The Joy of Discovery
“When I first used the magic graphic tablet, I felt like Christopher Columbus—it was like discovering a whole new world!” he says.
Even though graphic design is his job—his way of paying the bills—he thinks of it much more as a hobby. “It always excites me to create something new and fresh,” he says.
Both cubism and minimalism had an influence on Iltas’s early work.
“But over the past few years, I think I’ve moved away from these concepts a little bit,” he says. “Today, clients mostly like my more detailed, textured, illuminated artworks—although of course, it depends on what each client wants.”
Projects such as White Collar Employee (images from this series are shown below) and Vesikalik, with their simple brush strokes and limited color palettes, are examples of where the minimalist influence still appears in Iltas’s work. In contrast, a more detailed, textured style is evident in work such as Lonely Whale and a recent project for Turkish Airlines.
Nature and landscapes are frequent subjects for Iltas—from trees and rocks to mountainsides and underwater scenes. The atmosphere is sometimes dark and moody, such as in the illustration Living Natural (shown here), or bold and bright, such as in Mixed Tape. This interest comes from having grown up in the small German town of Bad-Krozingen and being close to nature, according to Iltas.
For Iltas, random sketching is the best way to develop ideas.
“I used to do this on paper, but now I do almost all of my sketches on digital media,” he says. “As with so many things, technology has changed everything.”
While his areas of focus and expertise are illustration and design, Iltas loves seeing his illustrations turned into animations, so he enjoys collaborating on projects with animators. “It’s very satisfying to see the movement!” he says.
Iltas also acts as art director on collaborative projects.
This project is important to Iltas because he used it to experiment with different styles—while providing an opportunity to develop his painting skills.
“My favorite frame is the image with the whale’s shadow near the boat,” he explains (image shown below). “It’s so simple, yet it explains everything: nobody is watching the whale, no one is paying it any attention.”
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Another favorite endeavor was an animation developed for International Women’s Day.
“This was an animation for all women around the world,” he says. “It was a client assignment; the concept was to show women’s power in business and working life.”
The project had a very demanding timeline.
“Clients are always asking for something new and different—and I have to deliver that,” he says. “It pushes my creativity and imagination; I’m always striving to improve.”
He would love to create a video game and an animated feature film—and hopes to have the opportunity to work on these kinds of projects in the future.
In the meantime, Iltas looks forward to continuing his illustration and design work, and he’s thinking seriously about creating his own animation studio.