Artist Spotlight: trahkostock
Tommi Rahko, known as trahkostock on Adobe Stock, is an artist whose passion for motion graphics is fueled by a love for 3D, CGI, and cinematics. We got the chance to talk with Tommi about how he got started, his workflow, and what inspires him.
How did you get started in motion graphics?
Well, I have a background in music actually. I studied music and have been working as a musician for the last 12 years, but visual design and motion arts is something I’ve done on the side as a hobby and as a passion. And at some point I decided, “Maybe I can make a few bucks out of it.”
It started with photo retouching, photo manipulations, and video editing. Soon after, I became interested in 3D. I started doing that, and it is still a huge part of my workflow. Eventually I started doing stock images, and from there I transitioned to doing templates. And now, I’m here! Basically, my focus has been transitioning from music to visual arts over the years, and now I’m actually focused more on visual design than music.
When you’re doing motion design now, are you influenced by music?
Yes, I am! I think the best kind of art is a combination of visuals and audio. I watch a lot of music videos and I also have done a few music videos myself. Music is definitely inspiring, and quite often I listen to music while I’m working. I listen to all kinds of music, from jazz to heavy metal, but lately I’ve been really interested in electronic music — bands like Daft Punk, Röyksopp, Chemical Brothers, and such.
In your transition to visual arts, why did you choose motion graphics over another art form, like video or photo editing?
Good question! I don’t think I chose motion graphics. It’s just something that came naturally. With motion graphics there’s always something new to learn, and that’s something that motivates me. I love problem-solving, and, with motion graphics, there’s always a good challenge ahead.
Was there any movie or video that you remember seeing and thinking, “Wow, I want to do this!” or, “That’s amazing,”? Was there a moment in time where you were just blown away by something?
Well, two things come to my mind: “Waking Life” directed by Richard Linklater and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” “Waking Life” had a really cool graphic style that made a huge impression in me. And “SpiderVerse” is just amazing — I’ve watched a lot of videos on how they made it, and it’s really interesting stuff. It was super cool.
Can you talk a little bit about your personal style? When it comes to making MoGRTS, what inspires your art?
I tend to be drawn into all things cinematic and also dark, grungy, and retro. I think it shows a lot in my work, too. But basically, it’s anything that I find visually appealing. If I see something in a movie or walking down the street, I think, “Wow, that’s so cool. How was that made?” I often try to recreate things that I see in movies or elsewhere. And usually, it turns out to be something completely different!
What are your favorite MoGRTS that you’ve created?
One of my favorite MoGRTS is one of the older ones I’ve done — “Rainy Stone Text Reveal Title.” I think it showcases everything I talked about. It’s cinematic. It’s dark. It’s grungy. I also like the elemental qualities of it because I like to try making things like fire, smoke, or water. I think the Rainy Stone MoGRT turned out really good!
Your designs are some of the most popular MoGRTS we have on Stock. How do you think about what the customers want?
To be honest, I don’t really think too much about that. I just find something that I personally find interesting that I think would be cool to make, and I make it for fun. I just enjoy it! I find that unique ideas sell pretty well.
What is your process like? Is there any kind of pre-production involved? Do you sketch anything, or do you just go straight into After Effects?
I go straight into After Effects. If I haven’t seen something interesting that I want to recreate, sometimes I just start playing. It’s like I have a blank mind, and I just start doing things until it turns out to be something.
What are some of the biggest things that you’ve learned about making MoGRTS? Any troubles that you’ve had to overcome?
When I started, I only knew the basics of After Effects. Now, I think I’m pretty good at it. Expressions, a little bit of coding, learning how to use and master After Effects is definitely one big thing that I’ve learned. I’ve also learned to be more organized with my projects. Before I started doing MoGRTS, my projects were all over the place. Now I tend to be more organized from the beginning to the end.
Do you have any advice for potential artists that are interested in making MoGRTS for Adobe Stock?
Just start doing it. It’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of benefits in making MoGRTS, like the freedom. Of course, you should be aware of the trends, but you have the freedom to do whatever you like whenever you like, and you can make decent money out of it. I am a social person, and I do like working with other people, but when you are your own boss it definitely has benefits.