Interview with Serhat Nasırlıoglu

Today we are interviewing designer Serhat Nasırlıoglu, co-founder of Anativa. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey. Serhat’s design focus is on digital/print design along with photography, video, painting & sculpting.


Are you a freelancer?

I’ve been a freelancer since 2001 and this year we’ve launched (I’m co-founder of Anativa)

What is the best part about being a freelancer?

I think the best part is controlling the power about the hours. You can work at night without thinking of the next day. At nights world is spinning slow for me, because all the people are sleeping, lights are off, and there is silence..Night time has more creativity.



What are your best methods for finding/attracting clients?

Actualy my best power is showing my past works to clients. Also for new clients, I like word of mouth way, so you can have many other new clients.

Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?

I was a child like 9 years old, I’ve copied too many Marvel Comics characters every day, after years I’ve found myself trying to draw perfect circle on the paper again and again. At 1996 I’ve joined university of Traditional Sculpting Arts but after 4 years I’ve quit.My first design platform was with Pencil/Paper and Sculpting materials like Stones/Sculpting Dirt etc. At the same time with university education i found Photoshop and i was amazed… i m in passionate with Classic arts and I’m fan of old Painters and Sculpting artists like Michelangelo, Rodin, Raphael… and for a long time i wanted to be like them… with computer I’ve found Digital Artists on the internet and i thought they were new Michelangelo’s… and i just think that new design era is digital arts and then i started my career on this area. early stage after 4 years working with design agency i want to create my own work as a freelancer and i just quit agency. Between 2001-2003 I’ve met with photography and video . i worked 2 years in production companies and just work for knowledge and i had never got any earnings for 2 years,it was a deal to work and get knowledge as a payment =). I’ve learned photography and video shooting/editing features. Now i know all things about light / photography / shooting and i became professional. i worked for several brands as a photographer but i never make this ability primary in my life. From 2003 to this day I focused on web/multimedia design and I’ve done like 200+ works. yes i know all of my works are not good but i m trying to improve my level up and up for every new work. I’m curious to learn different design and visual disciplines and for final results. i ‘m trying to merge them all.


When you first began your career in design, what were some unique challenges you faced? Were there any misconceptions that you had about the design industry back then? How has your perception changed now in hindsight?

Working for a client is first challenge, because clients must be happy for your work but they have ideas about your work. For this reason you are limited with your client’s vision. if your client’s vision is bad , now u are in trouble with your work and creativity. I wanted my clients to trust me but after years and years i can get this trust with the help of my successful works that i show from past years.

What was your very first job or the first paid project you performed as a graphic designer? How did you land this project?

Actually it was a long time ago but i remembered a little. It was a small web project. i just thought so much about this work and then i was able to find right way in couple of days. Because i did not decide where i could start, it was my first work! and sure i missed the deadline of the project =)… finally I’ve created something and i got my first freelancer payment then I’ve run to computer shop for a new mouse =)


What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?

Curiosity and vision are the most important things. If u are designer you must see every detail every form in your life. I think thegood designers are the good watchers/viewers of the world because of nature’s having all the design elements in it.

Where do you go for design inspiration?

Actually everything can be inspiration for me. Movies or music, the shape or curve of my monitor or my leather wallet…. if u think about concepts, it just starts from details like popcorn. You can create fantastic concepts from popcorn. White and circles, inner shadows on it and separated around randomly etc.. =) You know what i m taking about. There is only a critical point, ‘Is popcorn right concept for your client ??’ . Just find this.

How do you typically start a new project?

I start in my mind with mind notes and drawing on paper. When i found right style/concept for my work, then i start to collect materials from the net or i take photographs. If all the things are ready, i start to build on Photoshop and it really takes a little time.

work21Do you have any favorite websites for interacting with others in the design community?

I’m trying to use any lifestream tools like friendfeed, linked, stumbleupon, and I’m surfing CSS design galleries, FWA, design books, blogs like FYC =)

What does your typical day look like?

6 hours of sleeping then when i wake up if i don’t have any meeting or social activity, i m checking my past work and mails. if i m free for an hour, i’m surfing design portals randomly and trying to find new things…generally i’m working for 12 -13 hours a day =)


What are your 5 favorite sites online?

Linked In
Smashing Magazine
and lots of blogs!

Who, in the online world, would you say has had the biggest influence on you?

hmm.. It is very hard to answer, starting with Michelangelo, Alex Gray, Albert Einstein, Mustafa Kemal Ataturkand goes on…but never ends =) World has too
many good and talented people and I’m just a follower/student..


What are the tools you couldn’t live without?

I can use anything for design but at first i need my hands! =) and sure pencil, paper, photoshop and other editing tools are the most important tools for my life.


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