I’m an artist and illustrator from Istanbul. I have been creating print designs for international fast fashion brands, illustrations for ad agencies etc. When I felt unsatisfied from commercial de- sign, I started creating artwork for my personal collection. Re- cently, I’ve been focusing more on my personal illustrations and artwork than commercial proje- cts, as I feel more satisfied and happier.
About Ali Gulec:
I’m an artist and illustrator from Istanbul. I have been creating print designs for international fast fashion brands, illustrations for ad agencies etc. When I felt unsatisfied from commercial design, I started creating artwork for my personal collection. Recently, I’ve been focusing more on my personal illustrations and artwork than commercial projects, as I feel more satisfied and happier.
Founded by Ali Gulec and Burcu O. Gulec, ikiiki is an innovative and creative design studio, offering specialized artistic solutions to renowned domestic and international brands. ikiiki is involved in every phase of the process, which starts from the briefs with customers, conducting research to estimate the best solutions, leading to the ultimate phase of production samples.Due to its competitive position in the industry, ikiiki’s work is not limited with brief- based solutions; the company also provides design consultancy and strategic planning services.
What originally made you want to become a graphic designer?
I have been drawing and doodling stuff since I was very young. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t involved in creating. It led me to studying in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. Although I studied Industrial De- sign, I was more into illustration and graphic design, so I followed that path in my professional life and collaborations.
How would you describe your approach to design?
I mostly work on commercial projects for international fashion brands. As the fashion industry is full of similar and repeating designs, I always seek the ways to make unique artworks while keeping the client’s needs and target audience in mind. I’d rather be followed by others than be a follower. And when it comes to my personal and artistic cre- ations, I do what pleases me most and it’s a way for me to escape from ordinary life conditions.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?
I can’t just give one name for this. Throughout the years, all the people and brands I have worked with influenced me and shaped my artistic skills. Living in a cosmopolitan city like Istanbul has also great impact on my way of thinking too.
How do you think online design resources have influenced the graphic design being produced today?
I have been working in the creative sector for more than 20 years and accessibility to online resources has evolved throughout the years. Back then we had to search physical magazines, resources etc. and this was more time consuming for sure. However, we were able to find more unique inspiration sources. Today, we can access to much more data, much faster. However, I think this is somehow killing uniqueness, because everybody is directed to same resources. This means, even if it’s online, you still need to dig out the quality material hidden in the data jungle.
What did you like the most on working “UTIB-Premiere Vision Denim” project?
Combining my artistic work and representing them on denim was really a new and exciting experi- ence for me. Most of my artwork is online. Presenting physical art, working with a material like denim and combining my approach with upcycling for the Project is great. Moreover, the final art piece will be co-created by the visitors. I am excited to see how they will react to my art piece.
What are your thoughts on sustainable future?
Our world is facing so many prob- lems, and at cities they become even more complex and obvious. We live in a metropolitan city, Istan- bul, we experience many challeng- es such as climate change, conges- tion, migration…. It is time to find innovative and creative solutions to these challenges, it is time to bring our efforts together and think col- lectively. We need to rethink every aspect of our lives and every sector in terms of sustainability sincerely.
What are you passionate about besides your work?
I am passionate about my family for sure. I love spending time with my kids and always try to include them in every moment of my life. I love and I am influenced by nature, I try to spend time in nature to enrich my life.
What’s the best piece of advice you have heard and repeat to others?
I think best advices I have heard and kept in mind are about honesty. I also always advice people to be honest no matter what the consequences will be, as it will make you a peaceful person.
What’s your personal motto?