Frank Wagner: The ‘casual Affinity nerd’ teaching Germany how to use Affinity products

Frank shares his passion for art, creation and the Affinity apps, through his tutorials.

The Affinity community is full of content creators who share their skills through tutorials. We’re profiling the best tutorial creators to help you expand your skills.

Frank Wagner is the self-proclaimed “casual Affinity nerd” who aims to show that it’s possible for anyone to become a designer. His content can be found on his website or YouTube channel.

How long have you been creating art, and what inspired you to begin making content?
Frank Wagner’s workspace for creating his tutorials.

I worked at agencies in the design industry as a graphic designer. Now, I am a freelance designer with a focus on packaging design, corporate design, catalogues and folders, screen design, and image and video editing.

What advantages does digital art have over physical mediums?
Creating light rays in Affinity Photo.

My main focus is photo editing, manipulations and compositions with multiple layers; I cannot achieve this with physical mediums. The best thing though is Affinity Photo for iPad. It’s simply the best app for my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. It’s a full image editing software for on the go or on your lap. I love it.

Why did you decide to create tutorials?

I create tutorials to help people who are new to digital editing and I want to give something back to the community. I want to show my passion for Affinity and that it is possible for everyone to become a designer and work professionally in the industry.

(Below is an example of one of Frank’s video tutorials.)

Creating text effects in Affinity Photo for iPad.
What are your favourite tools to use in Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo?
Creating smooth shadows in Affinity Photo.

That’s a tough question because there are plenty tools I love and use every day in my workflow. The Paint Brush, Selection Brush, Inpainting Brush, Dodge and Burn, Pen Tool, and Clone Brush. All of them are very powerful.

What are some unique things about Affinity Photo or Affinity Designer that you couldn’t live without when it comes to creating content?

In Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer I love the Power Duplicate function. It’s super powerful and I use is it a lot, awesome tool. What is also outstanding is the live preview for Brushes, Eraser and Blend Modes. I don’t want to miss those features ever again, because it sped up my workflow a lot. I just started with 360° photo editing and I think this is the future. It’s simply amazing to discover the new dimension and create artworks in 360°.

You clearly have a passion for Affinity’s line-up, where does that come from and why is it something you’ve worked so hard to share?
Frank Wagner (middle) and Affinity Jack (right) at Affinity LIve in July 2018. Image credit: Victoria Wilcox

Yeah that’s true, I do have a passion for Affinity’s line-up. I would consider myself as the casual Affinity nerd! I just love using Affinity and I like to show it. That’s why I started my blog affinitytutorials.de back in 2015. In my free time I create content for the blog and share the love for Affinity. Tutorials, news and inspiration these are my main focus with the blog.

It’s all about the love for Affinity, sharing is caring. It’s not about me, it’s about the Affinity community. I started to connect with people all over the world, Affinity enthusiasts just like me. My goal is to push them and to spread the word for Affinity artists and tutors.

Back in 2015 there was almost no content for Affinity. There were very few tutorials on YouTube and that was where my idea came from. I needed to create a blog and share everything I can find so there was one place for people to find interesting Affinity stuff. I started looking for content and asked YouTube guys/tutors for permission to share their tutorials. Everyone I asked was very friendly and happy that I shared their tutorials.

“It’s a full image editing software for on the go or on your lap. I love it.”

Frank Wagner

There are so many stories and friendships I built that I don’t know where to start. A beautiful story is meeting my friend Affinity Jack from Berlin. When I started my blog with no content I was looking at the official Affinity Forum and there was a guy who created interesting Affinity tutorials on YouTube.

I sent a private message to Affinity Jack via the Affinity Forum and I said: “Hey I like your tuts, do you wanna join my blog and start something together? I’ll create an account for you at my blog and you can post your tutorials via affinitytutorials.de.

“You do the tuts and I’ll create content like news and inspiration.” He answered a few days later and said: “Yeah, I’m in.”

Long story short, we became best friends, because he is an Affinity nerd just like me. We talk for hours on the phone about Affinity almost every day, no kidding. And this is just one beautiful story. I’ve met so many nice people online via Affinity.

What’s the Affinity community like in Germany? How has it grown over the last few years and where would you like it to go in the near future?

The German community is huge, very strong and passionate. There are tens of thousands of users and it’s growing quickly. Germany has the most printed Affinity education books in the world. That is great because people can learn this amazing software.

And the amazing Affinity Workbooks by Serif were translated to German. It’s a huge market…the people in Germany appreciate the non-subscription model a lot. In the future I would love to see Serif at Photokina, the world’s largest trade fair in the photographic and imaging industries.

People can find creating artwork intimidating, what’s your advice for getting started?

You don’t have to be an artist to do digital editing or art, it’s all about fun and enjoying yourself. There are lots of tutorials from Serif where you can start learning the basics. No master has fallen from the sky, but you can do it. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see how easy and intuitive the Affinity apps are.

There is a ton of creative tutorials on the internet now. You’ll find out as you go along what your passion is with Affinity, maybe photo editing, digital painting, compositing, illustrations or screen design. There are so many different styles and opportunities with Affinity it’s mind blowing. Just start with something, you’ll love it.

Many people used multiple photo editing and vector applications. How do you smoothly transition to using Affinity Photo and Designer?

I have a long history with photo editing. It all started with Photoshop. I tried many different things too, but nothing was as good as Affinity. From other programs there was something missing again and again. With Affinity I was blown away right from the start. I transitioned very quickly, it took me about an hour or so to feel comfortable.

How do you decide which tutorials to create?
Creating a doodle effect in Affinity Photo using a Wacom tablet.

I really don’t have any plan what I’ll do next. I do what I find interesting, fresh and modern or what function I find very interesting in Affinity. I want to do a lot more tutorials. I have so many ideas and a lot of knowledge, but I have little spare time, because of working as a freelance designer. My blog and tutorials I do as a hobby and I love it, like retro gaming. I simply love it.


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Credits & Footnotes

All source images that are used as the basis for Frank’s work are under Creative Common Zero.

Image of Frank and Affinity Jack is by Victoria Wilcox.