Our newest artist interview is with recent graduate Deniz Günsav, we love her contemporary textured illustrations and excited to learn more on her design process and how she got started as freelancer!

Hi Deniz , can you tell us a bit about your background

I was always destined to be an artist, right from my early childhood I was interested in commercial art and advertising. I’m originally from Turkey but came to England four years ago for my Illustration degree at Arts University Bournemouth, and graduated with the first class of honours.

My major project at uni “Stone Guests” was selected as one of the six winners of the Hotel Indigo brief and awarded with the D&AD New Blood Graphite Pencil in 2018. I was fortunate enough to achieve this right after my graduation which was definitely a great jumpstart for my career. I’ve been a freelance illustrator since then (for about nine months now)

Describe your typical day as a designer/illustrator

I’m a very organised person and would prefer to have a monotone lifestyle but when it comes to the freelancing everything becomes very unpredictable. My day can vary all the time but I drink coffee on a daily basis as I’m a coffee addict! I think having a routine creates space for productivity and creativity!

I always try to have a daily schedule to keep myself energised and tend to feel more creative in the morning, I begin my day with a cup of coffee and work on design projects, saving more admin oriented tasks like emails and finances for the afternoon. If I’m lucky I’ll have night’s off to Netflix, but usually, as a freelancer, I end up working late nights!

We love your work! how would you describe your style?

Thank you! My creative approach plays with the idea of classic luxury and modern conveniences. I like the idea of mixing concepts of the ancient world and contemporary society! My illustration skills have developed naturally throughout my university years. I taught myself to use Adobe Illustrator which helped a lot to find my style!

My style of my work is always evolving, I’m still pretty new to the industry so I like to push myself with every commission. I tend to enjoy the outcome of personal work the most. It’s nice to be able to develop an idea from scratch and seeing it develop, the final result is always unpredictable and even more interesting when you share it with other people, seeing their reaction is always satisfying. I like leaving a narrative for the viewer to figure out, I’ve always found it fun to provoke people’s mind. It’s also important to keep the subject universally understandable to resonate with most of the people!


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Which tool or software can you not live without?

I cannot imagine living without Adobe Illustrator! My drawings are mainly vector-based but I also like doing little detail work with the brush tool in Photoshop. I genuinely love creating that grainy textures and getting experimental with different brushes!

What advice will you give to design/illustration students?

Always try to push your limits, be experimental and never let others demoralise you! You really need to learn to work independently. Sometimes people will let you down but it’s important to not to take it personally. I think it’s all about self-motivation and mindset!

A positive mindset keeps you focused and it enables you to visualise your goals, ultimately resulting in it reaching them. And most importantly, don’t afraid to take risks! The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. If no risk, then no reward. It's all or nothing!

Be sure to check out Deniz portfolio for more inspiration!


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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator who has worked for Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning, Baker Ross, and many others.

Additionally, she owned a brick-and-mortar stationery shop selling her art prints and now sells wholesale to retailers and online shops under the brand name www.herdesignworld.com.

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