My name is Irisz Agocs I'm an illustrator and I live in Hungary in Central Europe.
I've always drawn, but I started to working as an illustrator four years ago. Before that I studied cultural anthropology and ethnography at University. When I was about 18 my family told me that I should go to art school, but I didn't think I was good enough. A few years later I realized that there is nothing else that I like to do more than draw, so I started to work very hard to make it a career.
I'm currently doing vector illustrations for e-learning courses, that's my official job. My husband and I have a small graphic studio where we make online and offline graphic design. You can visit our website at http://www.artistamuvek.hu . Next to these I started to make watercolour illustrations a half year ago, and for now I think I like to paint more than anything else. I would love to illustrate children's books.
I love to read, listening to slow music and eating chocolate. I think these things help me a lot to do my job right.
My online portfolio is: http://www.artistamuvek.hu
and my blog is: http://artistamuvek.blogspot.com
When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
I was born into an artistic family, my grandmother and her mum and brother were painters, my mum teaches art, and my father was a decorator. The strange thing was that moment when I decided not to do art, I walked away from art, but finally I'm back. So I don't think there was a pivotal moment, there were a few moments when I thought I should, other times I thought I shouldn't, but for now I'm very sure that I have to paint.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm a fanatical gallery visitor, I also spend hours surfing the internet, visiting and bookmarking illustration sites. My second favorite place after galleries are the bookshops, I collect picture books. So I like to see different creations in various styles, that inspires me.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
I'm mainly self-taught, but I did go to an art school for young children on top of elementary school, and that gave me a very good start. Later I took a few lessons in different studios, drawing and painting live models. But I didn't learn the techniques, and other secrets about art there. I originally studied something different at university, but I learned a lot about how to find information. Step by step, how to do things your own way, where to find the things that you need, and I learned a special way of thinking that helps me with make illustrations, trying different ways of painting.
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
I read a lot and I observe a lot. I love to read, I like poems, and novels or short stories. I always imagine everything and sometimes I draw pictures about what I've read.
What are some of your current projects?
My most important current project is my big change from working mainly on computer to working mainly by hand. That means that now I'm working very hard to compile a portfolio of high quality, professional illustrations and to find publishers. I've just started to illustrate my very first picture-book as a reference. Maybe at this time it seems like I'm painting just for fun, but I feel I really need to change, this is what I'm really good at, so it's a good investment and will help me to get really good comissions to illustrate children books. I'm putting all of my energy into this project, as well as trying to do all my other jobs correctly beside this one.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
Funny, because I like to paint better than working on the computer, but my favorite project is a vector illustration series for an e-learning legal course. The text was so difficult, so I made very light, simple and funny illustrations for it.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
I'm planning to try other mediums, now I use watercolour, but I would like to paint with gouache and than acrylic or oil. I'll also try to paint larger pictures and maybe not just for children. I need a bit bigger studio to try these things but I hope that we can move soon into a new flat, and I'll get more space.
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
Read a lot, observe a lot, draw a lot!!!
I think that as much experiences comes in as much art can come out. You always have to discover new experiences, and get new ideas from them. And the other important thing that I believe is that you have to enjoy yourself, and always make decisions thinking of this.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
There is something more in a piece of art than perfect technique, and good materials. Something you could call spirit. Something that you can't formulate with words, that you feel it very deeply if you look at it.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
Oh, I can't imagine that I could ever burn-out, drawing is as natural for me as being hungry. There is always something that I need to draw. If I get a pencil into my hand I can't stop myself from drawing... creatures are always coming out. No way I'll burn out. But maybe that's because I'm very curious to see a lot, get adventurous and experience new things.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
I don't watch TV, I've never been good at TV-watching, I haven't even got one. I feel for me watching TV is wasting my time, I'd rather read or visit an art gallery.
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