Featured Illustrator

Ori Toor

April 2018

Drawing Taz and Road Runner as a youngin Ori Toor recalls some of his early stints into creativity and takes us to where he is now. If you've opened up illustrator recently you may recognise Ori's work, as he worked on the the splash screen for 2018 with Vasjen Katro! Go and have a look at his process behind creating it too :D

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

There are a lot of scattered memories. I remember watching Disney's Fantasia at the cinema as a small child. It must have been some re-release because that movie is from the 40’s. I remember being overwhelmed with emotions. My interest in cartoons and animation only grew with time. I started copying things I saw on TV like Road Runner and was obsessed with drawing Taz (never got him right). My mom is a retired carpet designer and I remember her sitting in the living room and designing using water colors while watching tv with me. At some point I joined her and started drawing.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied at The Shenkar School of engineering and design in Israel. They have a good Illustration department that also combined excellent animation classes. During school (and a little bit before and after) I worked at a newspaper doing layouts and graphics. It really started influencing my work in the past year or so with all the fake text and infographics. After graduating I was an animator at a company that made a social dating app for Facebook (which in time turned to a casino app). For a while I was also animating and designing for a small and lovely studio part time. While working those jobs I made some music videos for independent artists for example: watch this.

What do you look for in a great client?

The ideal client for me is one that is familiar with what I do and is willing to give me free reign. Whenever a new client contacts me I go through a disclaimer explaining my work process. I work completely freestyle. Most clients are accustomed to see sketches or some sort of plan. What i give them is initial work in progress (because i just jump straight in and start drawing). It's really important to get a good match between creative and client. I remember I used to take on every project that came my way. Nowadays I try to figure out along with the potential client if we're good together. In some cases there are even clients who manage to push me to be more loose and more me than I thought.

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It's really important to get a good match between creative and client

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How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

It's cliche answer maybe, but I just drew all the time and explored different styles until things settled. Every time I started with a new style my thought was “this is the one” only to be abandoned shortly after. I truly believe it just happens naturally as you work through the years. But if someone has a difficult time figuring out their style I would say the method of elimination is always good. It's easier sometimes figuring out what you hate doing instead of what you love.

What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it?

My first several editorial illustrations I did back when I was still in college. I realised by then I was an improviser but I struggled to work using the “standard process”. The results were about 100 frantic sketches for each piece done during horrifying sleepless nights. I hated every single thing I made back then. Years later I still tried working like everyone else. There was one project where the client wasn’t really aware of what I’m about and thought I’m an After Effects gun for hire. I wasn’t confident enough to explain. I tried doing it anyway and ended up crying myself to sleep for a few days until I ultimately quit the project without even charging for my time. It took years of therapy to get to a point where I don’t feel like a primadonna just for standing up for what I do in the most basic of ways. Now days I don’t go into a project without making sure it’s a right fit for all sides (and it’s getting even easier since recent clients are more aware).

What advice would you give students starting out?

Be weary of advice. Established professionals may have the answers that fit them but not necessarily fit you and what you're trying to do. The element of luck is sadly prominent and very random and unstable. That doesn't mean you can't learn from others, but take it all with a grain of salt.

2018 for you in a sentence.

Licking the wounds of 2017

Website: oritoor.com

Instagram: @oritoor

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