Instagram: @madebymarko
Website: www.icon-a-day.com

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I am from Zagreb, Croatia. Since I was a kid I was drawing and always doing something creative. Naturally, after elementary school, my high school choice was design related were I studied Graphic Design. After finishing high school I attended the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb.

After graduating from university, my first job was as a professor in high school, where I thought several Graphic design related courses. There I worked for almost 3 years. Then I started to work in FIVE agency located in Zagreb, where I gained a lot of experience in mobile and web design and everything related to it. It was an awesome experience working there, and I thank all my colleagues for sharing their knowledge with me.

I got more noticed when I started with my icon-a-day.com project (link of the website: https://icon-a-day.com/). It all started when I broke my arm and I was out of work for 3 weeks. I started working on small illustrations which later evolved in huge projects. That pushed me to find work as a freelancer. Today I have my own company and I work with lots of international clients.

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2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I would say that my illustrations have a “dreamy” character, where I explore with light and shadows. People can recognize my illustrations as a colorful night or sunset sceneries, landscapes with night sky and stars. You could say that I show my dreams and fantasies through my work.

3. What is your favorite medium and why?

Even though I started with a pencil and paper, and later moved to watercolors and acrylic, I’d say that the most relaxing medium to work with are definitely watercolors. A lot of my earlier work was done during long peaceful nights using watercolors.

I ended up working on my illustrations in a digital medium. You can say that my favorite tool is Adobe Illustrator. I’m always open to trying out new things, so who knows what the future will bring.

4. What is your artistic process like?

Initially, I would start with peace of paper and sketches of my illustrations, but more and more I skip that step because of the time constraints when I work with my clients.

When I’m “my own client”, and I work on things I like the most, I give myself as much time I need, sketch things out on paper and then transfer them to digital illustrations.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Everything can inspire me, depending on the situation. I like to explore other illustrators’ work, and how they express themselves. Old posters from the beginning of the last century are also great inspirations for me. When I travel I get a lot of inspiration in museums, landscapes, and people.

Our planet is an endless inspiration.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is something I love, It’s how I express myself, my dreams, my hopes, and my emotions. And of course, it affected my life financially, gave me opportunities to travel a lot and incorporate those experiences in my work.

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7. Where did you study?

My high school was design related were I studied Graphic Design and later I studied at the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the University of Zagreb, the field of Graphic Engineer and Design of Graphic Products. (You can say, I was in the “arts” from the beginning).

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

That is a tough question… I hope I will expand my design firm with talented people in it. Maybe then have more personal time, to work on those starry night landscapes I like.

9. What about ten?

Sometimes I dream about is opening my pastry shop because I also like to cook nice sweet things. And eat them of course. 🙂

After that retire and travel a lot. And have lots of cats and dogs haha

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I hope to convey to people how I see the world. As an always optimistic and dreamy-like place. People do reach me via social networks and tell me that I’m a huge inspiration for them with my work. They search for guidance, how to make art like me. I try to answer and give them some directions.

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11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favorite food?

Pizza, burgers, tortillas… Classic junk food. In that order. I’m a sweet tooth too. A piece of chocolate every day is my favorite thing. 🙂

12. Favorite book?

For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel by Ernest Hemingway. It stuck in my head from an early age. You can say that lots of landscape illustrations are inspired by that book I guess.

Lord of the Rings trilogy is also my favorite. I like fantasy and science fiction.

13. Favorite genre of music?

I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite genre in music. It depends on the mood. Sometimes, I like to listen to classical music, but then the next day totally opposite, when I listen to pop or dance.

14. What are your hobbies?

I spend lots of time in the gym. Hiking is also a good option sometimes, to spend a nice day in nature, to relax from the computer and closed space. I like game nights with my friends, playing Catan, Citadels, Dixit or something else.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Cook. 👨‍🍳

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