Following up on our last VGO Designer Spotlight article focusing on JackieCSGO, this week we will be spending some time getting to know Laax, an incredibly talented VGO skin designer.
Laax has designed several VGO skins including the KARAMBIT | TOUCAN, M9 BAYONET | BLACK ICE, and KARAMBIT | TUXEDO which are some of his most popular. We reached out to ask him a few questions about how he got into design (the answer surprised us), how he got involved with VGO skins, his favorite items to design, and more.
Q: How did you get started in graphic design?
A:I would say that my start with graphic design was quite humble. At first, I was creating really simple stuff like avatars and banners for my friends out of pure boredom. However, I was not satisfied with my creations, even though everyone else liked them. I wanted to improve upon them and make them even better. The interest grew and grew which eventually turned into a hobby which then turned into a passion.
At the very beginning I primarily used GIMP and PaintNET but as I gained more and more knowledge and became more advanced, I ultimately moved to more powerful tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator to create various thumbnails, logos, banners, etc.
Q: How did you get into skin designing?
A: I actually have no previous experience when it comes to designing CS:GO weapon skins whatsoever. I’ve always seen this field as too competitive with already well-established designers and with no chances of me getting past them or even matching their skill level.
Q: How did you become involved in designing VGO Skins?
A: I heard about VGO after the infamous trade lock for CS:GO items. They said that they are here to put skins trading back into the hands of the community and that they need skin designers. Quite frankly, I was skeptical at first about the whole project but decided to give it a go anyway as I’ve never designed weapon skins and thought it would be fun and exciting to try something completely new.
Merely a day after VGO announced their design contest, I already posted one of the very first knife designs. Looking back at my first submissions, I can safely say that they were mediocre when compared to my recent designs. However, the initial response from the community was positive, something that I didn’t expect. At this point, I acknowledged that some of my entries might be featured in the first VGO case and decided to make more and more designs, getting better with each one of them. To my surprise, I was right. Just a few days after I received a message from VGO saying that they’re going to get my designs into the first cases. Since then, I’m still designing skins for VGO til today, with a few more accepted entries along the way.
Q: What is your favorite item to design skins for?
A: I don’t really have a favorite, but I really like designing skins for knives in particular. After all, the vast majority of my submissions are for a variety of different knives.
Q: What do you use for inspiration when designing skins?
A: Not much if I’m completely honest with you. To begin with, I’m trying to come up with a cool color palette that will fit together nicely but then it’s just trial and error. The shape of the weapon/knife also plays a big role. For example, karambit kind of resembles a bird’s beak for me (thus I made Karambit Toucan). The shape of M9 Bayonet and Butterfly immediately reminded me of an icicle (thus two Black Ice skins).
Q: What is VGO Skin your favorite?
A: I really like the AK-47 | Anubis. The art is gorgeous and the attention to details is insane.
Q: Where do you think designers can improve when creating VGO Skin Designs?
A: I think that more designers should try to incorporate different material maps such as metalness, roughness, and especially normal map. The normal map can really make your design stand out as it allows for more detailed surfaces. Moreover, I think that, if the design allows for that, they should upload them in different color variations. It’s not something that I use personally since I have set color palette at the very beginning of the design, but I think that some skin designs could really benefit from having different color variations.
Q: Are you currently working on a new design?
We would like to thank Laax for taking the time to answer a few questions so we could get to know the person behind so many great community skin designs! Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter and let him know what you think of his designs.