while embedding them on my site,” says Volta. “Another winning point for me was how easy it was to upload a video and create GIFs out of it. I can’t imagine anything more user friendly.”
To make her watercolor sketches, Volta typically uses watercolor brush pens and prefers vibrant colors. Her sketches are quick, completed in a few minutes, and typically depict fairly simple subjects with an eye for light and shadow. Volta’s unfussy style belies serious skill — she’s handy with a brush, but she wants you to know that with practice, you can be too.
Volta describes her unique style as a means of encouraging others to unleash their creativity. “I try to keep them all colorful and happy as a way to convey the happiness that comes from creativity to my readers,” she says. “GIFs are the perfect medium for that: short, sweet, to the point. I love making them because they can convey an idea or message quickly, without needing a video or taking a while to load.”
Ultimately, Color Snack is less about achieving artistic perfection than it is about using art to step out of your comfort zone and nurture your creative side, gaining skills in the process.