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    How to Become a Graphic Illustrator – Interview with Iuliana Claudia Herteg

    Do you want to become a graphic illustrator? This is what you need to know! In the dynamic realm of graphic illustration, where creativity knows no bounds, one name has been steadily gaining recognition for her remarkable talent and unique artistic flair. We are thrilled to present the captivating journey and extraordinary work of Iuliana Claudia Herteg. With an innate ability to weave magic through her visuals, Iuliana has crafted a distinct identity for herself as a graphic illustrator.

    Life of a Graphic Illustrator

    Renowned for her impeccable attention to detail, mesmerizing aesthetics, and uncanny ability to elicit profound emotions with her art, Iuliana Claudia Herteg (iuliana.illustrator on Instagram) has left an indelible mark on the graphic illustration landscape. As a graphic illustrator, her creations possess an ethereal quality that transcends boundaries, captivating audiences and transporting them to whimsical realms of imagination.

    graphic illustrator

    Throughout this insightful article, we will delve into Iuliana’s artistic journey, exploring the challenges she has encountered, the milestones she has achieved, and her unwavering dedication to her craft. Moreover, aspiring graphic illustrators, enthusiasts, and art aficionados alike will also find a wealth of wisdom in Iuliana’s advice for those venturing into this captivating field. From the significance of finding one’s own style to the power of inspiration and consistent dedication, her valuable insights will undoubtedly inspire and guide budding artists on their own creative paths.

    How did you become interested in graphic illustration, and how did you start developing your skills in this field?

    I’ve known for years that there are programs where you can draw, and it always fascinated me. However, due to imposter syndrome, I held myself back for a long time and didn’t take any action to become a graphic illustrator. I knew I had talent, but perhaps not as much as others. Millions of talented people are out there, and I didn’t know where to start or what unique contribution I could make.

    Five years ago, when I moved to Germany, I bought my first tablet and installed Procreate, the illustration software I use. It was relatively easy for me to transition from traditional paper, brushes, and pencils to drawing on a screen. Each style has its own charm. Only during the pandemic did I start accepting paid commissions (the first one being for an IT course).

    My style has adapted according to the requirements and what suits me best. It took time to find a niche because I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to express or illustrate. It also required many hours of daily work to familiarize myself with the software and experiment with different techniques.

    Have you always had an artistic side?

    I started drawing when I was little (like any child). My father was a drawing teacher and he would submit my drawings to various drawing competitions. I even won many of them (passion and probably some talent were involved). Later on, at my father’s suggestion, I enrolled in a high school of visual arts. After college, there was a rather long break. I would occasionally draw as a hobby, but I never thought of trying to make money out of it.

    We would like to ask you about your creative process when you begin working on a new illustration. Can you walk us through it?

    When it comes to commissioned work, I strive to gather as much information as possible. If it involves portraits or depictions of people, I request reference photos to capture details such as eye and hair color, as well as length. Then we move on to clothing choices – what would they like to wear? It can be any outfits found on the internet. I also need to know if they have any hobbies they’d like to be included in the illustration.

    That sounds thorough. What about illustrations for specific types of businesses? Are there any additional considerations or requests?

    For illustrations related to certain types of businesses, it is extremely helpful to have examples of the devices or equipment that need to be depicted. Additionally, knowing the preferred color palette is important.

    Great! Now, let’s talk about the techniques and tools you prefer to use in your graphic illustration work. Can you tell us more about that?

    Certainly. In terms of tools, I rely heavily on pencils for sketching, ink pens for line work, and markers. The software I use offers a wide array of tools, many of which I haven’t fully explored yet.

    What are your sources of inspiration?

    When it comes to drawing for myself, I draw inspiration from the people I follow on Instagram or other platforms. I follow several hundred illustrators and I see cool stuff daily that I save and that inspires me.

    What do you do when you don’t have inspiration?

    In the case of commissioned work, communication is what helps me. Both my questions and the clear ideas of the clients. Even if there’s a blockage, having things written down gives me a starting point. I work on planner sheets, displayed openly, and any idea that comes to mind is noted down.

    There have been times when I lacked energy or motivation, and if there wasn’t a deadline, I would postpone some illustrations for a few days. I would give myself time to get some fresh air, read, meditate, organize my thoughts, and then tackle the work with renewed energy.

    Do you have a preferred style of graphic illustration, or do you like to experiment with different styles and approaches?

    Iuliana Claudia Herteg

    Currently, I have focused a lot on portraits and very feminine illustrations, but with a touch of commercial appeal. As for tools, I have been using pencils, ink, and markers. I’ve tried to maintain some uniformity on my Instagram page.

    That’s great to hear. Besides portraits and feminine illustrations, do you have any aspirations to work on product illustrations, particularly in the beauty industry, such as perfumes and cosmetics?

    Yes, I do. However, developing a distinct style takes time, and I would need to allocate some time for that. I am interested in expanding my work into product illustrations, but it’s a process that requires careful attention to develop a unique style.

    What do you enjoy most about graphic illustration, and what does this form of artistic expression offer you?

    One aspect I particularly enjoy about graphic illustration is the ability to work on intricate details, thanks to the zoom function available. It allows for easier correction of mistakes and the convenience of quickly sharing my illustrations anywhere in the world. I can upload them to various platforms and even print them. Additionally, I appreciate the flexibility to work on large dimensions.

    That sounds fascinating! I also noticed that you mentioned creating GIFs using a tablet. Could you tell us more about that?

    Yes, thanks to my tablet, I have started exploring the creation of GIFs. I am still in the early stages of learning, but I strive to learn something new almost every day.

    What do you do in your daily life? Can you describe a typical day in your life?

    I’m grateful that for the past three years, I’ve been working from home, which gives me a lot of flexibility. Every morning starts with coffee and sometimes meditation. I begin work at 8 a.m. and around 12-1 p.m., I take a break for exercise, lunch, and then get back to work. At the end of the workday, usually after 4:30 p.m., I try to go outside and take long walks through the forest or fields while listening to music or podcasts. I live in a village in Bavaria, and the landscapes are beautiful. After the walk, I usually start my illustration work. I check my messages for orders, respond to inquiries, and get to work. I draw until around 10-11 p.m. (sometimes even later). Before going to sleep, I like to read. Days spent in Romania are quite different, as I spend a lot of free time with my loved ones.

    What are the main challenges you face in your work as a graphic illustrator, and how do you overcome them?

    Sometimes, the reference pictures I receive for portrait commissions are unclear, making it difficult to work with them. Additionally, many reference images have various filters and do not accurately represent reality. Occasionally, there are minor dissatisfactions, but I try to make the necessary adjustments so that both parties are satisfied.

    Another challenge is the occasional time constraint. There are last-minute requirements, but over time, I’ve learned to leave certain “windows” between orders, allowing me to fit in some extra tasks.

    How difficult was it to establish a reputation in this increasingly popular field?

    I believe that you can make a name for yourself in any field as long as you have passion and consistency. It was more challenging until I developed my own style or found a niche. A major challenge is the social media aspect, where things are constantly changing, and posts need to be frequent. Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with daily content, especially if the projects I’m working on don’t align with what I typically post on my page.

    What are your plans for the future regarding your work as a graphic illustrator?

    I would love to step out of my comfort zone and participate in various events with live illustrations. I have already illustrated four children’s books, and I would like to be involved in more similar projects, including cover illustrations for books. I would also enjoy creating illustrations for beauty packaging or limited-edition packaging.

    What advice do you have for those who want to become a graphic illustrator?

    Stop hesitating! Get a tablet, download a program, and get to work! Start following people in the same field whom you can draw inspiration from (see how they have built their page, and what their posts look like). When you start following people with the same passions, inspiration follows. You can discover what drawing style you would like to adopt, and what resonates with you, and over time, you will develop your own unique style as a graphic illustrator!

    Graphic Illustrator Iuliana Herteg

    Through her creative journey as a graphic illustrator, Iuliana has navigated the challenges of establishing herself in a competitive industry, honing her skills, and fearlessly embracing new opportunities. From illustrating captivating children’s books to envisioning enchanting packaging designs, her artistic range knows no bounds. It is evident that she continuously strives to push the boundaries of her craft, constantly seeking innovation and growth.

    Moreover, Iuliana’s insights and advice for aspiring graphic illustrators serve as a beacon of inspiration. Her emphasis on finding one’s own style, embracing the power of inspiration, and consistently honing one’s skills resonates deeply with those who seek to carve their own path in the creative realm.

    We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Iuliana for generously sharing her experiences, aspirations, and wisdom with us. Her talent and passion are truly an inspiration, and we eagerly await the mesmerizing creations she will grace the world with in the future. With her unique vision, boundless imagination, and unwavering dedication, she is poised to make an indelible mark on the world of graphic illustration.

    Gabriela Luigia
    Gabriela Luigia
    Gabriela Luigia Sterie is Editor in Chief at Gherf. She's a researcher and her focus areas encompass digital marketing, social media, fake news, branding, consumer behavior and user behavior. Her research has been published in emerging journals. Moreover, she obtained a scientific research grant in the fake news sharing studying area. Her passion for research developed from her passion for writing. She is a copywriter and content writer with over 5 years of experience.


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