interviews melis.

The secret of happiness in life is doing what you love – Melis Biyikci

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February 11, 2022 June 13, 2022
Feli Arrieta photoAuthor by:Feli Arrieta

Presenting Melis Bıyıkcı, a Turkish illustrator also known as The Noc Design, who is taking her first steps in this creative world but already surprises the audience with her versatility of styles. Currently 24 years old, she graduated in industrial engineering last year but has been interested in illustration for a long time. After graduation, she decided to follow her dreams of being an artist.

She started with hyper-realistic portraits in black and white, mostly focused on the female figure, which left us with our mouths open for the quality of their details. But lately, she took a 180-degree turn to make digital illustrations of simple lines and vibrant colors, with well-defined color palettes. And from those simpler illustrations came the idea of exploring the magical world of animation.

Melis is still finding her style but is completely determined in pursuing a career in what she loves. Discover more about her and be sure to check her video to learn more about her workflow in Procreate!

What life events influenced your decision to become an illustrator?

I started drawing because I wanted to do something creative. I took a pen and paper and just started. I progressed as I got involved. I started with charcoal then I tried drawing with markers, oil paint, watercolor, spray paint… And then I switched to digital and realized how good it was for me. At that time I was doing my Engineering internship. It helped me determine what I love and how I want to live. I realized that the secret of happiness in life is doing what you love, and I decided to chase my dreams.

How would you define your illustration style?

I can’t say exactly what my style is. Currently, I am very new to this business and I am in a period where I am trying to discover myself more. Therefore, instead of focusing on just one style, I try everything I like and expand it.

Drawn girl with yellow hair and pencil in hand.

Freelancer

What inspires you or motivates you to create?

I have had a desire to create, to produce since I was little. I can’t say exactly why it is, it’s more of an instinctive thing. When I’m doing something creative, I forget where I am, how many hours I work, I even forget about eating, and I love that feeling of being caught and focused. My biggest motivation right now is to stand on my own feet by doing what I love.

What is your favorite drawing in your portfolio and why?

My illustration named Roxanne is my favorite. I love the Roxanne song and it was an illustration I drew inspired by it. The idea got me very excited. The illustration took a long time, but I was very happy to see the final version because it was exactly as I had imagined. It was worth so much effort.

Do you think habits help to live a more creative life?

I don’t know if it works for everyone, but for me, habits help creativity. It’s important for me to stick to my habits, as I like an organized life. In a disorganized life, I feel messy and it prevents me from creating. In organized life, I feel that my mind is more open and more creative.

Drawn girl in green pants lies on the floor.

I got this

What is the first thing you do when starting a new project, and how do you know when the job is complete?

If this project is for a client, the first step is to understand what they want. If it is a personal project, the first step is to determine what I want to tell. The completion of a project is when I believe that I delivered the message that I want to give. But since I’m a perfectionist, it’s hard for me to say it’s over.

What is the hardest part of creating an illustration?

I think making the decision is the hardest part for me. Once you have determined the idea, style, and composition, everything becomes easier. Therefore, I would say that the most difficult part is the beginning of the projects, as everything is not determined yet.

Do you believe illustration is a form of art?

Of course! Everything which includes emotion and creativity is art, it doesn’t matter what it is.

Who would you say are your biggest influences from the illustration world?

Examples of artists that have inspired me a lot are mad.dog.jones and Laura H. Rubin. I can say that my transition from traditional art to digital started when I came across a drawing by mad.dog.jones on Instagram. I liked it so much that I said I want to draw such things that day and I decided to buy a tablet and switch to digital art.

Black and white portrait of a girl's face with a red stripe.

Hyper-realistic Portrait XIV

What illustration software are you familiar with? Which do you prefer to work with?

I am proficient in Adobe programs in general. The ones I use most often are Procreate and Adobe Illustrator. First of all, I draw a sketch in Procreate. After sketching I continue drawing with Adobe Illustrator.

Which features of Procreate do you like or use the most?

I love every feature of Procreate! It is most useful to be able to arrange the brushes as we want. It’s so easy and makes great results especially when I edit blending brushes!

How do you learn about new techniques and tools?

I usually use YouTube to learn new tools. If I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for on YouTube, I look for courses from online platforms. So I use the Internet a lot to learn new tools.

What made you change from the hyper-realistic style of your first portraits to a simpler style of lines in your latest works?

It was a period when I enjoyed making realistic drawings. So I started drawing portraits and improved myself. But after a while, I decided that it was not satisfying for me to draw exactly what I saw, and I decided to try new and creative styles as I mentioned above.

Portrait in red tones of a girl with long hair.

Hyper-realistic portrait XV

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

So classic but so true. Never give up. If you give up, it means you never wanted it.

What work do you most enjoy doing nowadays?

Recently, I started learning animation and I love it. Sometimes you can give the message easier by adding animation to an illustration. That’s why I’m having a lot of fun animating nowadays.

Drawn girl in lotus position on blue background.

Meditation

What software do you use to create the animations?

I use After Effects for animation, it’s a pretty good program.

What do you dislike about being an illustrator?

Constantly creating can be tiring sometimes. Since there is no such thing as right or wrong in this business, whether an illustration I made is good enough or not can be very relative. This may be the only thing I don’t like.

How do you handle clients that continually reject your presented drafts?

I set out on this road knowing that all of this would happen to me, especially since I am a beginner. Of course, it’s sad that something you’ve worked hard for isn’t good enough. I work harder by focusing on what they want and keeping my motivation.

Do you have a network of designers with whom you collaborate? How do you support each other?

We have such a group on Instagram, we support each other. We confer ideas about the illustrations we make or talk to each other about work-related problems.

Drawn girl with disproportionately large legs on a bicycle.

Cycling

Have you heard of MasterBundles before? What do you think about this project?

I hadn’t heard of Master Bundles until now. It makes me so happy to see that you shared my work. You encouraged me so much! I think Master Bundles is a great resource for beginners to make money.



Melis shows her workflow in Procreate


Presenting Melis Bıyıkcı, a Turkish illustrator also known as The Noc Design, who is taking her first steps in this creative world but already surprises the audience with her versatility of styles.
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Melis Bıyıkcı quote.

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Book editor and content creator
Feli Arrieta is a book editor and content creator from Buenos Aires. Tirelessly curious, she is passionate about traveling, living new experiences and learning different disciplines, to be shared through her writings.
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