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Q&A with Miki Mottes

Illustrator and designer from Tel-Aviv

My name is Miki Mottes, 37, from Tel-Aviv. I'm an illustrator, animator and designer. I do all kinds of things, from character design, to startups intro videos, kids books, mobile games, educational games, art installations, wall murals in offices, and all in all I love challenging myself in different mediums for different audiences. I've just launched my new illustrated website.

How did you get started in illustration, what is your background?

I've been illustrating since I was 2 years old and though I used to work in software development, I decided to make my hobby into my day job, and do what I love, so I can love what I do.

Where did you study? Looking back, could you recommend your path for beginners in design/illustration?

I never officially studied illustration or design, I just loved doing that and taught myself the techniques over time by exploring, practicing, and focusing on finding my style. Those who can't imagine themselves being "trapped" in design schools, I highly recommend finding the way to push themselves, acquire experience, and live their dream in any possible way.

What is a turning point in your professional career?

For quite a few years I've been illustrating and animating as a full time employee at several companies and studios, but no doubt, the day I starting working as freelance illustrator was the day I realised I can fully pave the way I want for myself. I got the honour to work with the most exciting, fun to work with clients, who I could talk to directly, and fully express myself and my style.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work in your studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities? 

I love working in my home studio where I can spend time by myself, I need my quiet place and my very own workspace design. I usually meet new clients outside my studio, mostly for the change of environment surroundings from time to time. I have a wide table where I can work on the computer and create physical goods as well. I love retro items and have a big collection of tin toys, old posters, an old radio and design books for inspiration. If it's not too hot or cold outside, I work at the balcony with my mini garden.

Where are your favorite places in your city or outside?

I love my neighbourhood with its small streets and Bauhaus buildings, I love the avenues of Tel-Aviv and the city's first neighbourhood 'Neve Tzedek' where you can find lots of trendy cafes, shops and galleries. I also like the south of the city where you can find lots of street art.

Who are the designers and illustrators, colleagues in your city/country or outside you admire most?

I admire the work of Mary Blair, Charles Harper, Ingela P Arrhenius, Nathan Jurevicius and Brosmind.