“Icon a day” is a project started by graphic designer Marko Stupic, from Zagreb, in his attempt to improve his skills. The challenge, just like the name says, is all about creating one icon every day, and today the designer has reached his 202 icon, without a day of rest. Aside from the complexity of the icons, which are really gorgeous illustrations of whatever Marko finds inspiring that day, what I found fascinating was the commitment he took, of designing something new, everyday, for his personal project. It’s not easy, I’ve tried something similar last year, but I always had “off” days, when I wouldn’t draw anything new. So, hats off to Marko and many thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me! 🙂
Originally the idea was to do mini icons which would later be used for applications and web pages. But the more work I did, more and more they became illustrations
How did the project start, where did the idea come from?
One day while I was lying on the bed I came up with the idea to do a project that I would have to work on every day. I wanted to advance some of my skills and maybe learn something new. This is how the idea of the “Icon a day” was born. Originally the main idea was to do mainly mini icons which would later be used for applications and web pages. But the more work I did, more and more they became illustrations. But I’m not sorry. I evolved a lot. And that is the most important thing to me.
Sometimes there is no inspiration, and that is when suggestions from my followers certainly help
What is your inspiration for these icons? Do you also do icons based on suggestions from your followers?
I get inspiration from everyday life, life situations and I also get suggestions from friends. And yes, I do get suggestions from my followers from different social networks. Any suggestion or proposal is welcome, as sometimes there is no inspiration, and that is when suggestions from followers certainly help 😀
I have received a lot of positive feedback from people all over the world who have given me their support
What is the process you go through, when creating an icon? What are the steps, from draft to final result?
I do not do sketches. For one reason only. I do not have enough time. I start with drawing lines of the illustration as I imagined it, and then go to the “coloring” where I change the shape and the meaning of the illustration if necessary.
An illustration takes between half and hour and five hours
How long does it take you to create one?
It depends on the illustration I am working on. On weekends when I have more time I can work on the project even up to five hours. That is when I create my best icons, the ones I am most satisfied with. On the other hand, sometimes when I do not have time due to certain life situations, I can finish the icon in only half an hour. I recall making the “Donut” icon in only 20 minutes. Sometimes the time spent in preparation depends a lot on my current mood. If I’m not in the mood it will take me less and the quality of the illustrations will be worse.
Creating 365 icons in a year is a big commitment! Do you also have days when you don’t have the time, or mood, to create a new icon? How do you deal with those days? 🙂
Of course. Sometimes there is nothing I would rather do than call it an early night but I have to work on an illustration. Whenever I think of not doing an illustration I think to myself: if I got this far why give up now. I am a very persistent person when I set my mind on doing something. I am only half way there and I have no intention of giving up! 🙂
Whenever I think of not doing an illustration I think to myself: if I got this far why give up now?
What is the goal with creating icons? Can people buy and use any of them, for their websites (for instance)? Are they any different than any other form of art, do they have a practical purpose?
Of course. A lot of people are interested in buying. But that’s not the primary goal of this project. There were plenty of offers to do something according to the idea of a client that resemble the icons on icon-a-day.com page. I have received a lot of positive feedback from people all over the world who have given me their support.
Do you get many commissions, based on these icons people see?
Of course, almost every day. But unfortunately, due to the daily work load and the reduction of free time due to this project, I do not have the opportunity to accept all the job offers I receive. Maybe after I complete this project.