Julia Makotinsky: A Designer First


I remember watching Julia in the designer Apprentice Competition and being so impressed with her designs. I also remember equally excited when she won a permanent spot as a designer in that store! Julia’s designs are crisp, clean, and filled with whimsy at the same time (not an easy thing to do). I’m happy to be welcoming her back again! Let’s take a closer look at “Sweet Life” that is included in The Digi Files this month:


Here are some layouts created using Julia Makotinsky’s contribution:

Layout by Karen. Supplies: Sweet Life by Julia Makotinsky; Font: Darcy Baldwin Mouseketeer Kim. byTiffany Tillman.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Sweet Life by Julia Makotinsky.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Sweet Life by Julia Makotinsky.
Layout by Lauren. Supplies: Sweet Life by Julia Makotinsky; Freehand doodles by Lauren.
Layout by Aaron. Supplies: Sweet Life by Julia Makotinsky; Shadows by One Little Bird and Jennifer Barrette; Photo actions by My Four Hens.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.

city: New York for the past 20 years. Moscow, Russia for the first 18.
family: my hubby and our 2 cats




I don’t post many layouts to the galleries myself, but I do create them for the photo books. I always loved looking at printed photos when I used to shoot with my film camera, now that I use digital one I print my own personal photo books from our vacations, celebrations, parties and things like that. I just finished my project 365 for the last year which turned out to be 120 pages thick 🙂 can’t wait to print it now.

I started selling my designs in 2008 at Little Dreamer Designs after completing an Apprentice program and being invited to become one of designers there. The program took 4 weeks to complete, and while competing among others I learned a lot from Michelle Coleman as she was giving us various assignments to complete, and she is the one who believed in me and gave me a chance to become a designer. I haven’t stopped learning and trying something new still, it’s a never ending process for me. I became a designer first, scrapper second.

books, magazines, searching the web. If it’s a seasonal theme than the season itself.

Computer: When it comes to computers and all the technical stuff I am absolutely clueless as to how much RAM I have 🙂 I am such not a technical person. All I know is I have a PC (Dell) which runs on Vista and LG monitor. My husband knows about computers, so I trust him with all this technical stuff 🙂

Program: Photoshop CS5, Illustrator, SketchBook Pro, Art Rage.

Camera: I have a Sony SLR, and had it for a few years now. Looking at Cannons as for future purchase, but still happy with my Sony.

Anything Else: I also have a bamboo tablet which I use every day and can’t be without it 🙂 looking to get a new Inkling by Wacom but so far it’s unavailable.

One tip that I used to use a lot is for photos that are too dark. I would open this photo in Photoshop, select it’s layer in the layer’s pallet, duplicate it (Ctrl+J) and set the duplicate layer as screen mode. Then depending on how dark the original photo is adjust the opacity of this layer and merge both layers together. I use Totally Rad actions now for too dark photos and I love them, but I still use this quick tip every once in a while. It saves time and it works too 🙂

I try to design at least one Christmas/Holiday kit each year and this is the reason behind this kit. I had fun designing it as It all came together so perfectly. Sometimes I start a kit and get stuck half way through, then get new ideas and keep going/changing what’s been done in some ways, adding and deleting stuff until I’m happy with the finish result. This kit simply click from the beginning. I was on a roll, and enjoyed every minute of it.
Winter is my MOST favorite time of the year, I do love cold weather and snow. It’s just fun for me 🙂

Christmas Sketchbook :: Collection
I started this kit as I was trying to learn this new program I bought called SketchBookPro. It’s a sketching software, fun to use and the more I played with it, the more I loved it. I bought it right before Christmas, so the sketches I was playing with were all winter/Christmas related, and then it turned into a kit, and later I added more sketches to it as a request of one of my CT member. Having so much fun the first time I couldn’t say NO, and the add-on pack turned out to be a hit!

This kit is one of my favorites, and most popular release as well. It’s just different from all of my other kits and that’s probably because I love it myself J I do plan to release more holiday kits using the same sketchbook look, one of them is already in the shop and called Halloween Sketchbook. I’m guessing Valentine/Love kit is next J so stay tuned!


Here are some of my favorite products by Julia Makotinsky:







Here are some more inspirational layouts using Julia Makotinsky’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.


Save 30% at Studio Julia Makotinksy Designs with coupon JM30-DDS, good through March 31st.

Go have a look in Julia Makotinsky’s store! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!