How can I use panelist review to learn by critique?

Introductory Note:

My name is Julia Torokhov and I am a senior at Freestyle Academy. After taking Animation last year, I decided to focus on Design as my elective this year. I am good at many different creative fields, like painting, drawing, photography, and animation. From the Freestyle experience, I value most the freedom we get and the interconnectivity of the classes. I enjoy the way the classes all relate to each other to build a project, and how we can choose the direction of all our projects. Outside of Freestyle, I have had a long time passion about learning languages, and know Russian, Japanese, and some French. I take inspirations in my works from the interests I have, such as in Japanese culture, vintage aesthetics, and in my favorite color pink, and also my own Russian culture.

The projects I have chosen to present are a portion of my Zenith project as well as my outside illustration work. My Zenith project includes a lyric illustration book and illustrations for a CD package. I’d like to emphasize the composition and color schemes in my illustrations in my selected works, as well as the design of my Zenith project. I hope to get feedback on these elements, as well as feedback about where I can rework my pieces for the future. I also hope to receive feedback on what stylistic choices I make are particularly successful and what is not working. 

Next year, I will attend UC San Diego and intend to dual major in International Business and Studio or Media Art. After college, I hope to go into a career in advertising.


You can reach me at


Zenith Project:

For my Zenith project, I created a CD album with four songs. I designed a lyric insert with illustrations to go with each song, in addition to a cover, CD art, and back cover art. I am showcasing the Illustration and design work that I created as materials for the album. I did all the illustrations in Photoshop and created the insert in InDesign.

Booklet from my Zenith project

Illustrations from booklet (full size)

Devil’s Advocate Illustration
Chimerian Illustration
Sunshine in the Shade Illustration
Sunshine in the Shade Illustration
Digital Painting of one of the album characters

Photographs of the physical CD case and disk. 

CD case front
CD case when opened
CD Case back

Reflection: I used all of the skills I had learned over my two years at Freestyle. In the end, I created a CD package, with songs and animations on the CD using digital media and animation skills, and design to create the packaging and illustrations. I enjoy animation, digital media, and design, so I chose to do a project that encompassed all of them. I wanted to create marketing materials, and my project accomplished that goal. I chose to use color to convey the emotions of each song and became better at character design through designing characters.

Of the project objective to ignite my own passion, elevate my skills and experiences, and create my ultimate and most successful Freestyle project, I feel like I achieved all three. Having to complete such a high volume of work in such a short time frame pushed me to my limits, but created the opportunity to give me a chance to practice illustration, design, and music. This is similar to a summer I spent filling two entire sketchbooks with complete character illustrations, after which I was exponentially better at figure drawing and blending, and also illustration overall. This project was similar to that time, but now I am better with backgrounds which I struggled with, with color schemes, and also in music as a whole. In the future, this project has been helpful in that it taught me how to create not only stand-alone illustrations but also a whole product.  

I will remember this project as the pinnacle of my Freestyle experience, and while it didn’t all go according to plan, I ended up creating a product that would take a team of people many months to do by myself in just two months.

Personal Illustration:

I designed a poster for Freestyle Academy’s mid year exhibition. Digital art done in Illustrator. 

A poster with a lady on it advertising Freestyle Exhibition 2019
Poster for Exhibition 2019


Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) and illustration diptych. The watercolor illustration is based on my photograph of my arrangement.

Reflection: Despite both being for different purposes and at different times, doing outside work also helps me grow my skills as an artist. The exhibition poster taught me how to create marketing materials for an event, and how to convey information while also doing so creatively. The second piece also uses creativity in that it translates a photograph of reality into fantasy. I wanted to use this piece to show that objects can be looked at in their own light to tell a story, and I think I achieved that goal.