What's in use — Ellen Sheidlin // Durov's Code
What's in use — Ellen Sheidlin // Durov's Code

What's in use — Ellen Sheidlin // Durov's Code

21 january, 20237 minutes to read
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Omnipresent technologies have become a lifestyle. Currently our smartphone describes us better than anything else. That is the reason we, Durov’s Code, decided to create a series of “What does X use?” interviews.

In these materials our heroes share their daily-used tools and devices. Our new guest is Ellen Sheidlin, digital artist, painter, photographer, sculptor and last but not least, a very attractive person.

Smartphone: iPhone 11

Let’s start with the priviest gadget, your smartphone. Tell us which phone you use, why you have chosen it (pros, cons) and the top 5-apps you love.

— I still have the iPhone 11, because I'm not in favor of chasing technology, which makes one a consumerist. Moreover, it suits me perfectly, because it keeps the charge well. Since I am not a person who is online 24/7, my gadget lasts for two days normally. Zhenya (Evgeny Sheidlin, Ellen's husband — ed. CD) grumbles sometimes, asking me why I never take pictures of the events I attend. He has his reasons. I feel like I have a camera in my eyes, and I would rather take pictures with my own inner camcorder. My relationship with technology is rather personal, I mostly use it to communicate with people.

I love reading, and my own messages are overworded and huge. Zhenya even gifted me a Telegram Premium subscription, so I could read people’s messages instead of listening to voices. This is difficult, however, to get the meaning even with this tool - I prefer to get text messages, they are more senseful.  

So, undoubtedly, Telegram is the principal appI use to communicate, to work and to chat with those whom I care about - it is a work gadget and a personal one at a time. Via my iPhone I am trying to unite people who I can make a project with today or tomorrow.

I also use Miro app, where I create presentations and lay-outs, trying to find a way to fulfil the task. Many brands I work with ask me to show something more than the conception itself. With Miro’s assistanceI am able to explain that the realization is quite simple and I am ready to work on it here and now, so it is not a castle in the air. I create a full complete scheme with infographics, explanations and possible options. Thus, the client can see the whole picture and empty zones for elements which are to be discussed and created later.

Third app I use is Pinterest. I have a timetable for my Pinterst sessions. It means that I choose a specific day when I literally do not leave my house and nobody disturbs me. I call it “I am on an island. Bring me some water”. I rest in my bed, do not even go to the bathroom, having my sketchbooks here and there. I scan through Pinterest on my smartphone for the whole day to run a silent movie in my imagination, to make my brain work on visual puzzle games and to solve the issue I am working on. I never enter the keywords to find something I news, and I don't really know what I am looking for either. I treat Pinterst just like a shopping mall: “Surprise me, I know nothing”. Usually that is how I start my day: let us see what surprises us this time.

The next app I use is Procreate, where everything can be organized in folders. I have a folder "TON Diamonds Collections", where I keep my separate pieces of art. In Procreate there is a tool for animation, and it is possible to upload 3D objects there and to try creating samples to people who are experts in this particular area.

The fifth application is Task, a task manager. I don't use it on a regular basis, but rather for tasks that are not set for a specific day. I do not like any notifications. But the Task helps with the only notification crawling your eyes: the number of tasks you have. For example, 10 of them. You can tackle them for a whole month, but it pisses you off so much that you get rid of them much sooner. That's why I downloaded it.

Otherwise, I love hand-written diaries. What does it mean? I have chosen probably the most inconvenient “application” for many people, because you have to manually erase and type everything, and nothing is shown automatically. But there is such an application too – it is called the "Plan of the Week", if I am not mistaken. That's what it looks like.

Wow, it looks like a real physical diary.
— It does! I love to virtualise diaries. This makes me remember old times when I had nothing but a Word file I used as a diary. I loved it so much, I filled it with GIFs and emojis. I’d like to keep it the old-fashioned way. There is some kind of magic of dedicating your time to this activity. I prefer to do it on Sunday.

There is also an app named Pieces, it is created for those who tells stories. It is very beautiful, and you can create your own lay-out.

It’s a cool one!
Yes, you can create it yourself and fix it here and there. It is very pleasing to read, better than in Notes. Sure, you can use them, but I prefer Pieces for special occasions, like a text for an exhibition or a piece of storytelling. I can take a random thing nearby, for example, a nap, and start creating a story to make my brain…

Concentrate?
…Or to warm up before a big start.

Creative gadgets: iPad Pro, Macbook Pro и Wacom Mobile Pro

Which tools do you use to draw and what gadgets help you?
— The iPad serves me as a digital sketchbook. It is lightweight and takes less space. I have two tablets to work with: the first one for sketches and the second one to work through the painting. Like a notepad and a canvas. I use my iPad to make sketches of the whole idea or of the clothing, taking notes or thinking about different models.

I also have a Wacom Mobile Pro, a portable computer on Windows 10 ( Windows 11 already), which you can use to work with AirBrush, and there are some original brushes as well. My huge canvas was drawn at Wacom Pro (Ellen refers to her NFT exhibition in Dubai). It's very powerful, doing well with 25k pixels of this piece. It also has an instant return.

It can bag, however, but it does not infuriate me. It has only two buttons: Ctrl, Hotkeys, and a touchpad that turns. And when you twist it, it helps with bags. Shortly, these are the reset buttons, you press it and you can be sure that nothing will be lost.

Plus, I’d like to mention my basic programs, which I have always worked in. It was very stressful to learn that Adobe left Russia, and I had no foreign cards to continue to pay for my subscription. I felt like I could’n find a way out, because I use Premiere Pro, After Effects for my videos, I'm always working with Acrobat, I work in InDesign, I work in Illustrator.

Shortly,  master all these programs, because they have been my main tools for 12 years. I can even make up a book from scratch and create a cover for it, because I had my own editor business. I don't have a well-developed minimalistic design vision which is demanded for logos, but I can facilitate it in order to show the brand by quickly putting it together, for example, in Keynote.

I often make presentations, and I love it. I replace Miro with presentations if I'm already working on a computer. With my MacBook, I process and collect all the pictures after a shooting, just like in Photoshop.

In fact, Wacom Mobile Pro is the only technology that is like my grandmother. Not because she's old, but because I trust her very much, and I can tell her anything. I can create everything with it. Wacom gives me the feeling that I can draw, that I can’t get with an iPad. Technology can make you better than you are, let you feel like a professional. Applications offer you some kind of a superpower.

Bonus: Sony professional camera

— Wow! Cool! And you have a professional camera? Are you using it?
— Zhenya uses it mostly. Photography is like a foreign language for me: I studied German at school, but apart from Ich liebe dich (I love you), I don't remember anything, although I participated in school competitions. The same goes for technology.

I can take a picture on Sony – I get the composition right, but I can't set it correctly. Every skill that I had just erased from my memory. I am mostly focused on setting the task correctly so that my team will get the result I want, but  I always process pictures myself. .

I still am responsible for “the idea” part and for retouching, and sometimes I do some complex collages, if I understand that the environment is amazing. As for myself, I can assemble the Ellen like Frankenstein, taking pieces from different photos.

21 january, 2023
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