Today I became Elite author on ThemeForest!

Hello everyone! My name is Artem. I’m 30 y/o passionate frontend designer and developer. And today I reached Elite status! I’d like to share more about myself and my journey here on Envato.

First Hard Rejection

The first time I’ve discovered ThemeForest website was Aug 2015 when I’ve purchased my very first HTML template for a website. I’ve been looking around the market and was surprised on how many sales some fine designed items can achieve. I’ve been doing some calculations on the estimated profit and thought that it would be a nice idea to join the market as an author.

Later in Jan 2016 I’ve took a shot to release my first item. It was a one-page HTML template for a restaurant website. And… of course it was hard-rejected due to lack of premium design quality. That was pretty frustrative as I’ve spent around month of crafting both PSD & HTML.

First Success

Since I didn’t feel confident about my design skills, I’ve decided to focus on frontend work and joined a local dev-team who also wanted to start releasing digital items here on Envato. I’ve been doing the PSD’s conversions from a professional designer to HTML templates. That was an enjoyable work because we’ve been getting only soft rejections (for technical reasons) which were easy to fix. Yet there were some negative points:

  • That wasn’t profitable enough after the distribution between team members.
  • I liked the designs I’ve been converting to HTML. But I also felt that I’m capable to produce premium web-design templates as well. Sometimes I really wanted to close the code editor, open Photoshop and let my inspiration to flow.
  • There were many problems with releasing WordPress themes. It’s been taking very very long time to release a theme out of my HTML template (6 - 12 months). My team’s manager wasn’t able to find that “right WordPress ThemeForest developer”.

I needed to pay bills and feed my family. The income I’ve been getting from ThemeForest after the split between team members wasn’t enough. So I’ve started to freelance as a frontend developer and quickly found a full-time job. At the same time I’ve decided to take a paid course of web-design principles. I had to pause my work at ThemeForest at this moment because I haven’t any time for it.

The Real Start

Being on a frontend developer position in a regular digital agency was fairly comfortable. I’ve been getting steady income each month. Also sometimes I’ve been practicing my design skills. But… it wasn’t my real dream. Almost each day I’ve been checking the newly released items on that market and I really wanted to become a professional author on ThemeForest.

At 8th July 2018 I decided to quit my full-time job and start to take steps to my dream here on Envato. By this time I gained experience at both frontend and web-design but was zero at WordPress. So I decided to take a few online courses for PHP and WordPress.

We Found It isn’t Quality Standard

In September 2018 after a long pause, I’ve sent a Sketch design (digital SAAS agency) for a review. Since I’ve already had some approved design items in my previous team account I was sure about its quality. But in 3 days after I’ve got a hard rejection e-mail which I couldn’t believe it.

We Found It isn’t Quality Standard #2

Spending 3 days more I’ve sent another Sketch design (creative portfolio niche). That was hard rejected too. I was really confused. During the previous years I’ve produced some approved designs and templates. They even made some sales. I’ve also done some nice websites for the brands at my full time job. How can you hard reject me?!

You’re nearly there

By this moment I didn’t have a full-time job. I didn’t have any experience at WordPress. And I didn’t get any choice – increase your design level right now or go bankrupt. That was scary and pushing-forward at the same time. Day and night all I’ve been doing is inspiring and experimenting in Sketch. I’ve designed another template that I’ve called Arrigo. Now you can find it as a very first approved item in my ThemeForest account.

Key moment

In February 2019 I’ve got my very first WordPress theme approved for sale. It was a design converted from Arrigo Sketch item. That was a key moment in my journey. If I was hard-rejected, I wouldn’t keep going on with the templates and themes production anymore. Luckily I’m still there and you’re reading this story here on Envato forum :slight_smile:

Hungry April

As you may know in 2019 Envato changed the catalog design and ranging algorithm to push forward the best selling items. This change immediately destroyed my sales in April 2019. As simple as push the button and turn the lights off. I’ve been continuing to work hard on new designs and experimenting with modern frontend. Since that month I decided to focus on a creative portfolio niche and produce that AJAX-driven templates and themes.


I thought I will achieve Elite status by spring 2021. But the latest project I’ve released changed that plans. Both Rhye HTML and Rhye WordPress theme became surprisingly well selling. Those items brought about 1/3 of gross revenue required for 7 level author badge. And today 18 Dec 2020 I’ve reached that status.

I’d like to say thank you to my wife and my family which supported me all that times. During this journey to Elite club I also became a father of two sons. That keeps me motivated to do what I do.

Thanks to all Envato reviewers and staff. You really helped me a lot to grow my developing, design, and entrepreneur skills.

Thanks to my customers, especially those who take the time to leave these amazing reviews and comments.

And thank you all the forum community. Usually I don’t post anything here but I read Envato forums a lot :slight_smile:


Congratulations :wink:

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Awesome! :tada::tada::tada: And thanks for sharing your journey with us :grin:


Congrats!! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Congratulations :tada::tada::tada: :tada::tada:

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Thank you, guys!

Well done, level 8 is waiting, cheers :beer:

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Great job!

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Congratulations :+1: and best of luck for your upcoming themes and templates.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

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Heart warming story. Hard work and self trust paid off.

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Thank you :slight_smile:

Congratulatins!!! inspired me , thanks

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Hey… congrats… all the best!

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Congratulations :grinning: . That’s a really inspiring story. Indeed the review team improve our quality of work.



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Congratulations. Great job :grinning:

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Congratulations :tada::tada::tada:, Awesome!

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