Tell us few words about yourself to our readers
I am a self-taught freelancer illustrator. I always enjoyed drawing and most of all creating cartoon characters. I am really excited that this turned to be my day work for more than 20 years.
I work mostly for advertising agencies from all over the world including DDB, McCann, JWT, BBDO, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and many more. I have created illustrations that have been used for almost any possible application like children packages, posters, greeting cards, TV commercials, T-shirts, picture-books, brochures, stickers, web templates, mobile apps, board games etc. My Illustrations have been used by companies such as Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Sanofi - Aventis, Dannon, Novartis, Carrefour and many more.
I work on several illustration styles and I like developing new styles from time to time or if a suitable project arise. Though, what I enjoy most is creating cartoon mascot characters. It is a really fun process and I always have a great time working on mascot development.
Beyond illustrations, I always enjoy learning. I recently learn some of creating web pages, apps and coding using HTML, CSS, jQuery, as well as some PHP, Python and Swift.
As I have a really tight schedule, I am trying to create within my day some spare time for my family, my self and my friends. I value this time really high :)
What are the tools you use for your work (mention Free / Paid tools)? What tools do you suggest for newbies?
What I consider as my first and more powerful tool is my pencil and a pack of white papers.
Regarding my main work, as they are computer generated illustrations, I use iMac, Macbook Pro, Wacom Intuos, Canon camera and some software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Flash and Cinema 4D.
I also work creating handcrafted illustrations. I create small cartoon characters and scenes using clay, wood, fabrics, acrylics, wire and any other available material and then taking photographs of it using them as an alternative way of illustration.
I use to create illustrations on canvas with oils or acrylics as well as using watercolours and coloured pencils on paper. Though, at time, I am not enjoying this kind of process so I have step back a bit from these styles.
For people who want to start working as illustrators, I would suggest to just follow their dreams. Each one should find or create his own way to creation and happiness and follow it. Regarding more technical things of illustrations, I would suggest them to keep learning even as professionals. Learn at least some basics of illustrating on paper, using pencils and any other possible material. In my understanding, this way would lead them to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of real and digital tools too. Then they could then combine them and the possibilities are endless. Internet is a great help as you can learn form other illustrators their techniques and their way of using their tools.
How do you motivate yourself to improve their work?
I keep myself away from my Mac. I enjoy taking long walks to forests, reading books and spending time with people I love.
Do you feel social media is an important tool for illustrators?
From my experience, no. I am not investing time on social media and I am doing fine until now. But I might not be the right person to reply on this. Many people think that this is the way to promote their illustrations and maybe they are right. Everyone has to choose his way of promotion. I have choose to create the best cartoon illustrations I can, at each given time, and I consider this the best way of promotion.
What does ‘illustration’ mean to you in one sentence?
I like to consider it as a word jumping out of the word “illusion”. Is an illusion. You see something alive, smiley, three dimensional and you only looking at a piece of paper or a screen.
Do you work as a fulltime/ part time/ freelance /hobby illustrator? Do you provide any online/offline services?
I work as a full time illustrator. My only online service is my personal Royalty Free Gallery at tibilis.com/stock were visitors can purchase in fair costs my cartoon illustrations and many mascot characters through an easy online process and download the illustrations instantly.
Describe your daily routine? What are your hobbies?
My hobbies includes drawing and sketching but also walking on the forests, reading books, playing guitar, exercising, cooking, programming and learning new things.
My daily routine is different every day but in general, I get up early, go for a walk, drink a coffee and start illustrating cartoon characters. In between of all of these I am playing with my kids and I meet friends and family.
What are the challenges you faced? or What is the challenging part of your career?
When I decided to start working as an illustrator there was no illustrations schools in Greece so I am a self taught illustrator. This might sound difficult but it was challenging and I had a great time through this. Of course I did not have anyone to ask for help but I feel I learn in depth. There was no internet at time and only a few books about illustrating available in Englinsh. My English was not so good at time and I had to learn the language too. It is not the easiest way but I earn so many things this way.
Currently, I am based in Greece but thankfully I work worldwide. I strongly believe that in every challenge, in every difficulty there is a positive point to look at. In my life until now I found that looking to the bright side is not just an optimism, it can be a reality too. It is just easiest to realise it at the future looking back than at the present moment. Be conscious helps enjoying every aspect of life.
Enjoy challenges :)
Can you please give some advice/ useful resources to upcoming illustrators?
Love what you do! Dare to do what you love! Do not listen to those who do not support your dreams.
Resources; trust yourself; you know better.
Anything else to say before signing off?
Thank you for the interview. I enjoy it.
How people can reach you? Share your links and contact points
They can visit my website at www.tibilis.com. I have also my personal Royalty Free Gallery at www.tibilis.com/stock. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would be happy to hear from you:)