My name is Bratislav (30) and I am a freelance illustrator based in Belgrade. I have been working as an illustrator since 2007. I’ve been lucky enough to work with various clients such as: The New York Times, Financial Times, The New Republic, Computer Arts, Cap&Design, Wired, Bunch, Mikser Festival, Plus 8 Records, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, etc.
When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
Eleven years ago I began my studies at Faculty of Applied Arts Belgrade as a graphic design student. However, during my first year I figured out that I actually more enjoy in producing the illustration work and I decided to change my department. After that I started to discover the work produced worldwide and at one moment I knew that there was no going back – I didn’t want to do anything else.
Would you recommend studying at art school?
I’ve had my doubts on this one but in spite of that I would definately say yes – art school can open many doors and get you surrounded with like minded people – which is, I think, very important for this job.
How long was it before illustration became your primary form of income?
I have worked freelance in two rounds – the first one started during the last years of studying in faculty and it lasted for 2/3 years. After that I worked at a local advertising agency for some time and I’ve been a freelance illustrator (again :)) ever since.
Could you describe your typical day?
At the moment, I am in between studios so I’m working from home. I usually get in front of my screen around 9:30, 10:00, picking up my emails, updating social networks, surfing around the web and starting to produce the work. At some moment, I usually go out for a coffee at local roasters (this one is A MUST – no matter what :)) and after that – go back to produce some more work. I am giving my best to come up with some new stuff everyday, whether I’m working for a client or on my own illustrations. Occasionally, evening hours are reserved for illustration/art-related reading or online research.
What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
I wish I was more aware of the global illustration scene – definitely.
What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
For me – it’s the beauty that you are surrounded with, while you are researching, getting inspiration or simply trying to create it by yourself.
What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
Sometimes your thoughts can go in the wrong direction when spending too much time alone in front of the screen – which can result in having doubts in your own work and the path that you have taken.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
I guess I’d run a bar or something like that!
Any other tips you could share?
I came across a really inspiring quote by Beverly Sills recently: There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. It sounds like a good one to keep in mind if you are doing this job. 🙂