Viktor Fejes: Professional retouch artist
Life as a retoucher requires long hours, hard-earned trust and a certain degree of invisibility.
Now a professional retoucher and founder of GILD Studios, a boutique retouching studio, Viktor first used Photoshop for experimentation and drawing, but was often frustrated by his lack of understanding.
Undeterred, he taught himself what he could through the limited resources available to him.
“When I first started retouching, there was not much material, retouching wasn’t being taught then.”
“We knew the same, we were using the same processes, but I didn’t know why the end results were different.”
It was through watching, learning and experimenting that he built a solid foundation of skills and in 2012, the same year he received his BA in English Linguistics, Viktor acquired his first client as a retoucher.
To learn about common Photoshop mistakes and how to avoid them, read our blog post.
“I usually wake up late because I worked through the night to meet deadlines in different time zones. I then answer e-mails, do my admin, call or meet with clients before I start any retouching. I would then usually start my work, but now I find myself managing and reviewing projects rather than working on them.”
Patience, he said, was a valuable skill for any retoucher as the job involves a lot of sitting and mundane, repetitive tasks.
“One of the worst parts of being a retoucher is the hours. Working with clients around the world in different time zones means I’m often up late,” said the Hungarian-based retoucher.
Click here to read Viktor’s top tips on how to work efficiently in Photoshop.
Working on big projects often means strict schedules and tight deadlines for “great ideas but incredibly challenging” work. However, the positives outweighed the negatives, he said. He’s worked with interesting people and clients from around the globe, from Shanghai to Los Angeles, and earning peoples trust was a valued part of his relationships with them.
“It’s an immense feeling, knowing there are things everyone wants to hide, but they trust me enough to expose themselves.”
“As a good retoucher, you want to be invisible,” he said.
He explained the process and approach to retouching has undoubtedly changed in the last few years, shifting away from the initial trend of experimentation, which took retouching to the very limits.
“Retouching has become a lot more mild, it’s far more human now.”
If you’d like to find out more about Viktor and his work, make sure to watch his live talk show on Visual Education.